Site Assessments for Solar: What to Expect

Wondering if solar panels are right for your Australian home? A solar site assessment is crucial. Learn what to expect during the process to ensure a smooth and successful solar installation.
solar site assessments

Harnessing the power of the sun is a popular choice for Australians seeking to reduce their environmental impact and energy bills. A crucial first step is a site assessment before taking the plunge and installing solar panels. This evaluation helps determine your solar roof’s viability, assess potential energy output, and identify potential challenges.

What is a solar site assessment?

A solar site assessment comprehensively evaluates your property to determine its potential for solar energy generation. It typically involves several key elements:

  • Roof assessment: This assesses the suitability of your roof for solar panels. Factors considered include:
    • Roof type and material: Not all roofs are suitable for solar panels. The assessment will determine if your roof material (e.g., metal, tile) can support the panels’ weight and potential wind load. Some materials are also not suitable, or less than ideal, for installation. 
    • Roof condition: The age and condition of your roof are crucial. Damaged or aging roofs may require repairs or replacement before solar panel installation.
    • Roof pitch and orientation: The ideal roof for solar panels faces north (in the southern hemisphere) and has a tilt angle between 18-22 degrees to maximise sun exposure. While deviations are possible, they affect energy production.
    • Shading: Shade from trees, buildings, or other structures can significantly impact solar panel efficiency. The assessor will map out shading patterns throughout the day to determine their potential impact.
  • Energy usage analysis: This involves studying your historical electricity bills to understand your energy consumption patterns. This helps determine the size and type of solar panel system required to meet your needs.
  • Other considerations: The assessment may also consider additional factors like:
    • Electrical wiring: Assessing your existing electrical wiring is crucial to ensure it can handle the additional load from the solar panels. Upgrades may be necessary.
    • Local regulations and permits: Installing solar panels might require obtaining permits from your local council. The assessor can provide guidance on navigating these processes.

Are you looking to save money on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint? Solar energy is the perfect solution! Energy Matters can help you get up to 3 FREE solar quotes from pre-qualified and vetted solar firms in your area.

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. With Energy Matters, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal on solar energy. We only work with reputable solar firms with a proven track record of delivering high-quality solar systems.

solar site assessments

Who conducts the site assessment?

Solar installers typically offer site assessments as part of their service package. They may have in-house assessors or work with qualified third-party professionals. Choosing a Clean Energy Council (CEC)–accredited installer who employs qualified personnel for accurate and reliable assessments is essential.

What to expect during the assessment

The specific steps involved in a site assessment may vary slightly between installers, but generally, you can expect:

  • Initial contact: You’ll schedule an appointment with the installer, who will discuss your goals and expectations for the solar system.
  • Site visit: A qualified assessor will visit your property and thoroughly inspect your roof, taking measurements and photographs. They might use specialised tools to assess shading patterns and roof strength.
  • Data gathering: The assessor will gather information about your electricity usage from your bills.
  • Report and proposal: After analysing the collected data, the installer will provide a detailed report outlining the assessment findings. This report typically includes:
    • Suitability of your property for solar power generation
    • Recommended size and type of solar panel system
    • Estimated energy production and potential cost savings
    • A breakdown of the installation costs and potential financial incentives
    • Timeline for installation

To find out how much a solar system with storage or even an EV charger will cost, try our easy-to-use solar power and battery storage calculator! Our solar calculator will generate performance data as well as possible cost savings. 

We can forward your information to 3 trusted local installers in your area to obtain free, no-obligation solar quotes.

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*Prices quoted are to be used as a guide only and do not factor in state and other rebates and incentives. Includes STC discount.

Preparing for your site assessment

To ensure a smooth and efficient site assessment, here are some things you can do:

  • Gather your electricity bills: Having your recent bills readily available will help the assessor understand your energy usage patterns.
  • Clear any obstructions on your roof: If possible, clear any debris or furniture hindering the assessor’s roof inspection.
  • Be present during the assessment: This allows you to ask questions and gain a clear understanding of the process and recommendations.
site assessments for solar

Additional considerations

  • Choose a qualified assessor: Ensure the assessor is Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited and holds relevant licenses for electrical work.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the assessor questions about the process, system design, or potential costs.
  • Get multiple quotes: Comparing solar quotes from several solar installers ensures you get the best value and service for your needs.

Benefits of a site assessment

  • Informed decision-making: A thorough assessment provides valuable insights into your property’s solar potential, allowing you to decide about investing in solar.
  • Identification of potential challenges: The assessment helps identify any potential challenges with your roof or electrical system that could affect installation or performance.
  • Accurate cost estimation: The report provides a more accurate estimate of the system size, cost, and potential financial benefits you can expect.
  • Maximised solar energy production: By identifying the optimal system size and placement, the assessment ensures your system generates the maximum amount of electricity possible based on your roof space and sun exposure.
  • Cost savings: An efficient system design ensures you get the most out of your investment, leading to faster payback periods and long-term cost savings on your electricity bills.
  • Reduced installation risks: The assessment identifies potential challenges or limitations, allowing for proactive planning and mitigation of risks during installation.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing your roof is suitable for solar and clearly understanding the system’s potential provides peace of mind before making an investment.

In conclusion

A solar site assessment is a vital step in your journey towards harnessing solar power. By understanding what to expect during the process and the importance of a thorough assessment, you can confidently move forward with informed decisions and a successful solar panel installation.

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With our 3 free solar quotes, you can compare plans from pre-qualified and vetted installers in your area and find the perfect solution for your home and business. Harness the sun’s power and save money on electricity bills while reducing environmental impact. Let Energy Matters guide you towards a brighter, more sustainable future.

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