Here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you be as informed as possible. A lot of the most common questions are answered in the presentation below, so we recommend watching it as a great starting point.

How does the SolShare solar system work?

You can watch this short presentation to find out more information on how the SolShare works in supplying solar energy to apartments and how Allume operates as a business.

How do I start? - Get in touch with us!

General

What are the timelines/steps?

  1. Contact Allume
  2. Inform the owners corporation and other owners of the SolShare solution and gain the level of interest in getting one installed.
  3. One of our SolShare experts will send you more info and ask you to complete some questions to help determine which solutions are most suitable for you.
  4. We will prequalify your project and pass your details to a select number of certified SolShare Installation Partners.
  5. They will be in touch with you to provide a proposal.
  6. You must submit the proposal to your owners corporation for a vote.
  7. If a successful yes vote is gained, the installer will arrange for the system to be installed.

The timeframe from first contacting Allume to the system being installed is typically between 4-5 months. One of the biggest contributors to reducing this timeline is to inform the other owners about the solution and the estimated cost and learn how many owners are interested as soon as possible. The sooner you're able to find out who is interested in buying into the system the better!

What can you do to help the project be successful?

The most important thing to do is inform the other owners and owners corporation as early as possible and learn how many of your neighbours are interested in buying into a SolShare solar system. Share Allume’s website, presentation, and case studies. This will help get the wheels turning and increase the likeliness of the project being successful.

Allume and our certified SolShare Installation Partners will talk you through all the other details once you get in touch.

What are the typical savings?

There are a number of factors in determining this, the main one being how much energy you use. But on average, a 40% reduction in grid energy usage can be achieved. This is increased further if batteries are included. See our cases studies for more information on price and payback.

How do I get a quote?

Simply get in touch with us! For more information, read 'What are the timelines/steps?' above.

Does everyone have to sign up?

No. The beauty of the SolShare is that it can be connected to whoever is interested. So, if there are 30 apartments but only 15 want solar, the 15 of you can buy your own SolShare solar system. The most important thing to do is speak to the other owners as soon as possible to see who is interested.

Can people join later?

This is a tricky one… They can sometimes. It all depends on if there are any spare connections left. The best solution is for everyone who's interested to join the system at the beginning.

Can the common light and power be connected to the SolShare?

Yes, any connection can be added to a SolShare system, including the common light and power.

What is the warranty on the SolShare device?

The SolShare comes with an industry standard 10-year warranty.

How do I start? - Get in touch with us!

Technical

How does the SolShare solar system work?

The best way to learn how a SolShare solar system works is by watching the presentation at the top of this page.

If we share one SolShare system, how is the solar shared fairly?

The SolShare delivers solar under a 'fair-share' algorithm. The SolShare monitors how much energy each apartment is using (energy demand) and sends solar to where it's needed, maximising the savings for everyone in the building. However, to make sure that everything's fair, the SolShare logs how much solar’s been delivered to each unit and if it identifies that a unit has received more than its fair share then it will start to reduce the amount of solar that it sends to that unit until the others have caught up.

Is there a monitoring portal?

Yes. Every resident will be able to access a portal that shows their energy and solar usage. This can help to adjust habits to maximise the benefits of the solar energy and reduce bills even further.

Can I check the energy consumption of my neighbours through the portal?

No. Every portal is private.

Does it work with embedded networks?

Yes, the SolShare system can be installed on an embedded network.

Can batteries be used on a SolShare system?

Yes, batteries can be included in the system. Even better, because the SolShare is a shared system, your batteries will also be shared. This means that rather than needing to buy an expensive battery for every connected unit, you simply by a communal battery that everyone uses when they need it. This greatly increases their value for money.

What type of roofing system is more suitable for solar panels?

Every SolShare installation is unique. Once we have gained the relevant information from you, we will introduce you to one of our certified SolShare installation partners. They will be able to talk you through what is most suitable for your building.

What’s the minimum and maximum number of apartments that the SolShare is suitable for?

Typically, the SolShare is suitable for apartment buildings that have between 6 and 60 apartments. However, there are some cases when it is possible to get a shared solar system for buildings over 60 units if not everyone wants to sign up or it's a complex with 2 or more buildings. Send us an enquiry and we will be happy to see if our technology is suitable for your apartment building.

I live in a complex of townhouses – can I use the SolShare?

If your electricity meters are all located in one location on common property, then yes you can. If your electricity meter is located within your townhouse then, unfortunately, you can’t use a SolShare system. All is not lost though because with a meter inside your building, you should be able to install your own private solar system.

What and where is the main switchboard?

The main switchboard is the place in your building where the energy from the grid is divided up and sent to your apartments. It’s typically located in the same place or very close to your electricity meters and is usually labelled.

What type of meters do I need?

As with all solar installations, every connected unit must have a smart electricity meter. If you don’t have a smart meter, don’t worry. Our certified SolShare Installation Partners will be able to guide you through upgrading. You can also contact your energy retailer directly and upgrade the meters in advance.

How do I start? - Get in touch with us!

Financials

Are there different ways of buying the system?

Yes, there are a couple of ways that you can get a SolShare system installed on your building.

Capex – You and your neighbours buy the system and enjoy free solar energy

A group of owners come together and buy the system as a group. This is called a capex purchase. This can either be all or some of the owners and can include connecting the common light and power if desired. As a capex purchase, the owners who have bought into the system will receive free solar energy for the life of the system – typically 20-25 years. Even though you share the system, the solar delivery will be fair. Please see ‘If we share one system, how is the solar shared fairly?’ for more info on this.

Solar + Grid – Only available in select states - The system is installed at no upfront cost to you and your neighbours. Whoever wants to join then signs up to a solar + grid electricity package that’s guaranteed to be lower than any grid only electricity rate.

Allume has partnered with numerous energy retailers who are able to offer an exciting, no-upfront cost solution to receiving solar energy from a SolShare solar system. If for any reason, you aren’t in a position to buy the system as a capex, then this could be the option for you. Under this option, an energy retailer will pay to install the SolShare solar system on your apartment roof at no cost to you. They will then offer a combined solar + grid energy package that is guaranteed to be less than any grid only energy package, reducing your electricity bill and carbon footprint. Being part of the system is entirely opt-in, therefore, if anyone in the building is not interested then they simply continue to get their energy from whichever retailer they like. Residents can also join and leave as they like. There are no long-term fixed contracts.

What is the cost?

When bought under the capex model, the cost of a SolShare system varies from project to project based on numerous factors. As a guide price, a system typically costs between $2,000 - $3,500 per apartment. This is for everything: panels; inverter; SolShare; labour etc. Contact us for a tailored proposal.

What is the typical payback period?

The return on investment on a SolShare solar system is typically 3-5 years. This is on a system that is built to last 25 years! On that basis, you can easily earn 5-8 times your investment. See our cases studies for more information on price and payback.

If the solar production exceeds demand and the system exports, who receives the feed-in-tariff?

Every connected unit will receive feed-in tariff payment for any solar they don’t use.

The SolShare ensures that the same quantity of solar is delivered to each connected unit over the course of each month. It works hard to deliver each unit’s solar when they are using power and therefore when they’re going to save the most amount of money. However, if this is not possible and more solar is being delivered than can be consumed then it will be exported to the grid and your retailer will buy it off you.

Who owns the system?

If you buy the system outright under the capex model detailed earlier, then the apartment owners own the system via the body corporate.

If you have the system installed under the solar + grid model, also detailed earlier, then the energy retailer owns the system.

What are the incentives available for solar on apartment buildings?

The Australian government subsidy applicable to an apartment building is the STC program. It's averaged across the country and the rebate is currently worth around $600 per kW of solar panels you install. Our Solar Installation Partners will include this discount in your quote and apply for the STC on your behalf.  That number is reducing every year until it hits $0 in 2031, so the sooner you buy, the more money you’ll save!

There are other rebates available but these vary depending on your location. We strongly recommend researching if there are any grants or funding available in your area.

What are the benefits for landlords?

Installing solar onto an apartment does more than just reduce the electricity bills. Studies have shown that property prices increase significantly when they have solar power. Landlords specifically report having less vacancy and increased longevity of tenants.

How do I start? - Get in touch with us!