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Frequently Asked Solar Questions.

Solar FAQs
  • Where do you service?
    Electrical Sensations services all areas of Toowoomba and the greater Darling Downs region including Wyreema, Westbrook, Cambooya, Pittsworth, Highfields, Oakey and Withcott. We can also travel to Warwick, Roma, Ipswich, Chinchilla and the Surat Basin for larger jobs.
  • What qualifications and licences does Electrical Sensations have?
    Electrical Sensations are fully licenced and insured electrical contractors (Lic no. 84691). Nigel’s qualifications: Electrical Fitter/mechanic (Issued May 1993) CEC Accredited solar designer and installer (grid-connected solar and stand-alone systems) Lic no. A4911715 QLD Security Adviser and Equipment Installer. Lic no. 4323710 Diploma in Project Management (Issued January 2022) Certificate IV in Small Business Management (Issued Oct 2014) Certificate III in telecommunications (Issued Apr 2009) Certificate IV in hazardous areas (Issued Jan 2012) Electrical Sensations Partnerships: SMA PowerUp Partner REC Solar Professional Accredited Sonnen installers
  • Do you install security systems - cameras and alarms?
    Yes! Nigel holds a security license to allow him to design and install security systems including cameras and alarms.
  • What type of ceiling fan should I install?
    Our over-arching advice is to get the best fans that you can afford! In our experience cheap ceiling fans tend to wobble, be noisy and cause no end of angst for customers. We strongly urge AGAINST purchasing bargain fans from hardware stores. Which fan will suit you best depends on factors such as: * Room size * Preference for colour and blade material (e.g: aluminium Vs composite) * Number of blades * Whether a remote control is required * Noise level - some fans are much quieter than others * Energy Efficiency - DC ceiling fans use much less power than traditional AC fans * Design and Style * Warranty - most ceiling fans come with manufacturer's in-home warranty * Whether you want a light integrated with the fan * What type of light - integrated LED, replaceable LED or traditional bulb
  • Can I supply electrical gear for you to install?
    MAYBE, it depends. We're more than happy to accommodate customers who provide their own brand-new, larger equipment and appliances—such as ceiling fans, bathroom exhaust fans, ovens, and stoves. However, if you purchase a small item such as an XYZ brand power point or light fitting brand from sources like eBay, we will kindly decline installation. Why? The primary concern is potential complications if that fitting malfunctions down the line. Our warranty covers solely the quality of our workmanship and the materials we provide. Therefore, in the event of an issue with a fitting supplied by the owner (not involving our workmanship), any labour for the inspection and replacement would be charged to the owner."
  • Can you install smoke alarms to bring my home up to the new standard?
    Yes we can absolutely install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms to comply with the new standard for smoke alarms in Queensland. To find out more about the requirements, take a look at:
  • Do we do free quotes for general electrical work?
    We are more than happy to provide estimates over the phone based on the information you provide. To ensure efficient allocation of our tradesman's time, we aren't able to conduct on-site assessments for projects we anticipate will amount to less than $700. This approach allows us to focus on delivering the best service possible for projects that align with our expertise and capabilities. For complex or larger projects (e.g: switchboard upgrades, mains upgrades, shed wiring) within our service area, site visits allow us to better understand the scope of the work, address any specific requirements, and provide you with a comprehensive quote.
  • Will solar panels stand up to hail?
    The short answer is yes! Unless the hail is massive. Reputable solar panels are tested to take hailstones of around 20 mm. Anything bigger than that and you’re going to have much more damage than just your solar panels! We always advise customers to add their solar system onto their home and contents insurance just in case.
  • How many systems have you installed?
    Over 1500 throughout Toowoomba & the Darlings Downs region.
  • If I install solar, will I still get an electricity bill?
    There is no denying that getting solar can save you big bucks on your electricity bills, but will it completely wipe it out? The truth is probably not. While it’s possible, very few new customers completely eliminate their electricity bills anymore (unless they have batteries/off-grid). Here’s why: Solar only works when the sun is shining. All of the electricity you use at night, you have to buy from Ergon/Energex (unless you have batteries). Over time, electricity prices have risen and the feed-in tariff has reduced. With the current Ergon feed-in tariffs, you pay around 3 times more for the power you buy from Ergon than what they pay you for any surplus that is sold back. Ergon/Energex also charge a daily connection fee.
  • Are the installers employed by you or are they subcontracted?
    All our installers have been trained by us and are our direct employees, not sub-contractors. ​
  • How much do your solar systems cost?
    Our standard 6.6kW solar systems for a home in Toowoomba, tin roof, single story, single phase, start at around $8,500 and go up from there depending on the inverter and panels. Things such as tile roofs, switchboard upgrades, mains upgrades and tilt frames are extras.
  • What does grid connected mean?
    Grid-connected means that the solar power system is connected to the electricity grid (the Ergon/Energex network) that currently supplies you with power. At night time and in periods of inclement weather, you will be buying power from your electricity supplier if your solar power system is not producing enough power to meet your consumption.
  • What warranties do your solar systems come with?
    Solar panels REC Alpha Pure & TwinPeak 4: 25 years product and performance warranty SolarEdge Smart Panels: 25 years product and performance warranty Inverters SMA: 10 years parts & labour Fronius: 5 years labour/10 years parts SolarEdge Optimisers: 25 years product warranty SolarEdge Inverters: 12 products years Enphase Microinverters: 10 years product warranty Selectronic (for off-grid systems): 10 years product warranty Workmanship Guarantee If any defect in our workmanship becomes apparent within 5 years for solar and battery installations, and 1 year for other electrical work, we will remedy it.
  • Do you do off-grid solar systems?
    Yes! Nigel is qualified to install both on and off-grid solar systems (Lic no. A4911715). ​
  • Do you offer finance for solar systems?
    We don’t provide interest-free finance options. We’d rather leave finance to the experts and stick to what we do best – solar. Some of our customers have used Plenti and Parker Lane for finance before – both of which have (at the time of writing) specific loans for solar. Our customers have told us that both Plenti and Parker Lane are easy to get along with and make the process simple. Some of the banks are now offering specific green loans for solar as well. Electrical Sensations is not a licensed financiers and can’t give advice on which financial products to use.
  • How often should I clean my panels?
    Over time dirt, debris and dust can build up on your solar panels, creating a barrier that prevents the sun from reaching the solar panels. How often your panels need a clean depends on where you live and how dirty they get. If you are in town and your panels are on the pitch (not flat) then a clean every 6-12 months is usually enough. If you live on a dirt road, near paddocks or have lots of bird or bat wildlife in your area, they will need more regular cleaning. Some may need a clean every couple of months, while others can get away with cleaning every 3-6 months or so. These times are only a guide – it really does just depend on how dirty your panels are. It is just something to keep an eye on to get the most out of your system.
  • What size system should I install?
    The size of your solar PV system will depend on: The physical unshaded area available for the installation of your panels How much you are prepared to spend What portion of your electrical consumption you wish to generate. To work out what size solar PV system you require, you need to analyse your household’s daily electricity consumption. Your monthly or quarterly electricity bill measures your household’s electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours. Using your current average daily electricity consumption, as well as your expected FUTURE consumption, we size a system to suit you. Sizing a solar power system should not be a ‘one size fits all’ process. Our team of accredited solar designers can help work out what size system will suit you best.
  • What is the lead time for a solar installation?
    Generally 2-6 weeks depending on: a) Ergon approval b) The availability of components - panels and inverters etc.. c) Weather The expected start date and duration for the installation is clearly stated on the agreement that forms part of the pre-installation documentation.
  • How long do solar systems last?
    The solar panels and power optimisers that we use are warranted by the manufacturer for 25 years. So, technically they will last 25 years – because if something was to go wrong before then, it would be replaced under warranty. Inverters on the other hand have a warranty period of 5-12 years (depending on the brand). We have seen systems that have lasted and been producing power for 22 years and cheap, poor-quality installs that haven’t even lasted 1 year.
  • Can I add batteries to my pre-existing solar system?
    Yes, you can! There are a lot of factors to consider. Firstly need to have enough panels to produce extra power to charge the batteries, or enough space on the roof to add additional panels. You also need permission from Ergon/Energex and a suitable location for the batteries to be installed. There are ‘all-in-one’ solutions available, such as SonnenBatterie, Tesla PowerWall and Redback that have the battery as well as the battery inverter in one enclosure. There are a lot of details to get right when designing hybrid solar power systems. It isn’t as easy as grabbing any cheap batteries off eBay and hooking them up. If you are considering batteries, give us a call. We are more than happy to go through the options for batteries with you.
  • Can I still put panels on if I don't have a north facing roof?
    Absolutely! In fact, in some cases, east/west facing panels match the owner’s electricity usage better than a north-facing system. If you have the typical morning and afternoon spikes in usage, east/west systems can be preferable to a fully north-facing system. ​
  • How much is the solar "rebate" (STC Financial Incentive)?
    The Australian Government has a scheme in place to help reduce the cost of solar power systems. The financial incentive (or the ‘government rebate’ as it’s commonly called) is issued in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). Each STC has a monetary value from $0 – $40 – at the time of creating this blog, it’s around $35 per STC. The higher the STC price the more ‘rebate’ you get. Your solar system size, date of installation and postcode of the installation address will determine how many STCs you can get. Unfortunately, STCs isn’t a fixed amount – the price of STCs changes according to market conditions and demand. At the moment, the ‘rebate’ works out to be roughly around $440per kW installed. This means the total rebate you receive off the cost of a solar system is approximately: $2,150 – $2,250 for a 5 kW system $2,800 – $2,900 for a 6.6 kW system $4,350 – $4,500 for a 10 kW system
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