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SOLAR FAQs

 
If there's a question you want answered that isn't provided here, please email us or call during office hours on 0800 70 70 30.
 
What is a solar PV panel?
A solar photovoltaic panel converts sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.

What is an inverter?
An inverter turns the DC electricity your panels generate into the same alternating current (AC) electricity you usually get from the grid to power your home appliances.
 
What is the difference between kW and kWh?
Solar panels and inverters are rated in kilowatts – this is the peak energy they can produce under ideal conditions. A kilowatt hour is the power produced by a one kilowatt supply over one hour. On your power bill this is sometimes called a "unit". As a rule of thumb, a kilowatt is the amount of power it takes to run 10 old-style 100 watt light bulbs, so a kWh or unit is how much power you use to run them for an hour.
  
What do I need to consider when selecting solar for my home?
It really comes down to four things: whether your roof is big enough and faces the right way, and how much energy your family currently uses and when you use it. Contact us now to see whether Vector Solar is a good choice and which option is right for you.

What happens to energy that I don't consume? (What are feed in tariffs?)
Selling unused electricity back to your electricity retailer is a good way to help offset the cost of purchasing your system.  There are currently at least four electricity retailers in the Vector area buying electricity from Vector Solar customers. Once you have Vector Solar, all you need to start selling it to them is a two-way electricity meter (which will be at your cost if you don't have one already) and an agreement with your electricity retailer – and we can help guide you through that process.

Will you need to visit my home?
Yes, we will need to visit you at home before we sign any agreement to confirm your property is suitable for installation and assess other factors such as shading and roof direction.
 
How much electricity will my system produce?
Under the optimal conditions of a shade-free, north facing roof with a pitch between 20 and 35 degrees, a 3kW system is expected to produce up to 12kWh of electricity per day (when averaged across the year) which is provided directly into the home to supply household energy needs, or if not used, injected back into the local network. The actual amount of energy produced by the system depends on things like weather, location, time of year and where the panels are set up.
 
Does the system integrate into the house easily or is extra work needed for wiring?
Installation is site-specific and depends on things like the distance from your mains switchboard location and where the solar panels and inverter need to go. Additional wiring may be required and not all homes are suitable for Vector Solar. As part of the sign up process, our customer service experts will work with you to see if Vector Solar is right for your home.
 
What are the warranties?
The panels we use are covered by warranty for 10 years and the inverter hardware is covered for 10 years (5 years from the manufacturer and 5 years from Vector).

Will the solar system stand up to adverse weather conditions?
It sure will.  Our systems are designed and installed with high quality material to withstand variable wind conditions and exposure to high temperatures and sunlight.

Does the solar system require maintenance? And who manages that?
We recommend that you keep your panels clear of grime, salt spray, pollen, leaves and so on to keep them working efficiently.  

Do I need to get insurance?
Adding a solar system to your home may or may not be covered by your existing insurance.  We recommend that you discuss this with your insurance provider.

Can I upgrade my system in the future?
Yes you can. If your energy usage patterns change or your family grows and you would like the ability to generate more of your own power, you can add additional panels and upgrade the inverter. Contact us if you'd like to know more about this option and what it will cost.