Have you heard about the Queensland Solar Scheme for Landlords and Tenants?

An information guide for landlords, tenants, and property managers

The Queensland Government has introduced a program offering rebates to help landlords and tenants install solar systems and share the financial benefits.

We all know the importance of energy efficiency and the impact that fossil fuels have had and will continue to have on our planet. This initiative by the Queensland Government is a trial, but we are hoping that it will be rolled out as a state-wide initiative before long.

We wanted to take the time to share some more information about this scheme and encourage you to get in touch to find out more about getting started with this scheme for your benefit.

After all, it is up to all of us to take the steps towards a cleaner, greener planet where we access natural energy sources and focus on renewables as opposed to waste and disposal.

Have a read through, and when you would like to know more, please call us on 1300 315 666 to find out more. You can also contact us online if you have any questions or enquiries.

Accessing the trial in your area

The Queensland Government is offering around 1,000 rebates of up to $3,500 for eligible landlords who want to install a solar system with monitoring technology. To access the trial, you must own a home in the Bundaberg Regional, Gladstone Regional, or Townsville City Council areas. In order to be eligible for the trial rebate, you need to have your system installed and your application submitted by 30 June 2020.

The benefits of the trial include:

  • The rebate will cover much of the up-front costs of installing your solar and monitoring system.
  • You can seek a fair rent increase with your tenant due to the added benefit of solar.
  • Your tenants can access solar with no added costs.
  • You’re contributing to the renewable energy future of Australia

Note that only one rebate will be available per rental property, but there is no limit on the number of properties you can apply for the rebate in if you do own multiple properties. As long as your property meets the eligibility conditions, you can make an application.

Information for landlords thinking about installing solar

It’s easy to get started with your application for the solar rebate scheme:

  1. Check your eligibility online at the Queensland Government website.
  2. Find a solar supplier and get a quote for the service install.
  3. Speak to your tenant about the solar system installation and have them sign a tenant consent form.
  4. Install your solar system and make payment.
  5. Apply for your rebate online.

At Sure Solar, we are an approved supplier in the Gladstone, Bundaberg and Townsville areas, so you can be assured of quality when you choose us for your solar installation.

Benefits for tenants

One of the key benefits of working with your landlord to install solar on your property is, of course, the reduction in your power bills. If you’re renting in Bundaberg, Townsville or Gladstone and are interested in lowering your power bill at no extra cost, then get in touch with your property manager or landlord to let them know about this initiative!

In return for the decrease in your power bill, you will pay a fair rent increase, and this should be set at a rate that is less than your savings from your solar power system.

You will benefit from:

  • Saving money on your power bill, while at the same time paying more rent (but less than the savings, so you could end up better off by $300 per year)
  • Access to solar monitoring portal information so you can see how your solar system is performing.
  • Tips about accessing solar energy and how to maximise your benefits.
  • A solar photovoltaic (PV) system that is yours to use at no up-front cost.

You can participate by contacting your landlord or property manager and agreeing to participate in this program. You will need to provide access and to work with your landlord throughout this process, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider the benefits!

Property managers interested in the solar rebate scheme

Are you a property manager in the Bundaberg, Townsville or Gladstone areas and think this is a good opportunity for your clients? It’s a great opportunity to set your business apart from other real estate agencies, showing potential clients that you are proactive and committed to the rent appeal of their properties.

You can get involved by:

Ultimately, this is an excellent initiative and a great way to set your business apart from the rest.

Contact Sure Solar Today

We hope you have found this guide informative, and we are excited about helping you install a solar system on your property (or to receive the benefit of solar in your home) with an excellent rebate from the Queensland Government. At Sure Solar, we are committed to the environmental future of our country, and we believe this is a great step in the right direction.

Please call us on 1300 315 666 to find out more about this government trial and rebate initiative, or contact us online and we will get back to you.

Solar Storage 101 – A Guide to Upgrading Your System with Solar Batteries

-For many homeowners and business owners, getting a solar battery is one of the best upgrades they can get for their solar power systems.

But what exactly does a solar battery do and how does it work? And why have solar batteries become such sought-after upgrades?

This guide will help you get a better idea of what solar storage systems can do and how they can help you save money in the long-run.

What is a Solar Battery?

A solar battery is a unit that stores excess power generated by your solar power system. You can then use this stored power in the future, giving you an extra source of electricity when you need it.

To understand why this is so useful, it helps to know what usually happens in systems without solar batteries.

In standard solar power systems connected to the main grid, any excess power generated will be fed directly into the grid in exchange for some form of credit or compensation (depending on your metering scheme). Homeowners can then use this credit or compensation to offset the costs of their grid use.

But with a solar battery system, you can store the excess power you generate and use it instead of taking electricity from the grid. For many homeowners and property managers, this can save more money and make them less reliant on the main grid for electricity.

How Solar Batteries Work

  1. Solar panels convert solar energy into power in the form of Direct Current (DC). This power is converted to alternating current (AC) by your system inverter for home use.
  2. Any excess power generated is used to charge your solar battery. (Keep in mind solar batteries operate using DC. The way it is charged will depend on what type of solar battery system you have.)
  3. When you want to use your solar battery, the stored power is drawn out and converted to AC for normal use at home.

The Benefits of Using Solar Batteries

  • Pay less for electricity – Whether you use net metering or gross metering for your system, a solar battery can effectively reduce your electricity bill and save you more money.
  • Use battery during peak hours – With a solar battery, you can use stored power instead of electricity from the main grid during peak hours. (Peak hour rates from the grid are more expensive than non-peak hours.)
  • Have a back-up power source – A solar storage system can act as a secondary power source, providing electricity even during power outages in the main grid.
  • Go off-grid – A solar battery allows you to go off-grid whenever you want. Depending on the size of your solar storage system and your energy requirements, it can help you go completely off-grid if you prefer or at least rely less on the main grid for most of your electricity.

The Main Types of Solar Storage Systems

  • DC Coupled Storage – The solar battery system is placed in between your solar panels and your system’s main inverter. This setup charges your solar battery directly from the excess power generated by your solar panels. When you want to use your battery, its stored DC power is converted into AC by your main inverter.
  • AC Coupled Storage – The solar battery system is placed in between your main inverter and your home connections. It uses a separate multi-mode inverter to charge the battery in DC and direct power to your home in AC. This storage system works independently of your solar power system.
  • Hybrid Inverter – This type combines DC and AC coupled storage systems into one unit while acting as your system’s main inverter. It automatically converts power from your solar panels into AC for home use, while directing any excess power to charge your solar battery in DC.

What to Consider When Choosing a Solar Storage System

If you’re considering getting a solar storage system for your home or office, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors to find the right choice:

  • Your energy requirements – Knowing how much power you use and how (and when) you use it will help you determine what type of solar storage system will work best for you.
  • Power generation – Different locations generate different levels of energy from solar power. When you know how much excess power you can realistically generate, you’ll have a better idea of what solar battery size is right for you.
  • Local tariffs and regulations – Solar energy tariffs and regulations vary between different states, so you’ll need to know the regulations in your area to determine how much you can save by using a solar storage system.
  • Energy goals – What’s your main reason for getting a solar battery? Do you simply want to reduce your electricity bill? Are you looking for a back-up power source for your home? Do you want a battery that will let you go off-grid? By defining your energy goals clearly, you can better decide what type of system you need to get the results you want.
  • Budget – Not all storage systems cost the same, so you’ll need to factor in your budget when choosing a system. Your budget can also determine what other equipment and upgrades you can get to improve your system’s performance.

Need More Help?

If you need more information about solar storage systems, contact us today to find out more. We can provide expert advice and guidance that can help you decide whether a solar battery is right for your home or office.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Power System

Installing a new solar power system is just the first step to enjoying the benefits of solar power. To get solar power’s full benefits, you need to make sure you’re also making the most out of your solar power system. This involves monitoring and evaluating your system’s performance and adopting the best practices for maintaining solar power systems.

Yes, getting the most out of your system will take some effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a safer and better-performing system that will give you several years of reliable power generation.

Here’s how to get the most out of your solar power system:

Understand Your Power Needs

To make the most of your system, it’s best to not only understand how well your system works, but also how much power you need. Analyse your household’s power usage, including where your generated solar power goes and how much of it you normally consume every day. This will give you an idea of how to match your system to your needs.

Keep the Weather in Mind

You are going to get a lot more value out of your solar panel system if you live in a location that gets plenty of sun. Lucky for us here in Australia, that is very much the case for a good chunk of our country. But cloudy and rainy days will happen, so do keep in mind that you can never expect your solar panels to work at full capacity all year around. Even so, in most cases, you should still get more than enough sunlight throughout the year to meet your energy needs.

Positioning on Your Roof

Where and how your solar panels are positioned on the roof can have a big impact on how much sunlight your solar system absorbs. Solar panels facing east or west won’t get as much light as solar panels that are northern-facing. If you have no choice but to place your solar panels on an east or west facing position, you could compensate by investing in more panels or larger collectors.

Understand Your System

Your first few weeks with your new system will likely be a test phase where you can observe what it can do and how well it performs in real-world conditions. Use this time to understand what your system is capable of. Find out what times of day it generates the most power and what ranges of output you can expect on both sunny and cloudy days. By analysing your system’s performance over the first few weeks, you can set a benchmark for monitoring and improving your system over time.

Monitor Your System

If you want to make the most out of your system, it’s not enough to simply let it run and hope for the best. You’ll need to monitor it constantly to make sure it’s performing consistently and to its full potential. Monitor the level of power it generates over time and determine its average, so you have a baseline for its performance. If you notice your system is consistently performing below this baseline, then it may be a sign that your system needs maintenance and servicing.

Inspect Regularly

Make it a habit to check on your solar panels often. Check for any damage or dirt that can affect its performance. You should also inspect your solar panels closely at least once every six months to make sure they’re in good condition and to identify any chips or cracks.

As far as cleaning goes, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need to clean them too often since most tilted solar panels are usually cleaned naturally by the rain. (If you have flat-laying panels, you may need to check and clean these more often). However, if your property has trees nearby, you may need to get up there and remove leaves, branches and bird droppings from time to time to keep your solar panels in peak performance.

Invest in System Upgrades

Perhaps the best way to get the most of your solar power system and maximise its potential is to invest in new parts and solar panel upgrades. The most common upgrades that homeowners often include solar storage units, new converters, or simply more solar panels. These new parts not only help your system reach its full potential, but it can even increase it.

Have It Professionally Checked

If you want to be absolutely sure that your system is working at its best, then don’t hesitate to have it checked by professionals. Professional technicians can identify issues that you may not notice (or be aware of), and they can offer the right solutions for addressing these issues. They can also provide tips and advice on how to improve your system based on your goals and preferences.

For your complete peace of mind, we offer a solar maintenance service that can guarantee your system’s performance and safety. This service includes a comprehensive 8-point system check (checking all internal and external components) and a professional clean of your panels.

Remember: The better you maintain and take care of your system, the more likely it will consistently perform at its best.

How Much Can Solar Panels Really Save You Every Year?

Saving money on electricity is one of the main reasons why homeowners decide to get solar panels for their homes.

But not everyone has the same expectations about how much money they’ll save.

Some believe it will drastically cut their power bill immediately, while others are more conservative and see solar panels as a long-term investment.

So how much do solar panels really save you every year?

The best answer is: It depends.

The truth is, your savings from solar panels relies on several factors, and your expected savings will likely be different from your neighbour’s.

What You Need to Consider

To get a good estimate of how much you’ll save with solar panels, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Your average energy consumption – The more energy you use, the more generated power you’ll use from your solar power system. This can affect how much energy you need from the power grid and how much power you’re feeding into it (if any).
  • The size of your solar power system –The bigger and more capable your solar PV system, the more power you can generate. This concerns not just the number of solar panels you have but also the type of inverter you have in your system.
  • Your location – The more sun your area gets, the more sunlight your solar panels can absorb to produce power. Queenslanders, for example, are fortunate to receive some of the highest levels of solar radiation in Australia, so we can expect to generate more power here than in other parts of the country. Keep in mind that your building’s location and the amount of direct sunlight it gets will also play a factor.
  • Usage patterns – When you typically use electricity and how often you use it can affect how much money you save from your solar PV system. The type of metering your property has can also affect your overall electricity bill and total savings.
  • Feed-in tariff rate – Each state has their own feed-in tariff rate, and this will affect how much money you’ll get back from the generated power that you feed back into the power grid.

These are just some of the main factors you’ll need to consider if you want to estimate how much money you can save every year with a solar power system.

Consult Experts to Get a Better Idea

If you want a truly accurate estimate of how much you’ll save every year by using solar panels, consult our solar panel experts to get the help you need. We’ll help you consider these factors above as well as other factors that can affect your total costs and savings for your solar power system. And if you’re ready to have solar panels set up in your home, learn more about our solar installation services to get started.


5 Things First-Time Solar Power Users Should Know

If you’re getting a solar power system for the first time, you’re probably itching to have your new system installed as soon as possible.

And we can’t blame you – a good solar power system can be a great addition to your property, helping you reduce your electricity bill while being eco-friendly as well. Win-win!

But it’s also important to understand what you’re into so you can get the most out of your system.

As a first-time solar power user, here are five things you should know beforehand:

1. It won’t change your life right away

Some people get so excited with a new solar power system that they get carried away and think that it will automatically change their life – or at least drastically reduce their electricity bill from the get-go.

We hate to burst your bubble, but the truth is the lifestyle changes and big savings that solar power systems offer happens over several years, not at once.

Solar power is a long-term investment, and the savings and improvements it offers come gradually rather than immediately – which is a good thing since these benefits will be more likely to stick and grow over time.

When getting a new system, it’s important to set the right expectations from the start. Know what your system can and can’t do so you have a more realistic expectation of how much your new solar power system will improve your life.

2. Maintenance matters

Some people think that having their solar power system serviced regularly is a waste of money, but it’s actually the smart thing to do if you want your system to last for ages.

Yes, solar panels are stronger than they look, and they’re designed to last long. But they’re not indestructible.

If you want your system to not only last long but also perform at its best over its lifetime, then you’ll need to maintain it regularly.

Solar maintenance should include cleaning the parts panels, repairing any broken parts, and replacing faulty or worn components.

It’s best to work closely with your technician, so your system gets the care and maintenance it deserves.

3. Your technician can make a big difference

Speaking of technicians, the right technician can make a huge difference in how well your system performs over time.

Every technician is different. And like any other industry, some specialists will be better than others.

Finding the right technician for you might take some work, but it’ll be worth it when you find one who offers exactly what you need. Here’s what you should look for in your technician.

  • Experience -Experienced technicians can give you more realistic and practical solutions than inexperienced ones. They can also provide better solutions for the issues solar power systems usually face.
  • Expertise – Installing and servicing solar panels require expert skill and technique, so make sure your technician has the qualifications and training to provide what you need.
  • Accreditation – Accreditation with recognised industry bodies indicate proper training and expertise in handling your solar power system. Here in Australia, it’s best to work with technicians who have a Clean Energy Council accreditation.

4. Understanding how you use electricity helps a lot

Knowing your power habits and usage patterns will make it easier to optimise your system.

How much power do you typically use every day? Do you use more of it at night or during the day? What times of the day do you need electricity the most?

By understanding how you use electricity, you’ll get a better idea of the impact your solar power system can make and what adjustments you can take to amplify its benefits.

This will also help you understand what system upgrades you can get to achieve the level of savings and benefits you want in the future.

5. Knowing your upgrade path early will make it easier to upgrade in the future

We’ve mentioned how solar power is a long-term investment. And part of thinking long-term is knowing what upgrade paths you’ll eventually want to take. After all, when you see how well your system is performing, upgrading is a realistic idea to consider.

Solar power systems have several upgrade options, including adding more solar panels on your property, upgrading your inverter to handle more power, or even setting up solar batteries to store the power you’re generating.

When you understand the upgrade paths you can take with your system, you’ll get a better idea of how to get the most out of your system as your power needs change over time.

Need More Tips and Advice?

If you want expert advice and recommendations on getting the best from your solar power system, feel free to have a chat with us to learn more. We can help you optimise your system and provide the services you need to make sure your system always works at its best.

Debunking the Most Common Solar Power Myths

Solar panels have risen in popularity over the past several years, thanks largely to the world’s growing concern for our environment.

But despite being more popular than ever, there’s still a lot of confusion about solar panels and how they work.

We’re here to clear up some of these common misconceptions, so you know what’s myth and what’s fact.

Myth #1: Solar panels only work when it’s sunny

Fact: While it’s true that solar panels work best when it’s sunny, it’s wrong to think they won’t work at all when it’s cloudy. While it’s true that the energy output of solar panels is reduced when it’s overcast, energy output does not stop completely during cloudy weather. The level at which energy output drops will depend on the nature and quantity of cloud cover you’re experiencing.

Myth #2: Solar panels don’t work well in cold climates

Fact: Actually, it’s the opposite – solar panels work best when it’s cold and sunny. Electricity conducts better through metal in colder temperatures, making your system more efficient in colder temperatures than hotter ones. Given the same amount of sunlight, solar panels in cold environments (within reason, of course) will produce more power than those in hotter ones. So, if you live in a place with a colder climate, you’ll be glad to know you’ll still generate power as long as you get enough sunlight.

Myth #3: Solar panels are too expensive

Fact: Solar panels are much more affordable than most people think – especially today. While this may have been true when solar panels were new and introduced on the mass market several decades ago, they’re in fact cheaper than ever. It’s also worth checking with your state government to see what solar rebates are on offer – making solar even more affordable for the average homeowner.

Myth #4: I’ll only get returns on my investment several decades later

Fact: Early adopters of solar panels may have needed to wait decades to get their full money’s worth from solar panels, but it’s an entirely different scenario today. Yes, solar panels are investments whose returns you’ll often get back in full in the future. But today’s solar panel systems provide returns much sooner than those in the past – thanks to ever-improving technologies and government rebates. With solar panels becoming cheaper and more efficient than ever, you can expect big savings and ROIs sooner than later.

Myth #5: Solar panels are high-maintenance and require constant upkeep

Fact: Solar power systems may look complex, but they’re far simpler and easier to maintain than they look. Yes, they do need maintenance occasionally to maintain their condition – but that’s something you leave to professionals anyway. Once you have them installed and fully set up, there’s not much else to do besides using them and scheduling regular solar panel maintenance from technicians.

Need more information?

If you need more facts and clarifications about any aspect of solar power, feel free to have a chat with us to get the answers you need. We’ll be more than happy to provide the right information, so you can decide whether solar power is right for your property.