Go Green with Solar Panels

January 12, 2021

Did you know that the energy sun provides to the earth for one hour could meet the global energy needs for one year? Undoubtedly, the sun is a powerful energy source and even though we are not able to collect a fraction of this energy, yet y harnessing this power by installing solar panels can make a significant difference to the planet. 

While it has also been criticized for being expensive, solar panels has now proved to be extremely beneficial – not only for the environment, but for the consumers wallet as well.

Why Should You Choose Solar Energy?

“The transformation of the global energy system needs to accelerate substantially to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Those objectives are to keep the rise in average global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) and ideally to limit warming to 1.5°C in the present century, compared to pre-industrial levels” – International Renewable Energy Agency.

The Consumer Council of Fiji has observed an increasing number of Fijians are now realising the impact which unsustainable energy reliance has on the planet and as a result many have either started to or are contemplating using solar energy in their homes. Apart from the core purpose of protecting our planet, the following are additional reasons why people are leaning towards solar energy;

It’s a renewable energy source

The most vital information about solar energy is that solar energy is truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in any area in Fiji and most of the world and we cannot run out of solar energy – unlike some other energy sources.

Reduces electricity bills

Since you will be meeting most, if not some of your energy needs with the electricity the solar system has generated, your energy bills will drop significantly.

Diverse applications

Solar energy can be used for diverse purposes from generating electricity in urban and rural areas to distilling water in areas which has limited clean water supplies.

Interested in buying solar panels? 

Due to its undeniable advantages and growing popularity of solar panels, the Consumer Council of Fiji is issuing the advisory below as recommended by Australian Consumers Association (CHOICE) for consumers who are looking to by solar panels.

What size solar panel system do you need?

To determine the size of the solar panel system your home would require, you need to determine your household energy requirement.

As a guide, a typical home uses 20kWh of energy a day. A 5kW solar system would meet most of the daytime power needs of such a home.

How many solar panels do I need?

  • The power output of your whole solar system matters more than the size or the number of panels.
  • The higher each panel’s nominal power rating (the actual power output), the fewer panels you will need (or the more power it will generate).
  • If you have plenty of roof space, you might find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them.

How much do solar panels costs?

Consumers are advised to do comparative shopping to get the best deals around.

Will you need solar storage battery?

A home storage battery enables you to store the electricity generated by your solar panels to use at night or on a cloudy day. However, consider the associated costs with this decision.

Solar panel buying guide checklist

  • Assess what energy you currently use and the system capacity you need (and can afford).
  • Check if your roof faces the right direction. Only north-facing panels will produce their full capacity.
  • Ensure there are no trees, power lines or other structures shading your roof.
  • Try to figure out your system’s payback time. (is it economical?)
  • The inverter (which converts DC power from the panels into AC power for your home) is a key part of the system. Ensure you seek expert advice before purchasing the inverter.
  • If you’re considering adding a battery, be sure if you really need it. Consult an expert to determine your energy needs. It will help you decide whether you need a battery.
  • Get multiple quotes from installers to ensure you’re getting a good deal, and make sure your installer is qualified to carryout such works.
  • Make sure your solar panels are of the best quality. You can do this this doing your own research and seeking other consumers’ feedback.
  • Check your solar panels’ product and performance warranties. It is a huge financial commitment so, do your due diligence before investing in solar panels.

The Consumer Council of Fiji is actively committed to reducing its carbon footprint as well as educating consumers on the importance of sustainable living for the future of our planet.

Consumers wishing to seek advice or any consumer related issues or would like to lodge a complaint against any trader are encouraged to call the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint through the Consumer Council of Fiji Mobile App.