How does solar go in Gympie?
ROD Cross, like any other Queenslander, longs to beat the heat whenever summer decides to bring it - day after day of temperatures nearing that dreaded 40C mark, or sometimes even exceeding it.
But turning on the air conditioner and enjoying the tranquility of a cool breeze blowing through his Gympie house on a scorching afternoon didn't come without a sense of guilt for Rod - until he installed solar panels.
Conscious of national and global environmental concerns, Rod said the positives of putting panels on his shed roof outweighed his initial uncertainty.
"There's only so much fossil fuels we can use,” he said.
"When it's stinking hot, it's nice to be able to watch the cricket and crank the aircon without feeling bad about it.
"I'm not one of those guys who leaves his lights on all the time, but I have a pool as well, and you can't do much without having to use power.
"Today everything's got some sort of power to it.
"At the time I was a bit dubious about the cost, but now I think it's been a wise investment.
"When you're not home it's still sucking in power and transferring it back through.
"It pays for itself in the long run.”
Rod said he made the choice to ignore market offers of low-cost installation, taking the heftier financial hit up front in order to reap the long-term benefits of smarter energy use.
He said not having to worry about faulty panels was another benefit of the strategy he chose.
"You pay for what you get.
"I paid quite a lot for the instalment, but I get money back every quarter.
"There's cheaper options, but you're guaranteed to have more issues with your panels.
"If you're going to do it, you need to have someone reliable.”
Rod's voice is not alone in advocating for the long-term approach.
Finn Peacock, founder and owner of Australia's most popular solar specific website Solar Quotes, said his company emphasises quality and professionalism in recommending installation companies to their clients.
"We have a very strict vetting process, probably the strictest in the industry.
"We turn away more than we accept.
"Installation is very rebate-driven, so the difference between conscientious, well-trained, high-quality installers and rushed, unprofessional installers is significant.
"We wouldn't recommend installers to anyone that we wouldn't recommend to our grandmothers.”
Finn said going solar was a financial and environmental "no-brainer” in a world where emissions and electricity prices only continue to rise.
"It takes a certain amount of energy to manufacture a solar panel and ship it to Australia.
"In sunny Australia after 12 months on a roof and connected to the grid, the energy generated by a solar panel will be approximately equivalent to the amount of energy taken to manufacture that panel and ship it.
"After 12 months, you are a net saver of CO2 emissions.
"Everyone will export some of their solar, the higher it is the better your payback.
"If you own your own roof, it's unshaded and you're not going to move in five years, there is no better investment than solar.”
If you're interested in reading more about the benefits of converting to solar power, visit the official Solar Quotes website at www.solarquotes.com.au.
There you can also receive three quotes for high-quality installation from companies close to home, and speak to Finn Peacock himself if you have any questions.