Hot Water Wars & Powerwall Price Drops: 2023’s Most Read Stories

2023 blog posts in review

As the sun sets on another year, it’s time to cast a cool eye over the pages of the SolarQuotes Blog and see what stories were most popular with our Australian readers in 2023.

In 2023, the blog had just over 2,800,000 pageviews, with 2,200,000 from Australia. Many millions more visited the main SolarQuotes website. Here’s what got the most attention on our humble blog.

Top 10 SolarQuotes blog posts in 2023

#10. Demystifying electricity units

kW, kWh and kilowatt/hour: What do they stand for?

This decade-old post isn’t flashy, but it provides a solid foundation for understanding the difference between Power (kilowatts) and Energy (kilowatt-hours). The post also explains that kilowatts-per-hour only makes sense in the unlikely event that you are describing an acceleration of energy. Could be handy if Peter Dutton ever builds that Small Modular Reactor he dreams about.

#9. Three-phase & batteries

Don’t Add Batteries To A 3-Phase Home Before Reading This

More Australian homes are choosing a 3-phase supply so they can install more solar and more easily accommodate an all-electric home (including transport). But when it comes to adding batteries to a 3-phase supply, confusion reigns. This 2018 post shows what a minefield it can be by demonstrating 16 different 3-phase battery configurations and their pros and cons. Since this post was written, some great 3-phase hybrid and battery inverters have been released to the Aussie market, making this post a little out-of-date. The good news is that our in-house installer, Anthony, is writing an updated 3-phase & batteries post, which will be published in the next few weeks.

#8. Hot water heat pumps

Hot Water Heat Pumps: Choose Your Refrigerant & Brand Wisely!

In 2009, I started a website offering three quotes for hot water heat pumps. I quickly learned almost no one was interested and focused on solar PV instead. But happily, 2023 was when Aussies finally woke up to the benefits of heat pumps.  This post from Anthony unpacks your refrigerant and brand options. Expect a lot more information from us on choosing, buying and installing heat pumps in 2024.

#7 Tesla’s first 2023 Powerwall price cut

Tesla Powerwall Price Takes A Tumble In Australia

February 2023 was the first of what would be four price drops for the Powerwall in 2023. This post by Michael (who retired from SQ in 2023) reveals how the price, including the gateway, dropped by $1,631 to $14,599.

#6 Inverter lifespan

What’s The Life Expectancy Of A Solar Inverter?

A study of 2,121 inverters in Switzerland, including Fronius, SMA and SolarEdge, determined that 65% of inverters will reach their 15th birthday without a ‘yield-relevant fault’, and indoor inverters last longer than outdoor ones.

#5 Hot water wars: heat pump vs. solar

What’s Better? Heat Pump Or Conventional Hot Water + Solar?

Is it better to use an expensive heat pump or a cheap conventional hot-water cylinder when heating water with solar electricity? Ex-installer Kim has reviewed the pros and cons and concluded that heat pumps are the better option. One hundred and fifty-nine commenters weighed in on Kim’s conclusion, sparking a surprising amount of passion when it comes to discussing hot water heating.

#4 Best of the bunch: top home batteries

The Best Home Batteries In Australia In 2023: According To Installers

Aussies were hungry for solar batteries in 2023, and this post delivered the results of our annual survey of  SolarQuotes installers. Our view is that the people that install batteries every day are the best ones to judge which brands are it, and which are shit. Some people make cynical comments about the trustworthiness of installers who recommend certain products. They claim that the installers only recommend those products because they want to sell them and make a profit. That’s putting the cart before the horse. The truth is that good installers who care about their reputation and the satisfaction of their customers will only sell products that they know from experience to be reliable and high-performing.

Spoiler: the best Home battery was the Tesla Powerwall, and the best budget battery was the Sungrow. I own both batteries and can confirm they are both ace.

#3 The second Powerwall price cut of 2023

*Another* Tesla Powerwall Price Drop In Australia

In April, Tesla dropped the Powerwall’s Australian price another $1,699 to $12,900, including GST.

#2 Installers’ favourite inverters

The Best Solar Inverters In 2023: According to Aussie Installers

This post revealed the installers’ top picks for inverters. To no one’s surprise, Austrian manufacturer Fronius won ‘Best Inverter’ for the third year in a row. Sungrow from China won ‘Best Budget Inverter’.

#1 Solar panels: The best, voted by the best.

The Best Solar Panels In 2023: According To Aussie Installers

Australian solar installers in the SolarQuotes network voted for their favourite solar panel brands. REC solar panels won ‘Best Solar Panel’, nudging me and thousands of others to choose these pricey panels for our roofs.

For more frugal solar panel buyers, Trina Solar won ‘Best Budget Solar Panel’ for the third year in a row and makes a great choice if you don’t mind slightly worse multi-year degradation and a little less power on really hot days.

Goodbye 2023, bring on 2024

What can we glean from these top ten tales? In 2024, researching quality solar panels and inverters will continue to be important as Aussie consumers look to depend on reliable brands to deliver their solar energy. And increasingly, this will be paired with hot water heat pumps and batteries – often on a 3-phase supply. I also expect 2024’s list to contain a few electric car charging posts, as consumers increasingly realise they can eliminate not just electricity and gas bills but their petrol/diesel bills, too.

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and the founder and CEO of SolarQuotes.com.au. I started SolarQuotes in 2009 and the SolarQuotes blog in 2013 with the belief that it’s more important to be truthful and objective than popular. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009, I’ve helped over 700,000 Aussies get quotes for solar from installers I trust. Read my full bio.

Comments

  1. #11 SQ continues to shape Australian solar in profound ways. It’s been a fantastic resource to help people negotiate this massive transition.

  2. Richard Courtenayr says

    Thankyou gentlemen for a very interesting and fact filled year, also the many helpful comments. I’m personally looking forward to an exiting 2024. Even as my 82nd year comes up I’m keen to learn more and apply that knowledge.

  3. Fred Price says

    Hi Finn,
    Please supply all or any info on TESLA Power wall 2, plus any more cost reductions in the wind for 2024, I need a unit before winter so please name the best time to go shopping!

    All the best for the new year, Fred Price, Brisbane.

    • Anthony Bennett says

      Hi Fred,

      We’ve written entire articles on how fickle Tesla Powerball 2 pricing is. They have a history of going up and down and anecdotally I’ve heard that the current rebate scheme where Tesla pays after you’ve installed is taking quite some time for them to actually honour. However, if you have a look at this article (and the one that precedes it) there are a lot of other options available. For the budget conscious Sungrow or GoodWe seems to be the going thing.

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/powerwall-alternatives-hybrid-inverters/

  4. Hi Anthony

    I am glad to see that you are updating the article on “Three Phase and Batteries.”

    How about a similar article on “Single Phase and Batteries” for those of us with smaller loads and simpler systems?

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