Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to prepare for your solar installation day! At Arkana Energy, we aim to make the process as smooth as possible, and a little preparation can go a long way.
This article will walk you through what you need to know and do before and during your installation. From confirming the installation date to setting up your monitoring app, we’ve got you covered. Being well-prepared can help ensure a seamless installation and a quicker journey towards renewable energy and cost savings.
Prior to the big day, here are some things we will do and that we need you to do.
A few days after signing to go ahead Arkana Energy you’ll receive a welcome call and your personalised fulfilment representative will introduce themselves to you, walk you through the process, get a preferred installation date from you and answer any questions you have. It’s their job to make the process of getting solar simple and easy for you and they will now become your point of contact going forward including confirming your solar installation date (which is dependent on grid approval). They will handle all of the paperwork and admin in the background so you don’t need to worry about a thing.
In preparation for your installation, we will perform a “tech check” – essentially double checking your planned solar installation. This involves an Accredited Engineer who is a CEC-accredited solar designer remotely reviewing your home, roof and the planned solar installation including its size, products and placement. This ensures we order the right products and your system is perfect for your home. For complex, large or complicated installs we may also organise a site visit to the property as part of this stage.
After the solar solution has been approved by the accredited engineer, our tech team will submit a Grid Connection Application to your Energy Distributor. This is a crucial step as it ensures that your new solar system will be compliant and ready to connect to the grid. Arkana Energy takes care of this process for you, so you can rest easy knowing that all the necessary permissions and technical checks are being managed by experts.
Once your connection application is approved by your energy distributor – which can take days or weeks depending on the distributor – we will reach out to you to confirm a suitable date for your installation. We will allocate the necessary stock for your project, conduct a complete set of quality assurance checks, and log the job with our team of CEC accredited installers. A final confirmation of your installation time will be communicated to you, along with what to expect on the day.
Most homes these days are already fitted with a smart meter and do not need to be physically changed – the meter can be reconfigured remotely to read the export of the solar PV to the grid – which happens after installation, by your energy retailer.
In some cases, an upgrade of your meter box may be required to accommodate your new solar system. This is usually determined during the site assessment. The timing for this upgrade can vary; it may be done either before, during or after the solar panel installation depending on factors like local regulations, component availability, or scheduling with your energy distributor.
If you’re considering switching Electricity Retailers, it’s important to time it correctly. Please hold off on making any changes until after your solar meter has been installed. This is because changing your Electricity Retailer during the solar installation process could lead to the cancellation of your Connection Application, resulting in unnecessary delays.
Before the installation day arrives, we recommend downloading your basic monitoring Inverter app. This app will help you monitor the performance of your solar system, providing real-time data and insights. Having the app downloaded and set up in advance will streamline the installation process, allowing our team to quickly connect your Inverter for immediate performance monitoring.
Arkana Energy will take care of applying for your federal government rebate and if you’re eligible we will have already provided an immediate discount on the total cost of your solar system. To ensure you’re eligible your system will only use solar panels and inverters on the Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved products list and your install will be done by our CEC approved installers. After installation you will receive an email from Origin (who handles Arkana’s STC claim, regardless of what energy provider you’re with) to confirm/sign the written statement for your solar installation – please ensure you click the email to sign once it comes through.
If you’re in Victoria and are applying for the Solar Victoria rebate you should have already received an email from Solar Victoria with instructions on how to apply for the $1,400 solar rebate (and loan if applicable). Applying online via the Solar Victoria Portal is a 3-step process and will take you approximately 22 minutes to complete.
If you haven’t started this process yet or haven’t got the email please contact us as soon as possible as we cannot commence installation until you have received your rebate approval email from Solar Victoria.
If you are eligible for the Solar Vic Rebate or Loan, you will need to provide the QR code awarded to you by Solar Vic to our installer to scan on the day of install. Installation can proceed once an Arkana Energy installer has scanned your Solar Vic QR code.
If you’ve been considering any roof maintenance or painting, it’s recommended to complete these tasks before the installation day. Having a well-maintained and freshly painted roof can not only improve aesthetics but also ensure a smoother installation process, eliminating the need to remove and reinstall panels later on for such tasks.
Before our installation team arrives, please clear any obstructions from the roof area where the panels will be installed. If there are vehicles in the driveway or near the installation site, kindly move them to ensure easy access for our team and their equipment.
On the day of installation, it’s important to have your Wi-Fi password and your email address readily available. We recommend writing them down on a piece of paper so it’s easy to hand over to our installation team. If you’re not going to be home for the installation process you can tape/place it inside your meter box. They’ll need this information to connect your new inverter to your home network, which is essential for setting up the monitoring app and allowing you to begin tracking your solar system’s performance.
If you’re in Victoria and are eligible for the Solar Vic Rebate or Loan, you will also need to provide the QR code awarded to you by Solar Vic to our installer to scan on the day of install.
You should already have your basic monitoring Inverter app downloaded by this stage. Upon the arrival of our Arkana installer, please inform them that you wish to have the monitoring app connected to the Inverter. This will allow you to start tracking the performance of your solar system right away, giving you insights into your energy production and consumption.
Payment (or finance confirmation) for your solar system is due on the day of the solar installation. Once this is settled, our administration team will provide you with all the necessary installation paperwork. This includes a copy of the Testing Certificate that confirms your solar system is compliant, safe and operational.
Keep in mind that the grid connection and the solar meter are separate procedures done by your energy distributor or retailer and are not included in our installation invoice.
Our crew usually starts work in the morning between 7am-9am and will let you know their expected arrival time. You’re not required to be home for the entire duration, but will need to be there at the start to let us in and address any initial questions or requirements.
The installation team will start with a quick discussion with you and involve you as needed throughout the day. They will cover:
On the day, our CEC accredited installers will follow a systematic process for installing your solar panels, inverter, and any additional components like batteries.
Here’s a simple breakdown:
This comprehensive process ensures that each component is optimally installed for maximum performance and longevity.
Safety is our top priority, both for our customers and our CEC accredited installers. We adhere to rigorous safety standards and protocols to ensure a smooth installation process. This includes:
These comprehensive measures are put in place to ensure everyone’s well-being and to protect your home and possessions during the installation process.
Once the installation and testing are complete, our team will not leave your property until they’ve cleaned up the work area. This includes:
Our aim is to leave your property just as we found it, but now with the added benefit of a fully operational solar system.
All done! We will now get final sign off by you, the customer. Then take system photos as required and spend a few moments training you on how monitoring works plus answer any questions you have.
Once your installation is complete our installers will show you how your system works and take you through the system components and spend a few moments training you on how monitoring works plus answer any questions you have.
They will also ask you to sign to confirm the completion of installation. This confirmation of installation allows Arkana Energy to claim eligible Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) on your behalf.
They will also undertake a quality assurance test to make sure your system is operating as specified. The system will also be signed off by a third-party solar inspector to check that your system is safe, setup correctly and connected to the grid correctly.
If you are new to solar, your inverter will remain switched off until your Electricity Retailer installs your solar meter. Please DO NOT turn your inverter back on under any circumstances. Simply wait for your solar retailer to confirm the meter change or upgrade.
The time required for installing a solar system can vary based on its size and complexity. Smaller systems generally take between a full day, while more extensive systems could span multiple days. We will inform you before installation the expected time it will take to install and update you as the install proceeds if anything changes.
Congratulations, your solar system is now installed! You can look forward to lower electricity bills and contributing to a greener Australia. But what’s next? From your energy provider confirming your solar meter is active and finally starting up your solar inverter to bring your panels to life, then monitoring your energy production – there’s still a bit to learn.
For a detailed guide on what to expect and do now your solar system is installed, check out our next article:
>> What to do after your solar system is installed.