Be solar certain

Your solar checklist

Choosing the right solar system is important and takes time and research. At ActewAGL we'll ensure you are well informed and across the detail to make a confident choice. Consider the information and checklist below when comparing quotes.

Installing Solar

We'll get you up and running with solar in no time. Learn more on how to get a solar quote, or follow the steps below.

1. Request a quote Get a free quote or take a look at our prices for a more general idea.

2. Send in your photos Take some snaps of your meter box and roof space, then email them to solar@actewagl.com.au Check out the photo guide.

3. Approve your quote and choose a way to pay Once you've approved your quote, choose a payment option convenient to you. You can select from payment plans like $0 upfront, interest free or pay in full once we've completed the installation.

4. Book your install We'll give you a call to set up a date and time to install your solar system.

5. We'll install your system Our qualified team will get all the necessary approvals and install your system. Watch the video to learn how we install your system.

6. You're now up and running Congratulations, you're now running on clean renewable power. Keep an eye out for savings on your electricity bills.

Tips on comparing quotes

Initial assessment

Has your solar provider assessed the best location for your panels?

This is the most important thing to get right. In the Canberra region, your panels should be facing north and tilted at 30 degrees to the horizon to maximise their effectiveness. They should also conduct an on-site check if there are any potential shading issues (even a small amount of shade from things like trees, roof ventilators or antennas can have a significant impact on output).

Has your solar provider analysed your energy use?

Your provider should be able to analyse your historical and current energy use and estimate the savings a solar system can provide. Just make sure they're not inflating these figures or overstating the generating capacity of the solar system. Your provider should be able to analyse your historical and current energy use and estimate the savings a solar system can provide. Shop around for solar system capacity estimates and compare these against your solar provider's estimation. This will ensure that you get a clear idea of your generating capacity.

Quality components

Are you being offered high quality panels and inverters?

The best rooftop solar systems feature high quality panels matched with a high quality inverter. If you're paying much less than other similar size systems quoted, you may get inferior quality equipment and/or installation. When choosing solar panels, price is often a reflection of the quality, but should also include a 25 year performance warranty. Anything less than this, and you should reconsider purchasing the panels.

Has your solar provider analysed your energy use?

When choosing an inverter, the first thing to look into is to see that it complies with the relevant Australian Standard. You can look up inverters on the Clean Energy Council's approved products list on their website. If it's not on the list, don't buy it! Remember, that all of your solar power runs through an inverter, so be sure to choose one on the list that will give you the best performance for your budget.

Do the panels have a performance ratio of 90%?

The specifications sheet you receive for your solar panels will tell you how your panels perform under lab conditions. However, once your panels are on the roof they operate in much hotter conditions. As panels heat up their performance reduces. So it's important to look for panels with a performance ratio of 90% or higher. The performance ratio indicates how your panels operate under 'real world' conditions vs lab conditions. Not many panels perform at over 90%, so it's important to check that yours will.

Does the inverter have a good euro rather than a peak efficiency?

When choosing between peak efficiency and euro efficiency, you'll need to decide whether you want your inverter to have a consistent performance (euro efficiency) or perform at a higher level at certain times (peak efficiency). If your inverter will be working with a higher load overall, a consistent euro efficiency will work best. If your inverter doesn't have a large working load, peak efficiency may give you a better performance overall.

Quoting

What's included or excluded in your quote?

Some providers exclude additional costs, like cost of your meter upgrade (around $700 - $900) or the mandatory ACTPLA Inspection Fee ($230) paid to the state government. Also, check whether your price includes the Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) subsidy – and was this quoted firm or indicatively? Many providers quote an indicative value for STCs and then when you go to accept the quote you find that the STC price offered at point of sale is less 'because the STC market has dropped'. Unlike other retailers, we'll include these known costs in your quote so you know exactly what you'll be paying.

Are you getting end-to-end service?

The best solar providers facilitate the paperwork associated with claiming your STCs, arrange for the company to upgrade your meter and help you to facilitate a booking with your local authority to arrange an electrical safety inspection (mandatory in the ACT). Check whether this is included in your quoted service or whether you have to arrange this yourself. At ActewAGL we will take care of the paperwork for you.

Is your solar provider local and reputable?

You're more likely to get a quick response for any potential issues from a local company. Plus, you'll have confidence in knowing they'll be close-by to address any issues that may arise.

Are you dealing with a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer?

By choosing to buy from a business that has signed up to the Clean Energy Council voluntary Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, you are dealing with a business which has committed to a higher standard of quality and service. The code of conduct is currently the only solar industry Code of Conduct authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), designed to give consumers peace of mind when making the decision to invest in a solar system by helping them select a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer.

Get the right cover

Do you have the appropriate warranty cover?

The best solar providers will cover you with these warranties.

Installation: A workmanship warranty on the installation of your solar system.
Solar panels: Both a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year linear performance warranty.
Inverter: A 5-year product warranty.

Are your solar panels covered by a standard or linear warranty?

A linear performance warranty provides you with a guarantee that your panels will perform at a higher output over the entire 25-year period, compared to a standard manufacturer's warranty that only covers product defects.

The technician came and did the hook up earlier today and the system is up and running. Thank you both very much for a completely seamless solar set-up, particularly your excellent handovers in maintaining momentum over the holiday season, and in keeping us up to date throughout the whole process.

Luke, Palmerston

Our handy solar guide has even more info

Find out more or request a quote