Solar FAQs

Click on the questions to see the answers to the most common solar FAQs we encounter.

Government Rebates

Both the State and Federal Government provide 2 forms of assistance when installing a solar system.

  1. A rebate when you purchase the system, which comes off the price of the system.
  2. The purchase of the power you don’t use during the day.

When you install a solar system, you generate what are called Small Technology Certificates (STC’s) or what were formally called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). You will receive 1 STC for every Megawatt of energy your system is expected to produce over the next 15 years.

A 1.5 kW system (approx. 8 panels) will produce around 31mW worth of electricity over a 15-year period so you are entitled to 31 STC’s, which currently trade for around $30 each. This means you receive $900 in assistance when you purchase a 1.5kW system.

The Federal Government has also introduced the STC multiplier, which entitles you to 3 times this amount of STC’s for your first 1.5kW worth of system up until July 1st 2012. After this date, the multiplier will reduce by 1 multiple each year until 2013 when it’s withdrawn.

This means that the government commits around $2700 for your first 1.5kW worth of system and then $600 for every kW after that.

If you need more information than what’s provided in our solar FAQs, give us a call on 1300 134 354

Your energy provider will buy back whatever energy you don’t use.


The current QLD Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) feed-in tariff is 8c/kWh. In some cases this can be doubled, depending on your retailer. This scheme will be reviewed by 1 July 2013 and is scheduled to end on 1 July 2014.

Energy Retailer Feed in Tarriff
Ergon $0.08
Origin $0.14
AGL $0.16
Energy Australia (formerly Tru) $0.08
Integral $0.14
Aus Power and Gas $0.08
Lumo $0.18


Going Solar

Assistance under the Solar Credit Scheme and entitlement to Small Technology Certificates (STC’s) is available to all businesses and residential properties except those that received assistance under the previous $8000 Solar Homes and Communities Plan (SHCP).

If you need more information than what’s provided in our solar FAQs, give us a call on 1300 134 354

Generally not.
However, if your property is heritage listed you will need to attain planning approval. If you live in a complex governed by a strata agreement, you will need approval from the body corporate.

Solar Power systems can be installed on roofs facing anywhere from due east to due west. North is best for absolute production, however a well designed system will match your solar production to your home’s electricity consumption.

Systems can either be installed on a flat roof or tilting frames can be installed by a qualified builder at an extra expense. We recommend a slight pitch to allow for water runoff and self cleaning.

The size of system you will install depends on several factors. These include:

  • How many panels will fit on your roof.
  • Your budget.
  • Your needs, a smaller system may be enough to offset your whole bill.
  • Your future plans, if you intend on starting a family and staying in the house long term, go bigger.
  • 1.5kW – 3-4 hours
  • 3kW – 1 day
  • 6kW – 1 to 2 days
  • 8kW – 1 to 2 days
  • 10kW – 2 to 3 days
  • 13kW+ – 3 to 5 days

Based on a “standard” installation.

Once you have decided on the system you would like installed, we will contact your electricity network provider and obtain authorisation to have the system installed. Once approval has been granted, we will arrange an installation date with you, usually within 1-3 weeks. We will also send you a pack containing your invoice and paperwork to sign up to the Feed in Tariff.

How It Works

Your solar system works by converting light from the sun into energy which you can use in your home or export to the grid. Panels on your roof generate DC (Direct Current) Electricity, this is fed into an inverter which converts the DC electricity into 240 volt AC (Alternating Current) Electricity which can be used in your home. See here for more information.

If you need more information than what’s provided in our solar FAQs, give us a call on 1300 134 354

A typical grid connected solar energy system consists of the following components:

  • Panels – The panels convert sunlight into DC electricity and then feed this electricity to the inverter.
  • Inverter – The inverter converts the electricity produced by your panels from DC electricity to AC electricity which is what your appliances use. The inverter also records the electricity produced and on some models, can communicate with your computer.
  • Bi–directional meter –Your meter records energy drawn from and sent back to the grid.
  • Mounting System – This is what connects your system to the roof.

Yes. Your solar system generates electricity during peak daylight hours. Any electricity produced during this time that is not consumed will be sold back to the grid. During the night when your solar system is not working, you will draw electricity from the grid.

If you need more information than what’s provided in our solar FAQs, give us a call on 1300 134 354

Your system will still produce electricity during cloudy days however production will be less than on sunny days.

Yes. Additional panels may be added to existing systems where a larger inverter has been installed. Where a larger system is required that is not supported by the existing inverter, an additional inverter can be installed next to the existing one.

The amount of energy produced by the solar system depends on the following factors:

  • Panel Orientation –A system facing due east or due west will produce around 15% less than one facing due north. Cooper and Co. does not install systems on roofs facing south of east or west.
  • Roof Pitch –A 30 degree pitch is optimal however you will only lose around 1% production for every 5 degree deviation from this.
  • Weather – How many clear or cloudy days are experienced in your area. Australian cities are some of the best cities on earth for solar.
  • System Capacity – The larger the system, the more energy will be produced.
  • Shading – Solar systems hate shade, small amounts of shade during 9am – 3pm can have a dramatic effect on production. Shading outside of these hours in certain circumstances is acceptable however it’s best for us to complete a shade analysis if you have any doubts.

You will continue to receive a bill / statement from your energy retailer. If the value of the electricity you have generated and sold back to the grid during the billing period exceeds the value of the electricity drawn from the grid (at around 0.11c/unit), then you will receive a credit balance on your statement. Most all Energy Retailers periodically send cheques (or direct bank deposit) out for the value of credits at the end of every financial year.

No. Once the voltage in the grid drops below a certain level, your inverter will shut down until the grid is back up and running. This is a requirement as Western Power line workers could be electrocuted if you send electricity back to the grid whilst they are working.

The Equipment

Most all our solar panels are backed by Tier 1 (Bloomberg) Fortune500 companies offer a performance guarantee of 25 years and most all our Inverters come with 10 years as standard. You can expect the system to run for the life of the building backed by our 12 years Installation Workmanship Guarantee. 

Yes, our expert installers are qualified licensed electricians accredited by the Clean Energy Council of Australia for the design and installation of your system. For more information, go to

There is minimal system maintenance required over the life of the system. You may be required to hose down the panels from time to time to remove dirt. The panels will self clean when it rains. Businesses have emerged which will complete a panel clean for a small fee.

Yes. The system can be covered under home and contents insurance. Contact your insurer for further details.

If you have an old spinning disc meter, you will require a new bi-directional meter. Ask one of our sales consultants for the procedures involved and rates to change your meter in your state.

The Environment

Producing energy via a solar energy system helps the environment by reducing the need to burn carbon emitting fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

If you need more information than what’s provided in our solar FAQs, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 074 669.

To arrange a no obligation consultation at your home or office: