The image above showcases a design by Sam Crawford Architects.

We’re sick of costly energy bills and are thinking about solar panels. How do we know if our house is suitable? Dale, via email

“The perfect roof for solar panels is asbestos-free, structurally sound, sloping, unshaded and facing north or north-east,” says Darren Gladman of the Clean Energy Council. “It can take five to seven years for the savings to outweigh the cost of installation. But don’t assume energy bills will be a thing of the past: most people rely on the grid when solar supplies are low, such as after dark. Unless you have a battery to store excess power (that could add $50k to your costs), your bills may be reduced by 25 to 50 per cent.”

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