FAQs

How does Solar Work?

When the sun is shining, solar panels convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity. The solar inverter converts this electricity into AC (alternating current) power for use in your home. Your home appliances (fridge, dishwasher, pool pumps etc.) use this power instead of drawing power from the electricity grid.

Any excess electricity generated by solar panels but not used by appliances is sent back (exported) to the electricity grid or used to charge a solar battery. Electricity Retailers pay a feed-in tariff for any electricity sent back to the grid.

Solar generation, consumption and export is tracked and recorded through a smart meter, providing the data for electricity billing.

Solar systems are most effective when they are well positioned (north-facing is optimal, but not essential) and exposed to enough sunlight without obstruction by shade caused from trees, power lines or other structures.

How do I choose Solar Retailer?

When choosing a solar or storage retailer and/or installer, it pays to do a little research. The Clean Energy Council recommends choosing an Approved Solar Retailer who has signed on to the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and only uses designers and installers who are accredited by the Clean Energy Council.

What is solar feed-in tariffs(FIT)?

A feed-in tariff is the rate you are paid for any electricity generated by your rooftop solar system that is fed back into the grid.

Feed-in tariffs are generally available for residential systems and do not necessarily extend to commercial customers. However, in most cases, commercial customers should be able to negotiate a rate with their electricity retailer.

Almost all feed-in tariffs offered now are ‘net’ feed-in tariffs. This means that the electricity produced by your solar panels will be used in your home first, and you will only be paid for excess electricity that is exported to the grid.

Feed-in tariffs differ from state to state and from retailer to retailer. In some states the government regulates a minimum rate, and in other states it is up to you to negotiate a deal with your electricity retailer.

There is no government-regulated minimum retailer payment in New South Wales or southeast Queensland. It is worth shopping around to find out which electricity retailers offer the best rates for solar customers.

What is a CEC approved solar retailer?

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Solar Retailer program is a way for businesses that sell solar and storage to show their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and industry best practice.

Authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the program aims to lift the bar higher than the minimum requirements set by government and regulations, and bring about a better standard of service within the solar and storage industry.

Approved Solar Retailers have committed to complying with the program’s Code of Conduct. If an Approved Solar Retailer fails to comply with the requirements of the Code, the Clean Energy Council may take action against them.

What is Clean Energy Council (CEC)?

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia.

We are a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation. We represent and work with Australia’s leading renewable energy and energy storage businesses, as well as rooftop solar installers, to further the development of clean energy in Australia.

What should I do if the company I bought my solar system from has gone out of business?

If your solar retailer has become insolvent and you are unable to contact the manufacturer, you can lodge a complaint with the solar retailer’s administrators. You can send out if a company has become insolvent via the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website or by phoning 1300 300 630.

Your local Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs may also have information about the appointment of external administrators for insolvent companies. Likewise, if the manufacturer has
gone into administration, you can lodge a complaint with the company’s administrators. As a consumer, you may become an unsecured creditor. If the external administrator fails to deal with your queries or complaints, you can also lodge a complaint with ASIC on 1300 300 630.

Do I qualify solar rebate in QLD?

If you are the homeowner.

Any purchase of solar panel system will qualify for the rebate so long as the solar modules and solar inverter approval by the Clean Energy Council and; a CEC accredited installer performs the installation.