How was Endless-Solar selected as the specialist solar hot water partner?

Farming the Sun has negotiated this collaboration with Endless-Solar given their proven track record in working with us on the first solar hot water bulk-buy.

The 137 systems installed in the first bulk-buy have proved to be both highly reliable and effective, with very few warranty issues arising.

How do I work out the best size and options for my solar hot water system?

Endless-Solar provides range of variations, upgrades and downgrades, to suit any Australian home. The right-sizing of your solar hot water system will be worked out in discussion with your preferred installer and Endless-Solar.

How do I ‘right-size’ my Pv system to my day-time usage of electricity?

After you have registered your interest in the bulk-buy, EESS will arrange a time with you for a free site visit and quote.

As part of this, EESS policy is to also do an energy assessment ~ particularly to ensure than any recommended solar installations takes into account potential energy efficiency and saving upgrades.

For example, if a household is using lots of power on an electric hot water system, it is recommended to prioritise solar hot water first over solar power.

What was the rationale for the selected solar panels and inverters?

As a community and sustainability enterprise, it is important to only use high quality and long-lasting technologies.

A few different brands will be used for the community bulk-buy, all of which will be Tier 1 (top 2% of quality) products only.

The solar panels have a 25 year warranty; the inverter has 5 year warranty (with extensions available); the mounting system has a 10 year warranty; and the installation has a 6 year warranty.

The inverters selected have the capacity for battery storage.

Farming the Sun’s focus for the bulk-buy has been to negotiate the best possible discount on the highest of quality equipment and installation.

How was Eco Energy Solar Solutions selected as the solar power partner?

Farming the Sun negotiated this collaboration with Eco Energy & Solar Solutions taking into account their demonstrated track record of installing a large number of residential, business and commercial solar power systems. EESS have received very impressive testimonials from Councils, businesses and residents throughout this region ~ see here for details of their testimonials.

EESS are a local, family owned and operated business, and importantly they have the capacity to work at the scale of a community bulk-buy program ~ which is essential for the quality of project coordination, communications and customer service.

EESS have reduced their cost-plus-margin from 25% to 15% for this community program.

Lastly, EESS are a member of the Northern Inland Sustainable Business Network.

What are the options and considerations for how I deal with my small scale technology (renewable energy) certificates?

For the solar power bulk-buy, EESS have arranged for your STC rebate to be offered as a point of sale discount so that there is no time delay for you to receive the rebate.

For the solar hot-water bulk-buy, Endless-Solar will assist with your rebate claim following completion of your installation.

What are the arrangements for changing over to a net/smart meter?

Net Solar Metering is priced separately to the bulk-buy pricing as follows:

  • Single phase power – $450 (inc GST)
  • Three phase power – $675 (inc GST)

What are the options for adding storage to my installation?

Battery storage is offered as an upgrade option, however the batteries themselves are not eligible for the bulk-buy discount.

The inverters used in this project are all “storage-ready” so batteries can be added at a later time as well.

EESS offer a range of battery types, depending on best fit for individual situations and can advise on battery options at the time of site visit and quotation. Off-grid situations require different battery options.

Can the solar power system be mounted on the ground?

Yes. ESS can provide and install pre-fabricated frames, as well as provide guidelines for do-it-yourself construction of the frame.

What are the financial arrangements for the bulk-buy program?

EESS have negotiated bulk-purchasing discounts for the high quality, Tier 1 solar power equipment for up to 33% better than recommended retail prices.

Starfish Initiatives will receive a 3% coordination fee for fully installed solar power systems, though the bulk of the coordination is being provided on a pro-bono basis.

As was the case with the first bulk-buy, Farming the Sun will further contribute to the long-term sustainability of our region by setting aside “1% for Sustainability”. This means that 1% of the project’s income will be paid forward, so to speak, to fund future initiatives which are aligned with the priorities identified in the New England Sustainability Strategy ~ such as the set-up costs for the community bulk-buy program.

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