Home › Forums › SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION › Sustainable Energy & Energy Conservation › Solar power installers-any you can recommend or not?
December 1, 2009 at 4:19 am #444719ccBearMember
Virgill, you would want to get your power bill down a fair bit, even a 3Kva system most likely would not cover you. I have a 1Kva system at the moment and paid $150 last quarter, This was 56 days with out solar and 34 with solar. I average 2 units into the grid a day if I’m lucky.
I will be putting another 1Kva of panels in when the money is there and I should put the full amount of that production back into the gridDecember 4, 2009 at 3:49 am #444720virgillMember
CCbear – the problem I have is a lazy hubby and kids that dont seem to understand about turning things off when not in use. As I work FT – its really hard for me to police it. I have done all the other things like installing a quantum HWS, insulation, changing the lightbulbs, etc.
But its looks like we will need a 3Kva system, as I would want the system to be able to pay for itself so to speak. Looks like I’m back to saving more pennies again. Thanks for the advice.December 8, 2009 at 9:24 am #444721
Well we have a date- 8th feb we should have our 2kw system installed. A bit slow, but with Christmas almost upon us its hard to get things done til the new year.
Virgill- I agree with ccbear- you would need to get your usage down a bit to really benefit from solar power. You could get a Home Sustainabilty Assessment through the green loans program which might give you some more ideas of where you can cut back.The call centre number is 1800895076. I have found those litttle power meters that you plug into your appliances really helpful- you plug the appliance in and it records how much power the appliance uses over 24 hrs. I found it quite helpful in finding out where our power is used.
GM4L we are going with Nicholls Solar. Our 2kw system will cost us $6500 after the rebates. I got lots of quotes- the highest was $12500 after the rebates and a whole range in between.January 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm #444722
Gettin in a bit late on this but I just discovered the thread … we too have decided to go with Nicholls here in Sydney … but we’re taking a chance… they are now using Ulica panels from China which must be the reason their prices are a few thousand cheaper than others … I’ve done as much checking on Ulica solar panels as I can and they have been certified by the Germans, and have been certified as acceptable for subsidy by the state of California which means they had to pass some kind of government testing over there … but we’re taking a gamble because though their manufacturing processes have been certified they still have to have enough integrity to stay the full 25 year guaranty and that’s the gamble … we’re doing a 4kwh system because it’s the same price as the other’s 3kwh system and we’re trying for a faster payback period and we’re also trying to lower/eliminate our gas heating bill in the winter … this system will in our case support/cover the small electric heating we anticipate …
Good luck to all who are navigating the purchase of solar panels … it is one of the most confusing exercises I’ve ever done in my life but an entirely rewarding one (I hope) as the contribution to the planet as well as my power bill justifies the effort …January 12, 2010 at 11:16 am #444723
sydneywill I didn’t know that about the panels. I’m pretty sure the quote said a different brand. Hmm will go check..:uhoh:January 14, 2010 at 4:45 am #444724
nlac … I might be incorrect on the reasons for the price diffs … I’m only speculating … they were substantially cheaper than the other mobs … I partially put that down to the other mobs overheads (arriving for quotes in the latest company Range Rovers, with all the newest brochures, and systems with bells and whistles etc) … I feel OK about Ulica panels actually … the disparity in all quotes was disconcerting … we actually got a quote for a 2.2kwh system that was $23K after RECS hand-ins, discounts etc !!! …
I drug out all the old elec bills and over the past two years our running daily average was 13.66kwh … so I wanted at least a 3kwh system … and because of roof space I wanted to go mono rather than amorphous … Nicholls
came out when they said they would, gave me local refs (which I havent checked out), gave me the best quote yet, said their book was so full that my install wont be till April so I checked out the type of panels they said they used and booked it … they seem fair dinkum …and i Googled the name and looked up to Page 7 or 8 of what came up for complaints/warnings etc and nothing bad surfaced … in fact that’s how I found this thread … i feel pretty good about it …
i’m getting a 4kwh system for less that other mob’s 3kwh systems ..
it’s always some kind of a gamble when you’re paying for something with a 25 year warranty …January 14, 2010 at 10:13 am #444725starrubyMember
sydneywill I too am interested in getting solar in Sydney. I think we would like to get 4kw system. I do not really understand all the ins and outs of solar but I want to do my bit plus cut my bills.
Would you mind if I asked how much Nichols charges for a system like yours and is that with rebates?
edited because I really don’t want to “do my but”January 15, 2010 at 9:09 am #444726
I found the differences in prices quite amazing too sydneywill. I got several quotes and the difference was in the thousands.January 16, 2010 at 5:32 am #444727
sandra …. Nicholls 3.96 kwh system was $17,670 I think … they can
do it in 22 panels … your roof size matters, as does the angle because
if you have a flat roof they (and others) charge $80 per panel I think to elevate it to the proper angle (in Sydney its around 30 degrees) …
it was priced favourably to others 3kwh systems … best to call them and others and get them to quote … dig out your old elec bills and figure out your avg daily kwh usage (it’s on the bill) over at least one year (I used two years) so you can have them figure out how big of a system you’ll need to cover it … most will give a ball-park figure over the phone then if it suits you they’ll come for a proper measure and quote … if you Google ‘solar power’ you’ll see heaps of ads for installers … just start phoning all the local ones … Choice magazine has a free look at their ‘primer’ article on buying solar systems and they have a few useful links too … good luck … it’s all in the lap of the Gods really because I cant think of any thing I’ve ever bought where I was banking on a 25 year guarantee …January 16, 2010 at 11:16 am #444728starrubyMember
thanks so much for the info sydneywill. I will look at the Choice magazine article when I finish up here. I have a large roof space – well I consider it large- we have a long narrow house facing north with the pitch east west.
I know there is alot of installers but its good to hear of ones that people use and have no trouble or very little trouble with.
Thanks againFebruary 11, 2010 at 5:16 am #444729
Heres an update on Nicholls Solar for anyone who’s still interested.
Before we signed up they were all over us- phone calls etc.
After signing and paying deposit we heard nothing.
We chased them up to get an install date, then we heard nothing. Coming up to the day I expected a reminder call since they can’t install if no ones home. No call so figured they wouldn’t show.
But, 9.30am on the install date they arrived. 4 young blokes who had driven from Sydney and apparently thought they were now in hickville 😆
Anyway, they did the job quickly. Didn’t make too much mess. We have a difficult crawl space which another tradie went through, but they handled it ok and overall I was happy with their work.
So, now we have 12 panels on the roof and are waiting for our meter. :tup:April 19, 2010 at 2:02 am #444730fatcontrollerMember
just thought i’d add my two cents. We had a 1.5Kw system installed by Nicholls back in Dec 09. We paid a deposit on the system which was supposed to include 8 x 185w Maxsolar panels and an 2.2Kw Orion inverter. The day before they were supposed to install the system i received a call from them to tell me they could not supply the 185w panels so would install 9 x 170w at no extra cost (50 watts extra WOW). I accepted this as i had waited 8 weeks already. They installed everything very well until it came time to get their contractor to install the new meter. It took another 9 weeks of chasing them before it was installed.As i am now looking at getting 3 more panels i got up on the roof to check the specs on the rear of the panels (i didn’t get to check the panels prior to install) and now found that they werent even Maxsolar brand but Ulica panels and they had not even told me that they were supplying a different brand of panel. So the moral in dealing with them is to CHECK everything and not just go on what they tell you
AshOctober 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm #444731
fatcontroller, we had a long wait and some chasing to do to get our meter installed by their electrician too.
BUT, we just got our electricity bill for 6 months – $50. So I’m happy! That included most of winter when we were still running an air con for heating, and we were boosting our hot water system too.October 14, 2010 at 2:31 am #444732alokinMember
I would like to ask the other way round: which brands of panels are good? And later search an installer.December 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm #444733tataMember
Exactly same problem complaint with nicholls solar.
Installed frames, nothing like i wanted, no panels, as they tried to install some low quality poly instead of what i ordered.
these people i believe will complete the job, but not as promised, and the long waiting time, is part of their MO to dump and install whatever they have (they are not worried of whatever contract is signed), waiting time usually over 4 months, and they hope your too tired of waiting for delay so will accept anything they give.
Actually many solar companies behave like this, WHY? because they can…. Dept of Fair trade is full of public service bludgers too lazy to crackdown on companies like nicholls solar
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.