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Solar and battery FAQs

Do I need approval from my local council to install a distributed energy system?
This varies depending on your individual circumstances. It’s best to double check with your installer, the Network Operator and local council before proceeding with a system.
Can I go off-grid with solar plus battery?

Technically, yes – but practically, no. Or at least not yet. Batteries which are built to store solar electricity are not currently designed to allow you to go off grid. To be fully self-sufficient and disconnect from the grid entirely, your solar PV and battery system size would generally need to be much larger to ensure it works properly across all seasons. Even then, you would also need a back-up diesel generator.

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Can I store energy from my solar system to use at night?
Yes, you can! This is one of the main benefits of installing a solar plus battery system.
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Can I take the battery with me if I decide to move home?
We don’t recommend taking your battery with you if you decide to move home due to the costs of uninstalling the battery and reinstalling it at your new home.
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Does a bigger system mean bigger returns?
There’s no point in buying a large battery if you’ll only ever use 50% of the capacity. Think of your phone plan. You wouldn’t sign up for a $200 option if you only use $50 worth of credit each month. The same goes for batteries: bigger is not always better.
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Does Western Power need to visit my property to connect solar?
Yes, if a new bi-directional meter is required to be installed. In some cases, they may need a site visit if they have queries around your proposed installation and system size when completing their technical review as part of the getting connected process.
How do you work out the best battery size for my home?

When looking at the best battery size for your home, you should look at a range of factors, including:

  • Your electricity consumption
  • Time of day you consume it
  • Your solar energy system size (either new or existing)
How long is the warranty on batteries?
Each battery will come with its own warranty specifications. Standard industry warranties for battery technology can be up to 10 years. Check with your solar supplier for the specific manufacturer’s warranty.
How long is the warranty period for a solar system?

All the solar panels, come with manufacturer warranty periods. Check with your solar supplier for the specific manufacturer’s warranty.

How many solar panels will I need for my home?
The location of your roof in relation to sunshine, shading, dirt on solar panels and temperature all play a part in maximising your solar power production.
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How much will my solar system cost?

Ask your supplier how to maximise the return on your solar investment so you make the best solar savings you can.

I don't have a battery ready inverter what do I need to do?
There are many ways to configure a battery system. If you don’t have a battery ready inverter, you could get a battery system to be specially fitted with an existing solar energy system. 
What effect could a battery have on my bill?
A battery will generally help to reduce your electricity bill. The electricity your solar panels generate using the power of the sun is free and the battery will make the most of the way you use this free electricity. Changing the way you use electricity is another way to maximise the savings on your bill. If you can shift most of your electricity consumption into daylight hours, this will help to make the most of your electricity and potential savings.
What if Western Power doesn’t approve my solar system application?
Western Power in some cases may not approve the system that has been applied for. Where this happens, Western Power may provide various options, including approving a smaller sized system, or providing the option to upgrade the network infrastructure servicing your property, for a fee, to connect the system.
If your system application is rejected, ask your supplier to work through your options with you and Western Power.
What will my bill now look like with solar?
The good news about solar is that it can make a big difference to the size of your energy bill. This handy guide will help explain what this looks like on your bill.
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What would I need to do to go off grid

You would need a much larger battery to give you enough battery charge when the sun isn't shining and producing electricity. If you don't live near the grid, it could be more economical to install a stand-alone power system rather than pay for a cable to connect you to the network. This set-up would typically have a larger solar PV system, with a much larger battery capacity and back-up diesel generator.

What’s the difference between a battery and an inverter?
An inverter will convert electricity into a usable form to be used in your home or stored in a battery.
A battery allows you to store any power generated from your solar system to use when it best suits you, even when your solar system isn't generating electricity.
Every battery needs an inverter before it can be connected to your home. The same goes for solar panels.
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Who do I contact for solar PV system service enquiries?

If you bought a solar PV system from Synergy prior to December 2020, simply contact us on 1800 453 021 and we’ll be able to assist.  

If you bought a solar PV system after December 2020 from another company, you will need to get in touch with them. 

Who do I contact if there are any issues with my solar system?
If you have any issues with your existing SolarReturn system, you have access to Synergy’s service team and technical gurus. Contact us on 1800 453 021.
Why are home batteries not cheaper?
Like many new technologies, prices are higher than they will be once the technology is more established. 
Why do some batteries have to be housed in a garage?
Some batteries are designed to be installed indoors. The casing around the batteries often have ventilation ports to keep the batteries well-ventilated and within their optimum operating temperature range.
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Why does Western Power need to approve my battery connection if I already have solar?
Western Power needs to assess the impact the battery connection will have to the grid to make sure it's safe to connect and doesn't damage the network. 
Will a solar battery cover me in a blackout?
We recommend solar batteries that are designed to maximise your solar powered savings rather than provide a back-up power source in case the grid power goes down. If there is a black out on the electricity grid, your solar and battery system will automatically turn off for safety, and then turn back on when the power is restored.

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