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Building assessments and solar panels

According to the Strata Community Australia news, solar panels can be very effective and can save money. But owners’ corporations and/or their strata managers need to be vigilant and work through every stage of fitting solar panels to an existing strata building process with suppliers. They need to ask a lot of questions to ensure nothing is misinterpreted and everyone is clear on exactly what is to be done and how much that it will cost.

The article continues to discuss that the feed in tariffs need to be examined and how the system works in their state or territory needs to be understood: is it gross metering or net metering? For example, NSW and the ACT were using gross metering, so all the electricity generated by the solar panels went out to the electricity grid at a premium rate. However they are now moving to net metering, so the electricity you generate is first sent to your property and only the excess goes in to the grid.

For strata dwellings net metering can be more complicated. Under gross metering it is relatively straight forward; if all lot owners put in the same amount of money to the system, they all get an equal reduction in the electricity bill. How you divide the benefits from net metering can be more difficult, working out how much individual lot owners have used of the electricity and how to divide any savings from the solar panels.

Working as civil engineering consultants in Sydney and as we offer strata engineering, this news is important for us to know and understand the developments and outcomes so we can do our job with the appropriate requirements.