Residential solar

When you arrange a home or residential site visit or quote with Willco Electrical, it’ll be a qualified electrician who comes to see you.

Our end-to-end capability

We’ll see you through every step of your solar transformation, from energy comparison and analysis and design and engineering, through to installation, safety certification and grid connection. We can help with ongoing maintenance too.

We can help with solar rebates

Are you across your entitlements to State Government of Victoria and Federal Government solar rebate ? We can help you understand the rebates and make sure you are making the most of what you’re entitled to.

Residential projects

FAQs

How does solar energy work?

Solar energy works by harnessing the power of sunlight and converting it into a useful form. Solar panels are the most common technology used to capture solar energy. They are made up of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, which act as a semiconductor. When sunlight hits the cells, it activates the electrons within the material, creating a flow of electricity called the photovoltaic effect. The panels are connected to an inverter. The energy passes through the inverter to your home and the local grid. The energy is then consumed by any appliances in use in your house at the time, with excess sent to the grid or stored in a battery.

What should I consider when buying a solar system?

Solar systems are an investment in long term savings, and in a new and more sustainable way of producing and consuming electricity. When planning your solar system, it’s worth getting across:

  • Your household’s total energy usage
  • Peak times and patterns of energy use
  • The orientation of home (north facing is best!)
  • What kinds of appliances you plan to use
  • What system and installation warranties are available
  • Reviews of the components your installer plans to use
  • The solar installer’s experience and reputation
  • Rebates available to you.
Should I install a battery?

A smart solar set up includes battery storage, so that you can store unused electricity for use at night or on low-sunlight days. Battery storage technology is improving all the time.  We can help you work out if battery storage is right for you. Some considerations include: 

  • Cost: Home battery storage systems are expensive. Their financial viability depends on factors such as electricity rates, solar system size, and available incentives or rebates. Over time falling battery prices and potential savings from reduced grid reliance may offset the initial investment.
  • Battery lifespan: Batteries have a limited lifespan, usually measured in cycles (charge-discharge cycles). It’s important to choose high-quality batteries and manage their usage to maximise their longevity.
  • Storage capacity: The storage capacity of home batteries is limited. It is crucial to size the battery system appropriately to meet the household’s energy needs and consumption patterns.
  • Space requirements: Home/business battery systems require physical space for installation, which may be a consideration for customers with limited space.
  • Efficiency loss: There is some energy loss during the process of storing and retrieving electricity from batteries, which reduces the overall efficiency of the system.

 Currently, many customers decide to invest in an EV (electric vehicle) and home/business EV charger, and to treat the EV as a ‘mobile battery’. We think this is a good investment, especially when savings on petrol are factored in.

As battery technology continues to evolve, we expect further improvements and cost reductions will make home/business battery storage more attractive. Please talk to us if you are interested in including a battery in your solar system.

Will solar power help me save money?

Yes. Solar systems are a long term investment and the savings you make will increase as time goes on. How much you save, and how quickly, depends on your energy consumption. The more solar power you use during the day, the greater your ROI (return on investment). We will calculate your likely ROI based on your current energy consumption as part of our quoting process.

What is a feed in tariff?

A FiT (feed in tariff) is a government policy incentive designed to promote the adoption of renewable energy. In the case of home/business solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, a FiT means receiving credits on your energy bill, proportional to the solar power you feed into the grid. Your home/business PV meter will measure the amount of export, which will then be converted to savings on your electricity bill.

How long does it take to install a solar system?

It will take our team of qualified electricians one day to install solar panels and an inverter at your house, but we allow 4-6 weeks for the entire process. This includes: 

  • Our initial site visit
  • The planning of your solar system
  • Quoting
  • The installation
  • A site visit, inspection and issuing of a Certificate of Electrical Safety by a qualified independent inspector
  • Lodgment of a Grid Connect application with your distribution network provider and your energy retailer

 If there are roof access or safety issues at your home, for example a steep roof pitch, the installation may take more than one day.

Weather can also impact the installation. It is unsafe for us to install during heavy rain or in extremely hot conditions.

What sort of roof can solar be installed on?

Solar can be installed on most roofs. Most roofs are tile, tin or kliplock. Some materials, like slate and asbestos, can be problematic. One of our qualified electricians will inspect your roof during our initial site visit and let you know if we have any concerns. If your home or business is under construction, we can liaise with architects, engineers and builders to make sure we can install your solar system on your new roof.

What do I need to consider if I live in a heritage overlay?

If you live in a home in Victoria with a heritage overlay, you must apply to your local council for a planning permit to install solar panels on your roof. We can help with site and system plans.

What do I need to consider if I am building a new home/business?

If you are thinking about installing a solar system in your new home/business, you should consider:

  • Panel location
  • Pitch and orientation
  • Inverter location
  • Pre-wiring your home/business for solar. 

We can help you work out your pproximate ROI depending on your current energy consumption, and can liaise with architects, engineers and builders to make sure we can install your solar system on your new roof.

Can I put panels on my shed?

Maybe. The shed must have a good solid structure, be powered and receive enough light from the sun to make it worthwhile. One of our qualified electricians can inspect your shed during our initial site visit and let you know if this is a viable option for you.

Should I get my roof cleaned or inspected before I get solar?

If it has been a long time since your roof has been cleaned, then it’s a good idea to have it cleaned before the solar panels go on. It’s not impossible to clean a roof after solar panels have been installed, but it gets harder, and can put the panels at risk.

A technical inspection is also a good idea.  One of our qualified electricians will inspect your roof during our initial site visit and let you know if there are any concerns. They will be:

 

  • Identifying any safety measures need to be implemented so that our installers can safely access and install your solar system.
  • Identifying any access issues to your home/business property and roof.
  • Inspecting your switchboard to see if an upgrade is needed prior to installation.
  • Assessing the roof condition ahead of solar system design and intallation.
  • Identifying the best location for inverter placement.
  • Identifying cable routes for the solar system.
  • Ensuring there is no asbestos at the property.
Can Willco help me with an EV charger?

Yes. Whether you’re looking to power a single vehicle or an entire fleet, we can help you identify the right EV charger type and system for your home/business location, and chosen EV.

How long will my solar system last?

Solar systems are designed to have a lifespan of 20 years. The panels we use at Willco are under warranty for between 12 and 25 years. If well looked after, they will last longer.

Exactly how long your solar system will last depends on the conditions it’s operating under and whether or not it’s are well looked after. We offer solar panel maintenance services and offer a five-year product, performance, workmanship and a whole of PV system warranty on top of all manufacturer warranties.

How can I get the most value out of my solar panels?

Solar systems need maintenance. We offer a range of certified, cost-effective solutions for maintaining, repairing and cleaning your solar panels so that they’re generating optimal solar energy.

Australian Standard AS/NZS 5033:2012 recommends your PV Solar power system be maintained on an annual basis.

All inspections and services MUST be conduction by a registered electrician. Willco can help with post installation inspections and maintenance. We recommend:

  • Visually inspect solar modules – quarterly
  • Visually inspect integrity of the mounting system – annually
  • Clean the solar modules – as required (depending on panel condition)
  • Inspect and clean the inverter – annually
  • Visually inspect cables for mechanical damage – annually
  • Check electrical wiring for loose connections – annually
  • Check the operation of the disconnectors and circuit breakers (roof top switch-disconnector, array DC switch-disconnector, Inverter AC disconnector and solar supply main switch) – annually.

 Again, all inspections and services MUST be conduction by a registered electrician. Please don’t risk doing it yourself!

Are there any rebates available for solar panels?

Depending on your eligibility, yes. Both the Victoria State Government of Victoria and Federal Government offer a range of rebates and incentives related to solar energy. We can help you understand the rebates and make sure you are making the most of what you’re entitled to.

Are there any rebates available for solar battery storage?

Depending on your eligibility, yes. Both the State Government of Victoria and the Federal Government offer a range of rebates and incentives related to solar energy. We can help you understand the rebates and make sure you are making the most of what you’re entitled to.

What warranties and guarantees does Willco offer?

Willco Electrical provides a five-year product, performance, workmanship and a whole of PV system warranty on top of all manufacturer warranties.

What other services does Willco offer?

Willco Electrical is an electrical contractor operating in the greater Melbourne area. We specialise in the renewable energy sector, predominately solar, installing systems on both domestic and commercial sites. Our projects include construction, existing properties and battery installations.