Use this checklist to see if your house is suitable for solar. Before getting a solar panel quote, assess your roof condition, orientation, and shading. Consider energy consumption, local regulations, and budget.
More and more Australians are making the transition to renewable energy by installing solar panels and battery systems in their homes, so how do you know if you’re able to make the switch? Unfortunately, not all homes and rooftops are suitable for solar panels – factors like shade, the age of your roof, and your home orientation need to be taken into account when you’re considering ways to minimise your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills.
So what do you need to know before getting a solar panel installation quote for your house?
1. You’ll need to check the condition and age of your roof. Rooftop solar panels require a sturdy and stable roof that is in good condition. Depending on the age of your current roof, you may need to replace your roof before installing solar panels. Residential rooftop solar panels are typically expected to last 25 years or more so you’ll want to make sure your rooftop can also last that long.1
2. Consider the orientation and angle of your roof. Rooftop solar panels in Australia are most efficient when installed on a north-facing roof. However, east- and west-facing rooftops are still very effective thanks to Australia’s famously sunny weather.
3. Take a look at the shading on your roof. Rooftop solar panels require direct sunlight to function effectively, so you’ll need to consider shading from trees, buildings, or other structures that may block sunlight, especially in the morning and afternoon.
4. Evaluate your household’s energy consumption. Rooftop solar panels can help reduce your energy bills, but it's important to consider your energy consumption and how much of it you can offset with solar power. Have you also considered installing a battery to help store any excess energy? This can be a great way to keep your bills down year-round and may also make your home eligible to join one of Australia’s numerous Virtual Power Plant (VPP) programs.
5. Check local zoning and building codes. Each state and territory in Australia have specific regulations regarding rooftop solar panel installation, so it's essential to check what policies may apply to your home before installing.
6. Assess your budget. Rooftop solar panel systems can be pricey, so it's important to have a realistic budget in mind and consider what incentives or financing options are available to you. If you think a renewable energy loan is the way to go, you’ll also need to think about loan amount, loan terms, rates, fees and more. Your installer may be able to help you out with some of these details such as the estimated installation cost, or they may even be accredited with lenders who specialise in renewable energy loans and can help you submit your loan application.
7. Now it’s time to consult with a solar panel expert. A professional can help you determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of installing rooftop solar panels on your home. They can also help you decide whether you might need to update your roof first and guide you through the process of connecting your system to the grid and getting it approved by your distributor. Finding a trusted and reputable solar installation company can help make your transition to renewable energy as smooth as possible. A great starting point is the Clean Energy Council’s ‘Find Approved Solar Retailers near me’ search function.
Whether you're looking to reduce your energy bills, support the transition to clean energy, or simply make your home more sustainable, there’s never been a better time to invest and make the switch.
1 How long do rooftop residential solar panels last