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Easy Tips on Solar Power from the ATA

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on January 31st, 2011


Image: Solar Panel and Charger by sridgway via flickr CC

Easy Tips on Solar Power:

Solar panels are springing up on roofs across Australia as thousands of people make a commitment to lower power bills while helping the environment.  Over 100,000 solar power systems were installed in 2010, more than for the entire previous decade, according to the Clean Energy Australia 2010 Report. Solar power has become more affordable as prices for panels and installation have dropped steadily in recent years.  The Alternative Technology Association (ATA), in the latest issue of its magazine ReNew, has compiled a 10-page Solar Installation Special, providing easy tips for consumers on every aspect of buying and installation.  The ATA is Australia’s leading not-for-profit, consumer-based organization promoting renewable energy, sustainable home design and water saving.

In his article in ReNew, Aaron Hodgson, who spent six months researching before buying solar panels to cover his home’s power usage, shares his advice on the potential traps and pitfalls for first-time solar buyers. Here are brief excerpts of some of what he says:

  • Home efficiency first – Before installing solar electricity the most important thing is to make your house as energy efficient as possible.
  • Full site analysis – Ensure the installers inspect your property first as there might be issues with shade from trees and buildings, extra wiring and installation costs, space constraints or roof angles.
  • Fix your roof – Before installing a system, inspect your roof for leaks, cracked, damaged and shifted tiles, recapping or rusty tin.
  • Rebates change – Be aware that state and federal government solar panel incentives, feed-in tariffs, RECs and any other rebates can chop and change, sometimes with little notice.

For expert comment on solar power, contact ATA energy projects manager Damien Moyse on (03) 9631 5417/0439 900 692; damien@ata.org.au

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