Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How can I trust SolarCloud
A - This entire system has been setup to be run independently if required. Firstly we needed to get approval from the Australian Energy Regulator. And then we needed to get registration from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (or ASIC) to run the full system for the panel owners. This is actually really hard, and they make it hard for good reason.
There are lots of complex legal matters to deal with this, but the simplified version is as follows. To get the ASIC registration we need to get an independent trustee who looks after the panels and money for the panel owners. The purpose of the trustee is to look after the panel owners and make sure the panel system continues to operate.
And SolarCloud only gets paid by the trustee if the panels are generating power and producing money. This way there are always funds available to ensure the panels are maintained and continue to operate. So whilst there is a risk that the sun stops shining and the panels stop generating money, we think that is a low risk. And let’s face it, if that actually does happen, we’re sure there will be lots of more important things to worry about!
The money generated from selling your electricity (from your panels) is between 80-90% you and 10-20% SolarCloud. Your returns are calculated and disbursed by Huntley Management Limited.
Q - Time of use
A- The SolarCloud system does not care when you use it. Because we are dealing with the value of energy, we make sure you get the best overall value by making sure the power is used by a business during the day, when the solar panels are producing their electricity. So it doesn’t matter when you use your power, you are getting the maximum overall value from the system.
Q - I live overseas, Does this work for me, I am NOT in Australia
A - It sure does work for you. It doesn’t matter where you live. The panels are always in Australia, one of the best places in the world for solar panels because of our great weather and sunshine. And we can credit your electricity or bank account anywhere in the world. Even if you move!
Q - How do you transfer the electricity from my panels to my house
A - We are not transferring electricity, we are transferring something much easier - money.
Q- I live in an apartment, so I can’t have solar panels, so what do I do?
A - Absolutely anyone can have solar panels with SolarCloud. Even if you live in an apartment or are a renter. You own the panels, and we bring the roof. So when you buy a panel, your panels are installed with everyone else’s panels. And we manage all the panels as part of one big system. It’s like a really large solar farm, spread out to make sure you get maximum overall generation of electricity. And you own your own panels.
Q- SolarCloud VS Community Solar projects – the buyer beware scenario
A- Consumers and businesses need to protect their investment by choosing a company which offers protection for the end user. Small solar companies, community projects and solar farms are growing in numbers. Some are doing a great job but not all operate to the same standards as some business models may be more risky and some do not have the appropriate level of licenses and authorisations in place to protect the end user and investors.
In simple terms the government have put in place layers of protection to protect all types of our investments. For example your superannuation is an investment and if you wish to invest your super, I.E all the money you have saved your entire working life, on which you wish to enjoy your later years you can only use an appropriately registered superannuation fund.
SolarCloud believes you should be able to invest in solar but also have the peace of mind that your investment is safe and has strong layers of protection.
SolarCloud have invested enough money to put the lawyer's children through private school and probably Uni plus countless hours of time obtaining the correct licences and regulatory approvals thus creating a safer business model for end users and investors. SolarCloud is approved by the Australian Energy Regulator to be able to sell the electricity generated by solar panels and we have had the Solar Cloud Scheme registered ARSN 612098110. All of these are required as part of the mechanism to facilitate the sale of electricity and enable people to own solar panels and therefore make it safe for you to invest in solar through SolarCloud.
These approvals and registrations make SolarCloud legally permitted to operate and sell electricity so you can invest in Solar with the right level of safety. SolarCloud are happy to work with the community projects and assist them so they don’t need to spend valuable dollars and time on additional legal requirements.
We are not saying all the community solar projects are doing the wrong thing, far from it. In fact SolarCloud works with a few community solar groups. but unfortunately though, in life a few bad ones can ruin it for all the good ones. SolarCloud believe that the more levels of protection you can place around your investment the better.
Q- Why is SolarCloud safer
A- SolarCloud has an independent trustee and manager of the invested funds and does not have direct access to your money. We receive only a small percentage of approximately 10 - 20% of electricity sold by the panels to cover all the expenses associated with the ongoing management, maintenance and insurance - e.g. for doing all the work for you. SolarCloud’s CEO and Board feel it is important for you to know that your money is safe because of the protections we have put in place. However, you should be warned that if you trust your investment to a non registered scheme then your investment is not as protected as it could be.
Q- I’m a business and don’t have a roof. Can I use SolarCloud?
A - You sure can. Anyone can buy solar panels in the SolarCloud system. It works the same for a business as it does for everyone else.
Q- How hard is it to use the SolarCloud system
A- it couldn't be simpler. If you can use a phone or the internet, you can use the SolarCloud system.
Q- Shouldn't I just put solar panels on my roof?
A- well that depends. If you are at home all the time, only use power during the day and never use any energy at night, then it makes some sense to put panels on your roof. As long as you intend to stay in that home for 25 years.
Q- How many panels should I buy?
A- SolarCloud has a simple calculator to help you work out what size of a system and therefore how much of an investment it will take to offset all of your energy bill with SolarCloud. Here's a link to the calculator.
Q - The minimum ($495) does not seem to offset a lot of my electricity bill
A - It is like installing one panel on your roof, one panel does not generate a great deal of electricity so it can not offset a lot of your bill. Click here to Try our solar calculator. Like all solar based products you need to look at it over 25 years. It will return $1000 off your electricity bill and its 100% Green. Yes, that’s only $40 per year, but it's double what you paid for it. It is more efficient and offsets more than if you placed the same value of system on your roof, i.e. one panel. Also bare in mind SolarCloud is Internet based so your panels are still yours even if you move home.
The simple maths is that we roughly give you back twice what you invest.
If you wish to calculate what this would mean to your quarterly electricity bill then the maths is simple
(Investment X 2) divided by 100 = quarterly return
Q - How does it work
A - It’s a world first technology encompassing hardware and software. The easiest way to explain it without getting real complex is simply we remotely locate your panel(s) and transfer the benefits back to your electricity account.
Q - When will I see a credit on my bill
A - In your next bill, but please bear in mind your next bill may arrive prior to our first disbursement to your account. The real way to check it is to either go online and look at your account with SolarCloud and check the dates and amounts for disbursements against your first bill after you have had 4 months with us.
Q - When I move house what do I do
A - Simply login to SolarCloud and change your electricity account details. We'll ensure your savings follow you wherever you go.
Q - Do I change my electricity provider
A - not at all. We can work with any electricity provider. You never have to change at all.
Q - Surely batteries are better
A- We at SolarCloud also believe batteries are great BUT right now they are way too expensive. So, yes to batteries, but realistically in 5-10 years. Also whatever cost you add to the cost of installing solar on your own roof adds to the pay back period. Plus it is not financially viable to relocate solar systems and batteries so your investment in solar and batteries at your house is stuck at that house.
Q - It sounds too good to be true
A - Solar was always meant to be simple, green and affordable; we have simply made it easy for everyone to access solar.
Q - It sounds simple, so why hasn’t someone else done it before
A - While it may sound simple, the back-end IT system is complex and to do this correctly there are also lots of regulations to comply with to make sure your money/investment is safe.
Q - How did you come up with this idea
A - John Kennedy, our CEO, was thinking about solar for his house and discussing it with a mate.
He calculated that an economical system wouldn't fit on his roof and, given he planned on moving within the next 10 years, wouldn't pay for itself in time.
He thought about putting it somewhere else, probably on his mate’s house (well actually his huge shed out the back) across the road - surely it would be easy to just send the power across the road to his house
Discussed the idea with good mate Adrian, who had been recently looking at “sharing economy” space, where you better use assets to generate better returns and reduce wastage
After working on it for quite some time, fast forward to where SolarCloud is today - a system that makes sure solar panels are installed at the best location to match the production of electricity during the day, with the usage of a business. Due to the better usage of power and reduced wastage, businesses can save money on their power, and the panel owners get a better return from their panels. It really is win, win, and it’s the smart way to go solar.
Q - if I want to get rid of my electricity bill, how big does my system need to be on my home
A - For most people, to fully offset your electricity bill, your system needs to be quite a bit bigger than your roof can hold. This is because the you generally consume power early in the morning and at night time. And you solar panels produce most of their electricity in the middle of the day - when most people are at work. So you effectively sell power to your electricity company during the day, and now they often only pay you about 5-6c per kilowatt hour. But at night time, when they are selling you power, they charge you around 25c and some companies charge over 30c per kilowatt hour. So in this situation you need a really big system because you need to produce 5-6 times more power than you use. So you end up helping the electricity company (a lot).
Q - what is the payback period of solar panels on my roof
A - this can be quite complex because it depends on lots of things. Basically, the bigger your system, the longer it takes to payback your original purchase price. A small good quality system (say 1.5kw) will mean you will consume all the power it produces, so you’ll probably get a payback in about 5-6 years. But don’t forget you will also need to replace the inverter every 10 years. But the problem with this system is that you will only save about $400-$500 per year, so it won’t actually save a lot off your power bill. A decent quality system like this will cost you around $2,000 to $2,500.
Now if you have a larger quality system (say 5kw), this will cost you about $8,000, and it will save you around $800, so this will take you about 10 years to get your money back. And then after those 10 years, you will probably need to replace the inverter. This also assumes you don’t ever need to spend any money on repairs and maintenance, cleaning and insurance. So it could take longer as well. So if you move house before that 10 year period, there is a chance you will actually lose money on your system, because you can’t take it with you.
ABN 45 164 838 288
Suite 502, 105 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia