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A beginner's
guide to
residential solar
energy systems.

Navigating the world of solar is a worthwhile step towards reducing your carbon footprint and saving on energy costs–and we are here to help. If you’re considering switching to solar at home, this handy beginner’s guide will provide you with a basic understanding of home solar power systems, along with their many benefits.

How do home solar panel work?

Typically mounted on your roof, solar panels, quite simply, capture sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. The panels’ photovoltaic (PV) cells absorb sunlight to produce direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts that DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that will power your home.

To maximise your sun exposure, your roof should face south, east or west and be structurally sound with enough space to accommodate the solar panels. When selecting a solar power system, consider your household's energy consumption to estimate the system size required. Still unsure? Consult with an expert at the SolarHub & ActewAGL Smart Energy Hub who can assess your needs before tailoring a system to your household.

Why should I switch to solar?

Solar panels are an incredible investment that will significantly reduce your electricity bills in the long run, because the panels allow you to generate your own energy. According to The Solar Index report, households with solar power have bills that are approximately 20% lower than households without solar technology.

In addition, solar power systems can increase the value of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers. The Australian Real Estate Survey stated that over 85% of people agreed that solar panels and solar batteries added value to their property.

If the savings weren’t enough, the environmental benefits of solar panels are well documented. Since your electricity is generated by the sun’s warm rays, it’s a clean and renewable energy source that will help your household reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Producing 20 times less carbon than coal, solar panels offset around 50g of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of power they produce.

How to fully utilise your solar panels

Get the most out of your home solar power system by regularly inspecting for debris like bird droppings, leaves, dust or pollen. Clean using a mild soap or specialised cleaner at a time the panels are not receiving direct sunlight. If your solar panels are prone to excessive shading from nearby trees, consider trimming or pruning branches to minimise leaf accumulation and maximise sunlight exposure.

If your solar panels are generating a serious amount of energy, a battery storage system can store excess energy generated during the day and use it during the evening or when sunlight is limited. Or try load-shifting by storing energy during periods of low demand and using it during peak demand times. This load-shifting capability helps balance energy usage, reduce peak demand on the grid and can potentially decrease electricity costs for both you and the grid. In short: everyone wins with solar.


  • Solar panels’ photovoltaic (PV) cells absorb sunlight to produce direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts that DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that will power your home.
  • Home solar panels can lower energy bills by 20%, add value to your property and produce 20 times less CO2 than coal.
  • Fully utilise your solar panels by keeping them clean and free from obstructions and by using a battery storage system to save excess energy generated.

ActewAGL's energy saving tips are designed to help you take control of your energy use, while reducing your bills and environmental impact. Save with great value energy plans backed by our sustainability promise, supported by 100% local, award-winning service - so you can LIVE A Good Life now and into the future.

For more information about how you can transition to an energy-efficient home visit the SolarHub & ActewAGL Smart Energy Hub today.


Disclaimer: These Energy Savings tips and articles are for information purposes only. Please ensure you are aware of any safety precautions before operating appliances or products.

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