Common Questions

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SOLAR POWER

How do photovoltaic grid-connect solar systems work?

A photovoltaic grid-connect system consists of solar panels which absorb energy from the sun, which is then converted to power your home. The solar panels absorb the photon particles from the sun. This process has a photoelectric effect and causes the flow of free electrons producing electricity. The panels are connected to an inverter, which changes the direct current (DC) from the solar panels to 240 volt alternating current (AC) used to power our homes. A kilo-watt hour (kWh) metre measures the power that is generated and exported by the grid-connect system. The main switchboard for the house directs power from the grid or solar panels to where it is needed in the house. Any excess power generated by the solar system, which is not needed in the house, is then exported to the electricity grid and sold back to your electricity supplier.  To find out more, click here.

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES

What Government incentives are currently available for the installation of solar energy?

Government incentives are available for the installation of renewable energy including solar power and hot water heat pumps through Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).

What are Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?

Small-scale Technology Certificates are issued for small scale solar photovoltaic systems and other renewable energy systems, including hotwater heat pumps. The number of certificates issued depend on the size, location and deeming period of the certificates. The certificates are a trading commodity and are traded on a market, hence fluctuate in value on a daily basis. The number of certificates you are eligible for depends on the size and type of system you install.

What is the Solar Credits Scheme?

The Solar Credits Scheme is available to residential, rental and commercial properties. The Solar Credits Scheme is the current legislated scheme that gives clients a discount when purchasing a Photovoltaic Grid-Connect Solar System. The discount is based on Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). STCs are created when any renewable energy system is installed i.e. solar power, heat pump or solar hot water systems. The number of STCs created depends on the size of the system and the location.

An example of how to calculate the discount is:

A 2kW Photovoltaic Grid Connect System installed in North Queensland:

(Total rated power output in kW x postcode zone rating x deeming period x multiplier of 1)

2 x1.382 x 15 x 1 = 41.46 STCs
2kW System Discount = (No. STCs [always round down] x value of STCs) = 41 STCs x $27* = $1107
TOTAL DISCOUNT = $1107 off a 2kW Photovoltaic Grid-Connect Solar System

* Assuming STC market value = $27

The value of STCs can fluctuate daily, please contact us for the current price. NQ Solar provides the Solar Credits Scheme discount upfront when you assign the STCs to NQ Solar.

SOLAR BONUS SCHEME

What is the Solar Bonus Scheme?

The State Government Solar Bonus Scheme allows you to sell your excess solar power back to your electricity supplier. You will receive 8 cents for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated by your grid-connect system and exported to the grid. Electricity generated by the photovoltaic grid-connect system and used in the household will be free of charge. The 8-cent tariff will begin on 10 July 2012 and be reviewed by 1 July 2013. It is scheduled to end of 1 July 2014.

Will I need a special meter?

Customers wishing to claim the solar bonus will need electricity metering that separately records electricity imports and exports. If required, the installation of new or additional meters will need to be arranged with the electricity distributor by your electricity retailer. Customers with an existing solar PV system wired in a ‘gross’ metering configuration will need to rewire their system to a ‘net’ configuration, in order to participate in the scheme. Customers wishing to change their metering arrangements will need to consult with their electricity retailer and additional costs will need to be covered by the customer. NQ Solar will assist you through this process.

How long will I get the solar bonus for?

The solar bonus of 8c/kWh will be offered until 2028 for customers signing up to the scheme prior to it being reviewed after 10 years or when eight megawatts of capacity have been installed, whichever comes first.

Why Choose NQ Solar?

With so many different solar companies, system sizes, panels and inverters to choose from, how do you know which company to trust or what solar system will best suit your energy needs?

The choice is easy…NQ Solar is a locally owned company based in Cairns, specialising in the supply and installation of photovoltaic grid-connect solar systems servicing North Queensland from Cooktown to Mackay.

  • We are dedicated to providing our customers with personalised service and quality products at an affordable price.
  • We provide our customers with information and advice via our energy consultants who are qualified technicians, unlike most of our competitors who tend to use commission based sales people.
  • Our technicians can configure panels and inverters to suit your individual energy and budget requirements.
  • Our team of accredited electricians install the systems, eliminating wholesaler profit margins – hence you pay less.

NQ Solar offer free, no obligation site visits and quotations. Our qualified technicians are available to visit your home or business to answer all of your questions about switching to solar, and provide you with a system specifically suited to your individual energy need and budget.

HEAT PUMP TECHNOLOGY

How does the Heat Pump work?

A Heat Pump works like a refrigerator, only in reverse. Air which contains solar heat energy is extracted by the Heat Pump to heat water. A fan draws air through an evaporator which contains very cold liquid refrigerant. The heat in this air is absorbed by the refrigerant, turning it into a very hot liquid. The hot liquid refrigerant is then compressed to a “super heated” gas via a compressor. The gas is then circulated to a condenser, where the heat from the gas is transferred to the water in the tank. The now cool refrigerant is then reused and the cycle starts all over again. Power is only required to operate the compressor to move the heat around the system, not to heat the water.

Does the unit draw much power?

No, the Stiebel Eltron Heat Pump has the lowest current draw of any heat pump on the market, 2.17amps (520watts).

What incentives are available?

The Stiebel Eltron is eligible for the Federal Government Small-scale Technology Certificate (STCs) discount and Government Rebates for Hot Water Systems (provided the householder is replacing an existing electric hot water system). To find out more, click here.

SUSTAINABILITY DECLARATION

What is a Queensland Sustainability Declaration?

New homes built in Queensland must now meet sustainability standards. From January 1st 2010, a sustainability declaration must be completed by the seller of any house, townhouse or unit to inform the buyers about the sustainability features of a property in four key areas: energy; water; access; and safety. The declaration will inform buyers about the sustainability features of a property and increase community awareness of the value of such features.

Why is home sustainability important?

Sustainability features can lower the operating costs of a home. Properties with sustainability features use less energy for heating and cooling, generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions, use less water and are more comfortable to live in.

Where can I get a copy of the sustainability declaration?

The sustainability declaration is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s website, click here.

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