Looking to get solar panels in Adelaide?
As Adelaide’s premier solar provider, we’re pleased to give our solar guide for you to make an educated choice about clean, green solar energy. Feel welcome to browse these pages or contact us for a free, no obligation on-site consultation.
The three main components of a rooftop solar power system are:
Batteries are also increasingly common. We’ll explain each of these below.
It’s important to emphasise that the quality and workmanship that goes into every aspect of your solar system will affect its performance.
Even the seemingly small—such as quality screws and fixings —will contribute to the return on your solar investment.
It’s this superior level of care and quality that defines the NRG Solar difference!
Also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, solar panels are the powerhouse of your solar power system. They capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity.
To ensure maximum exposure to sunlight, solar panels are thoughtfully and carefully positioned to receive as much solar radiation as possible throughout the year.
Multiple solar panels are connected in sequence to create a solar array.
Generally speaking, the more panels you have, the more solar power your system will produce.
To attach your solar panels to the roof, we use a rack or rail mounting system. Racking systems vary, but most involve aluminium rails, combined with brackets that connect the rails to your iron or tiled roof.
The value of a good mounting system and quality components cannot be understated. Proper solar panel installation using quality racking will protect your solar panels-and roof-from potential damage. It will also ensure that your panels stay in place for maximum longevity and solar production.
At NRG Solar, we use only Clenergy racking. Quality conduit is another component we never compromise on. By comparison, cheap conduit degrades in the sun and can lead to water ingress. In turn, this can short out the system and require a complete rewire. This is an expensive undertaking that can be avoided by using quality components from the start.
The inverter is a unit that usually sits on the wall. It converts direct current (DC) power produced by your solar panels into 240V alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your lights and appliances.
Unused electricity can be fed into the electricity network or stored in batteries (see below).
There are different types of inverters and choosing the right one will depend on your situation and needs. We provide more detailed information about inverters further down the page, but for the moment, it’s good to know:
Batteries are becoming an increasingly common inclusion. Without batteries, unused solar power is fed into the electricity network. You may be rewarded with a feed-in tariff, which appears as a credit on your power bill. These credits can help to offset the cost of buying electricity from the grid at night-time when your solar panels are not generating power.
But if your system includes battery storage, excess electricity made during the day will be stored in your battery. You will be able to draw down this power for night-time use or when your daytime demand exceeds your solar production.
The quality of isolators, switches and breakers is also very important. In 2014, for example, the Queensland State Government recalled around 27,000 Avanco brand DC isolators because they were linked to house fires.
At NRG Solar, we use only high quality components throughout your entire system. It’s the only way to ensure safety, compliance, and top performance.
In working out how many solar panels you need, we take into account a number of factors:
How much electricity you need to buy from the grid - and how much you get billed by your energy retailer - will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your system, what time of the day you use your power, seasonal usage, and your feed-in tariff rate.
Solar panels cannot produce electricity at night-time. Therefore, to run your lights and appliances after dark you will need to either: a) buy power from the electricity network, or b) draw power from battery storage. If your aim is to eliminate your use of network electricity, then battery storage is a must.
Some solar users discover that their power bills become seasonal. In fact, through the milder months of autumn and spring, their electricity bills may be in credit. During summer and winter, their bills may go up due to heating and cooling demands.
Other households find that they generate enough excess solar power during the day that the feed-in tariff (FiT) offsets the cost of their night-time power use. The FiT is an amount you are paid by your energy retailer for every kilowatt-hour of solar power you feed into the electricity network
Your NRG Solar consultant will analyse your electricity usage, recommend a system to meet your goals and demonstrate how it would reduce your future electricity bills.
When it comes to solar advertising, 6.6 kW systems dominate the landscape. However this often has less to do with system suitability and more to do with profitability for the solar provider. At NRG Solar, we design tailored systems. But many other solar retailers buy systems in bulk and sell them straight out of the box.
As well as improving their profit margin, 6.6kW systems are easier for providers to install. This is because the system size automatically meets the solar feed-in limitations imposed by SA Power Networks. This is a rule that limits the amount of electricity a rooftop solar system can feed into the energy network.
In other words, selling a 6.6kW system maximises the installer’s revenue without having to work very hard for it. In addition, solar installers often receive incentives for pushing certain products and brands. Selling these systems in set sizes means they can quickly on-sell these deals to customers, while marketing their systems as the “industry average.”
The benefit of NRG Solar is that we come to you with a lot of expertise and no assumptions. This means that we approach you and your project individually and look at your specific needs.
The more important questions are: Will a 6.6kW system reduce your power bills to the extent you would like? Is the system the best one for your home and conditions? How long will the system last?
Your NRG Solar consultant would be pleased to help you answer all of these questions and more.
Choosing the right rooftop solar system can be the difference between thousands of dollars in savings and losing money through expensive repairs. Or a system that underperforms. Or doesn’t meet your needs. Or all the above.
That’s why we insist on an on-site consultation and design a customised solution around your specific needs and goals.
For your peace of mind, we will thoroughly assess:
The danger of not taking all of these factors into account is that you can end up with a solution that doesn’t properly meet your needs, either now or in the future. Our promise is that, designed properly, your solar investment will deliver clean, green, free electricity that meets your needs for many decades.
Rather than focusing on the cost of solar panels alone, we recommend budgeting for the system as a whole. As a rough guide, $1000-$1400/per kW would allow for a quality rooftop solar system, including quality solar panels and racking, as well as a reputable inverter. Of course, the actual price will depend on your specific needs, product choices and budget.
The best place to start is with a free quote.
An NRG Solar consultant will come to your home to do a site assessment, review your energy usage and talk about your solar goals.
This is also a great way to educate yourself about solar. Our consultants are experts in solar power systems and the renewable energy sector. We’ll answer all of your questions about solar panels, solar panel cost, inverters, solar rebates in SA, interest free solar options and everything else you need to know.
There are a lot of solar panels on the market and also a lot of buzz words. It’s little wonder then that solar shoppers often come to us feeling confused. Our promise is to take the stress out of your solar choices. And we do that by only recommending solar panels we have tested and trust.
We know a lot about bad solar panels
At NRG Solar, we have the benefit of starting out as a solar repair service. In the process of fixing thousands of systems installed by other companies, we quickly came to understand which products are the best and worst.
Fit for SA’s demanding conditions
While South Australia’s weather is perfect for solar power generation, many solar panels are simply not designed for our extreme weather. Cheaper panels are more likely to deteriorate quickly, fail or lose performance.
When curating our panel selection, therefore, we consider:
As a consequence, only a few solar panels meet our tough criteria. But don’t worry-we also cater to a range of budgets and aesthetics.
You have the assurance that our solar panels are sourced from reputable suppliers who have a proven track record and many years in business. And we only work with suppliers who have reliable warranties.
Before we talk about inverter brands, we should clarify what an inverter does. A solar inverter takes solar power produced by your solar panels (direct current or DC) and changes it into 240V alternating current (AC) that can be used by your lights and appliances.
As well as there being a large number of inverter brands to choose from, there are different types of inverters. Therefore, choosing the best inverter is not simply a choice between brands or a matter of budget. It comes down to your system requirements and your solar goals. NRG Solar Director and Founder, Eddy May conducted some research into string inverters. His findings were myth busting and interesting to solar industry insiders and those looking to buy solar. To date almost 50,000 people have viewed his video summary. You can watch the video and read more here.
The most common inverter is called a string inverter. It gets its name because multiple solar panels (a solar array) can connect to it. String inverters have many advantages, including lower solar panel installation costs.
In cases where shading is unavoidable (eg. there are overhead power lines or antennas) or where the customer would like to expand the system in the future, microinverters may be recommended. In this instance, each solar panel has its own inverter, thus taking full advantage of the production of each individual panel.
A hybrid inverter is a string inverter that can simultaneously handle power input from solar panels and a battery. Alternatively, to add battery storage to an existing solar system, a battery inverter (in addition to your solar inverter) would allow you to convert stored power into 240V AC power. Some battery systems, such as Tesla Powerwall, combine batteries with an inbuilt battery inverter.
Inverter warranties and repairs
Your NRG Solar consultant will explain the pros and cons of different inverters. You have the added benefit of NRG’s history as a solar repair specialist. We have fixed thousands of systems installed by other companies and, in the process, learned which inverters provide the best value for money and performance.
The solar panels we use and recommend are warrantied for at least 25 years. And when installed and maintained properly they can continue to perform for 40 years or longer.
Solar panels rarely break on their own
Solar panels have no moving parts, which means they rarely break on their own. This is why quality racking and solar panel installation is so important.
Protecting your panels from overhanging trees and weather damage can ensure decades of solar power production. Likewise, keeping your panels free from dust, sea spray, bird droppings and other grime will ensure they stay at peak performance.
Panel quality counts
Investing in quality solar panels can make a big difference to your return on investment. This is because higher quality panels generally have a lower rate of degradation. Degradation refers to a reduction in performance over time.
For example, a panel with an annual degradation rate of 0.8%, will be running at 99.2% of capacity in its second year of operation or around 80% after 25 years. Compare that with a solar panel that has a degradation rate of 0.5%. It will be running at 99.5% capacity in its second year and still at 87.5% after 25 years.
These numbers may sound small, but they add up over time.
Maintenance helps with power output
Dirt and grime can reduce solar panel efficiency by up to 25 percent. It does so by decreasing the amount of sunlight entering the solar cells. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your panels, therefore, is the best way to produce the maximum amount of clean, free solar power. With every watt of solar power your system generates, you lower your electricity bill and increase your return on investment.
Free solar monitoring
With solar system monitoring, you can easily check how much power your system is producing. Monitoring also quickly alerts you to any issues in system performance.
That’s why every system installed by NRG comes with free solar monitoring and why our solar technicians are certified in solar panel maintenance. It’s our promise to help you drive value from your solar investment for decades to come.
There is also the option to add a smart meter for electricity consumption monitoring. This provides the household with data and graphs on solar power production, usage and any electricity you are sending back to the grid, in real time.
It is a powerful tool that can help drive behavioural changes for extra savings and faster payback. Our customers who have consumption monitoring love it and say they get quite addicted to checking their app!
There are a number of different schemes that incentivise South Australian homeowners to install solar solutions or that pay you for feeding solar power into the retail electricity grid. We’ll go through each of these below.
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) replace solar rebates
What used to be known in South Australia (SA) as solar rebates has been replaced by the federal government’s Small-Scale Technology Certificate or STC scheme.
As with previous solar rebates in SA, the STC scheme encourages homeowners to invest in solar by reducing the price of systems. The Clean Energy Regulator has more detailed information on their website about the scheme, but for the purposes of the average solar shopper, we’ve summarised what you need to know below.
How do STCs work?
The number of certificates you are eligible for will depend on your location and the size of your system. The bigger the system, the more certificates you are entitled to.
What is an STC worth?
Here’s where it gets technical: STCs are traded like stock market shares. For this reason, the value of the certificates fluctuate. This also explains why your solar quote is time sensitive. For your ease, solar power systems are usually quoted or advertised with the STC discount already factored in.
Will the STC scheme expire?
A key aspect of the STC scheme is that the number of certificates per kW reduces every year, dropping to nothing in 2031. Does that mean you should rush to buy solar now? The simple answer is: the longer you wait to install solar, the more you may lose in lower rebates and lost savings from your system. The STC scheme’s future lies with lawmakers, which makes it subject to fluctuations and a lot of uncertainties.
Solar Feed-in Tariffs (FiT)
When your solar panels generate more electricity than your home is using, the excess power is exported to the network electricity grid and purchased by your energy retailer. (Unless you have battery storage, in which case excess power is stored in the battery.)
Payments you receive for a solar power you feed into the grid is based on the Feed-in Tariff or FiT. FiT is also known in South Australia as Voluntary Retailer Contributions. Feed-in Tariffs are deemed ‘voluntary’ in SA because energy retailers here are not obliged to buy exported solar power. But the good news is that most do.
The current solar FiT rate in SA ranges from around 5 cents to 16 cents per kilowatt-hour. That being said, a higher FiT does not always result in lower electricity bills. This is why it pays to talk with an SA solar expert, such as an NRG Solar consultant.
The payback period on your rooftop solar system will depend on a number of variables, including:
As the price of power goes up, the payback period goes down.
With the price of electricity continuously rising, the average payback period is getting shorter and shorter. As a rule of thumb, most residential systems break even within 3 to 4 years. Commercial solar installations may have an even shorter payback period, depending on usage.
It’s important to remember that your system will continue providing free solar power for up to 40 years. During that time, the price of network electricity is expected to continue rising.
Solar is a profitable and ethical investment
Having your own means of making electricity is not only about saving money-it can also be an important step towards power independence. By adding battery storage now or later, it is possible to become totally free from power bills, protected from power interruptions and to dramatically reduce your environmental impact.
This all adds up to a profitable and ethical investment!
Do you have an existing solar power system? It makes sense you may want to upgrade it at some point.
A lot of households find themselves with older systems that are not big enough to suit their needs. At the same time, solar technology has advanced and the cost of installing solar has gone down significantly. The result is that bigger systems are now more affordable.
Some systems are designed to grow
Some solar power systems are designed to be expandable. Other systems, especially older ones, may not upgrade easily. For example, many older solar panels would fail to meet today’s compliance standards.
This doesn’t infer that older systems are unsafe, but it does mean that system modifications may be limited. You would also need to consider the effect on your warranties and solar Feed-in Tariff.
Request a free solar consultation
We would be pleased to inspect your existing system and help you explore your options. To find out more, book a free consultation with an Adelaide solar expert.
Comparing solar quotes can be harder than it should be, which is why we take the time to explain every aspect of our pricing and your projected return on investment.
Don’t just focus on price
In the solar industry, one of the biggest indications of quality is price. Industry experts recommend that you should pay no less than the below estimate for a good quality system.
6.6kW: $5500 - $9000
10kW: $8500 - $13,000
If the quote is lower than this, you need to ask why. Where is the retailer cutting corners? Are they compromising on the quality of components or labour, after-sales support, or all of the above?
Cheap now may cost more later
Speaking from experience as solar repair specialists, our advice is to avoid cheap systems. Oftentimes, inferior products are not designed for Australian conditions and/or you may be vulnerable to poor workmanship and unreliable after-sales support.
Another red flag is “package deals.” Some solar companies promote one-size-fits-all solutions. This allows the retailer to maximise their profit margin by buying in bulk. It does not necessarily result in the best deal for you. Insist instead on a customised quote to suit your specific energy needs.
NRG Solar are the only Fronius Service Partner Plus in SA. Fronius Inverters are rated #1 solar inverter in Australia. They are famous for their efficiency and reliability and Fronius have over 80 years experience in power transfer equipment.
Winaico solar panels are a top performer for residential and commercial applications. With advanced cell technology and the best warranty in the industry, these panels offer stable long term investment you can bank on for 25 years.
Enphase microinverters allow your panels to operate independently for maximum power generation and advanced system monitoring. The Enphase microinverters are safe, smart and tough, plus scalable in their application.
Jinko is the largest solar panel manufacturer in the world and the most popular panel in Australia. With Jinko, you get market-leading solar panel technology, plus top efficiency and durability for harsh South Australian conditions.
From all our years of servicing systems installed by companies no longer in business, we know that the most unhappy customers are usually those who bought a system over the phone. Alternatively, they bought a system (often a sales promotion) that was not properly tailored for their needs or home.
We simply don't want you to have that experience. That’s why an onsite visit is a part of our process. It’s our way of ensuring you get a fixed price quote with no surprises. And you get a system you understand and know how to use.
We find the happiest customers are educated about their system, how it works and, most importantly, how to get the most out of it
By comparison, solar companies who quote over the phone are taking the lazy approach. They cannot possibly fully assess your property, choose the right location for your inverter, assess your roof suitability, or inspect your fuse box or meter from aerial images. You must also ask yourself: if they are not willing to do an on-site quote, how willing will they be to come back and fix any problems?
We take your solar investment seriously. We promise to provide you with a tailored solution and local Adelaide solar expertise that sets you up to enjoy clean, green, free electricity for decades to come. It’s a proven approach and why NRG Solar is proud to be one of Adelaide’s largest, trusted solar installers.
When you go with NRG Solar, you get:
The benefit of being Adelaide’s solar repair specialist is that we’ve seen everything that can go wrong with solar over the years. We’ve fixed literally thousands of failing systems installed by other companies, so we know what works and what doesn’t.
Now, the good news is that a rooftop solar system is an excellent investment with reliable performance and very low maintenance costs. The system itself has very few moving parts, which is why solar panels rarely break on their own.
Birds can nest under panels. Possums have been known to chew through wiring. Roofs can sustain storm damage.
Alternatively, manufacturing faults can impair system performance, such as panel hotspots, micro-cracks, delamination or internal corrosion.
Faulty wiring, such as loose connections and corrosion can interfere with electricity production. Your inverter may eventually need replacing.
At NRG Solar we use only quality parts, including solar panels designed for South Australia’s testing conditions. Our Adelaide solar installers are all accredited solar electricians and we use only top-notch parts, including highest quality screws, conduit, isolators, switches, breakers and more.
Our ethos is to do the job right the first time. That's why we’re proud to guarantee our workmanship and labour, and we only recommend components that come with industry leading warranties.
Some customers pay with cash and others with credit or finance. The choice comes down to your preference. Using finance or a loan can be a good way to get into solar sooner or to keep your cash savings in the bank.
The only way to really understand how a solar panel performs is to test it. But the last place you want to test a solar panel is on your roof!
That’s why we’ve set up solar panel test conditions in our interactive Adelaide showroom, conveniently located at Richmond.
We are currently testing 15 different panels across a range of brands and models. Our selection is based on performance, efficiency, output, size, local support, warranty and budget. Each is live and being continuously monitored for power output and performance.
Visit our Adelaide showroom to see the following solar panels being tested and discover why we recommend the products we do:
We are also testing some of Australia’s best known solar inverters, including Fronius, Delta, Redback Hybrid & BYD inverters. Our Adelaide solar showroom has blackout protection via a BYD battery storage system. This allows us to simulate a blackout and show customers what happens when grid power fails.
See for yourself what it’s like to switch from network power to stored solar power without missing a beat.
Visit our Adelaide showroom or book a solar consultation in the convenience of your own home.
The correct installation of your rooftop solar power system begins from the moment of your initial consultation. Your NRG Solar consultant will inspect your property to assess for roof suitability, solar panel orientation, inverter and meter box location.
We will also factor in the sun’s position throughout the day and seasonally. This is to make sure your panels get maximum solar exposure. We will also show you how your panels would look on your roof. Street appeal is always an important consideration!
For your added assurance, NRG Solar was one of the first retailers accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC). Often solar retailers were not CEC accredited. Rather, they relied on the accreditation of their contract installers.We believe that raising the industry standard is important. Our aim is to differentiate ourselves from less professional operators and, ultimately, to protect solar customers.
Because NRG is a CEC retailer, we adhere to the CEC’s strict code of conduct. As part of the code, we commit to installing exactly what the customer has ordered. It is sad to say that less scrupulous installers have been known to switch quoted products for cheaper ones.
From start to go, you will have a single point of contact in our office. Meanwhile, we will manage all the paperwork for you and coordinate installation to suit your schedule.
Our installation team consists of qualified and accredited solar electricians. We use only quality parts, including Clenergy racking, combined with quality screws, conduit, isolators, switches, breakers and more.
Likewise, safety is paramount, which is why we never cut corners. We don’t take it lightly that we are dealing with electricity and that you are entrusting us with the safety of your home and family. Our mantra is: do it once, do it right.
After your system is installed, you will receive a follow-up from our technical support team. As well as checking that your system is working properly, we would be pleased to answer any questions. If anything does go wrong, our technical team is always here to help. Like you, we are proudly South Australian and our headquarters is based right here in Adelaide.
If you’d like to visit us at any time, we have a fully operational showroom, office and warehouse or you’re welcome to call us on the phone.
To get a free, no obligation on-site quote from South Australia’s trusted solar expert, call us on 1300 858 160 or contact us online.