I recommend engaging a good installer early who can look at your house plans and advise:
- How many panels will fit on the roof.
- Where the inverter will go.
- Where the drain vent pipe should exit the roof (or if you should specify a Air Admittance Valve instead of a roof penetration - with your plumber's input) to avoid shading your solar.
- Where your TV aerial should go to avoid shading the solar.
- Where your internet transceiver (if using rooftop wireless internet) should go to avoid shading the solar.
- How thick your cables to the street should be to avoid voltage drop issues.
- Whether you should get 3 phase to allow a bigger solar system.
I strongly advise pre-installing the wiring for your solar system during the build. The installers can really easily and neatly pre-wire the house for solar before the walls are by-rocked. If the installers save time and money then the savings can be passed to you.
Get a solar-ready electricity meter installed from the outset. Then you won't have to replace it. This will save you hundreds of dollars. Ensure the builder's sparky knows to do this. By default you'll get a non-solar meter!
If you’re building a multi-storey house put your solar panels on the roof before the scaffolding comes down. You don't want to pay for scaffolding twice.
Get A Firm Quote (or quotes) 3-4 months before handover - this timing is usually ties in nicely wih get the walls pre-wired before the gyprocking happens.