Building a new home can be overwhelming and expensive, so builders will often try to save you from having to make yet another decision by throwing solar panels into the mix. However, you can save a lot of time and money by considering your solar installation during the design phase of your beautiful new home. Below our reputable solar experts outline the top 5 benefits of considering solar panels before you start building your new home.
1. Maximise your solar efficiency by considering its position before building.
Usually, for most Melbourne homes, solar panels perform best on a north-facing roof, with no shadows. When designing your new home, speak to your builder about installing solar on the north facing side, and things like TV aerials or air conditioning units on the opposing side so they don’t cast shadows over your panels. Skylights and ventilation should also be considered before you sign off on the plans.
If you are building on a sloping block, where the sun can’t reach your solar panels until later in the day, it may be best to consider the next best position – West facing.
Not only does the position of the roof impact your solar system, but the angle in which it is designed may also affect the function of your solar panels.
Solar panels need to be on an angle to absorb the greatest amount of sunlight, so if you are planning on building a home with a flat roof, you will need to allow for tilt frames or a different kind of solar panel designed specifically for flat rooves. Solar panels are also designed to be installed on an angle to minimise the amount of solar maintenance you require.
If you have a flat roof, your solar panels are likely to attract more dirt and grime because there is nowhere for it to run off, meaning your solar panels will require maintenance more frequently to ensure they are performing their best.
Of course the extra maintenance, specialised panels and tilt frames all come at a greater cost, so you will need to do a comparison to see if the extra costs involved with a flat roof are worth it.
2. Save money and time by pre-wiring for your solar system
Each solar system requires internal wiring to connect your appliances to the energy that has been captured from your solar panels. It is more economically viable to arrange the wiring during the construction phase of your home build, so your solar installer doesn’t have to cut through walls or gyprock.
In order to lay the correct wiring, you will need to decide on the solar system you intend to purchase before installing the cabling, so your solar installer can ensure it is compliant, and the most efficient choice for your needs. If you need help deciding on the right solar system for your new home you should discuss your needs with a Clean Energy Council approved Electrician. At Erg Energy, we have a team of CEC approved installers. If you are building a new home in Melbourne and need some advice, please contact us on 1300 ERG SUN today for a free consultation.
If you are intending on using a solar inverter, you will need the mains cable prewired from the switchboard to the inverter as well. If you are planning on using a monitoring system for your solar system, you will also need to consider the location of your WiFi modem in comparison to your solar inverter, as you may need a WiFi extender, or a CAT5 data cable.
Finally, your solar power will also require different metering to the standard option. You can save hundreds of dollars by getting a solar-ready meter before you move in so you don’t have to replace the standard version later.
3. Only build once – make sure your roof can support between 20-40 solar panels.
The standard roof installed on new Melbourne homes sometimes cannot support the number solar panels you require. Make sure you select your solar system before you sign off on your build, and advise your home builder that it will need to support a number of solar panels.
Ask your builder for written confirmation that your roof will support the solar system before they start your home build. Adding solar panels to a roof that does not support the weight can cause damage to your roof or leaking issues.
4. Reduce installation costs by using your builder’s scaffolding to install the solar panels
Usually your builders will supply scaffolding during their build to keep clients and staff safe at all times. Generally, you can ask your builder if your solar electrician can share the scaffolding during installation, which saves you doubling up on unnecessary costs.
5. Start saving money immediately
Why wait to start saving money? By considering your solar system before you begin building, not only will you save on potential changes to your home later, increased efficiency from the start and potentially saving money on maintenance, but you will never receive an expensive power bill again!
Did you know installing a solar system on your Melbourne home can save you between $200- $400 per quarter on energy running costs? Learn more about whether the investment in solar panels is worth it for your Melbourne home.
At Erg Energy our solar electricians work with a range of Melbourne home builders, to ensure you receive a hassle-free service that maximises your investment. If you are thinking about building a new home, arrange a free consultation with our solar experts to discuss what will work best for your new home before you lock in your plans.