How to go solar at home (and why over 2 million Aussie households have already done it)

When it comes to cutting your household’s greenhouse gas emissions, it's hard to beat going solar. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll save money on energy and, with the right equipment, could even protect your home from future blackouts.

So how do you go solar at home and what do you need to know before you start?

1. Choose a solar retailer

Choosing a reputable solar installer could be the most important thing you do, so make sure you do your research: read reviews from previous customers, check how long the company has been in business and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Solar power is complex; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. A good installer will help you understand which components you need, what size system will suit your needs and how much it will save you over the life of the system (in dollars and carbon emissions).

Most importantly, choosing a good installer that has stood the test of time will give you confidence they’ll be around long into the future. A solar system should last on your roof for 25 years or more, so it’s important your retailer is around to honour your warranties and provide ongoing support should you run into any issues in the future.

2. Be prepared – know what you’re looking to achieve, have a bill and some photos handy

Once you’re ready to get a quote, your retailer will consult with you to design the perfect solar system for your needs.

Make sure you’re prepared by being clear on your motivation for going solar (are you looking to save money, reduce your carbon footprint or keep the lights on during a blackout?) as well as your current and future energy habits (do you have energy-hungry appliances like a pool pump or electric vehicle, or do you plan to get them in the future?).

You’ll also need a copy of your electricity bill and photos of your switchboard, electricity meter and, where possible, roof ready for your consultation.

3. Check whether you’re eligible for a rebate

In Victoria, there are rebates and/or interest free loans available for eligible households towards the cost of solar panels, batteries and solar hot water systems.

To check whether you’re eligible for a rebate or loan, visit the Solar Victoria website and view the eligibility criteria for the product you’re getting. Don’t worry if you’re having trouble working out whether you’re eligible, a good solar retailer will be able to help you.

4. Accept your quote and get installed!

Once you’ve chosen an installer, had a comprehensive consultation and received your quote, it’s time for the exciting part! When you’re ready, accept your quote to get the process started.

Overall, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to have your solar system installed and switched on. This will depend on a number of factors, from installer wait times to how long you spend considering your quote. After all, solar is a big investment so it’s important to take your time to get it right.

Ultimately, the main thing to remember is the importance of choosing a good installer. Solar is a long-term purchase that will be on your roof saving you money for decades to come, so it’s not worth sacrificing quality for a cheap price tag.

At RACV, we’ve been serving Victorians for over 100 years. We’re one of Australia’s most experienced solar energy providers and have a large team of in-house solar experts to walk you through your options and guide you every step of the way.

To get the ball rolling and understand what solar might be able to do for you, request a quote online or give us a call on 1300 447 765.