Grid Connected PV (solar) systems

Widespread installation since late 1990’s has led to much lower prices as well as a wide range in quality of products and workmanship.

Tasmania’s feed-in tariff is now 5 cents per kWHr - you are paid this when you export power to the grid. You pay 28 cents when you import power. Subject to change, please check with your energy retailer.

Unless you have a battery, 99% of your PV power will export to the grid at 5 cents a unit as it is made, then be imported when you need it at night, usually, at 28 cents.

Battery on grid systems and smart home systems ensure PV energy is kept in your home to maximise your savings.

Mark The Spark is an accredited CEC solar designer & installer for on and off grid systems, as well an accredited installer for Selectronics My Grid and SP Pro systems, and an SMA Smart Home systems installer.

Independent systems

A stand-alone power system (SPS) will provide all modern appliances with reliable power but not be able to provide heating, major space cooling or winter hot water boosting. A generator may be required to augment the system in cloudy weather and these can be diesel, gas or other fuels.

An energy use estimate is completed in order to size the system correctly. Some suppliers offer set system sizes – beware, as you may end up spending too much on the system OR too much on generator fuel. Take the time to complete the list that we can help with. A stand alone system can cost from $1000 to over $30,000, it all depends on your power requirements. With careful design and usage flexibility it is possible to do without a genset.

We design and install quality power systems so your investment is trouble-free.

Solar Credits

For more information on STCs for SPS or GCS visit the website of the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator or Green Energy Trading. There are no other rebates presently available but this may change and it would be worthwhile checking for updates to the Small Generation Unit (SGU) Owners Guide.

General

The most cost-effective strategy to reduce your energy costs is to try not to use it in the first place.

Target the big use areas first such as space heating/cooling, hot water, refrigeration and cooking. Lighting efficiency is cheap and easy to achieve and while the savings are relatively small they still contribute to the greater energy use picture.

Sound house design is paramount. Once the energy needs of a structure have been minimised there should be no need to invest heavily in a home heating system.

The bigger picture

A huge amount of Federal money has been spent rebating PV systems for a relatively small return on energy reduction and hence CO2 reduction. There are much more cost-effective ways to reduce CO2 or energy use such as solar hot water, electric vehicles, power conservation, public transport, home insulation and glazing, geothermal and solar thermal power generation. It has been estimated that there is enough geothermal energy in Australia to provide all of our energy needs for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The technology has been ready for years but the political will is still not (see The Big Switch, Gavin Gilchrist, 1994 Allen & Unwin, ISBN 1863737502).
Other technologies and approaches are deserving of much greater support and only public pressure will inspire this.

Helpful links

  • Living Greener – is an Australian Government website containing information for householders to help them live more sustainably. This includes information on solar photovoltaic panels and small-scale wind and hydro units.
  • Your Home – is an Australian Government website that contains a suite of consumer and technical guide materials and tools developed to encourage the design, construction or renovation of homes to be comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable.
  • Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency – For policy updates. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency also offers a solar water heater and heat pump rebate through the Energy Efficiency, Solar and Water Initiative in addition to RECs. For more information contact 1800 808 571.
  • Clean Energy Council - Manages the accreditation of installers of small generation units and is the peak body representing Australia’s clean energy sector.
  • Small Generation Unit Owners Guide