Australian Solar Systems Interest Index – December 2019

auSSII Australian solar power report - December 2019

This month’s auSSII report indicates November saw an uptick in the proportion of Australians getting quotes for solar power wanting to purchase a system immediately.

Solar System Capacity Preference

Just over 70% of Australians who used our service in November already had a system size in mind and of this group, close to 76% were wanting details on a 6kW solar system or larger. 6kW is no longer considered big, but standard. Preference for this size range has grown every month this year, bar one:

  • January – 58%
  • February – 60%
  • March – 63%
  • April – 66%
  • May – 68%
  • June – 67%
  • July – 69%
  • August – 72%
  • September – 73%
  • October – 74%

The reasons behind the interest are simple – assuming suitable roof space, bigger solar systems provide better bang for buck in most scenarios and the cost of solar has continued to drop.

At the other end of the scale, interest in 3kW systems is almost non-existent now, with just 2% selecting this system size and a similar proportion choosing 4kW.

Solar power system size preference - November 2019

System Purchasing Timeframe

Interest in buying a system right now also again picked up in November, with 26% ready to purchase straight away; compared to 22% in October, 21% in September and 19% in August. Perhaps driving some of this interest is the misconception the solar rebate is ending – it isn’t. However, the national subsidy is reducing on January 1 (how much of an impact it will have on pricing remains to be seen) as is the level of support offered under Victoria’s solar rebate.

In November, close to 89% were considering buying a system any time from now to within 3 months. (86% in October, September 87%, August/July 84%)

Solar purchasing intention - November 2019

Quality Vs. Price

Something that has changed little are preferences relating to the cost of solar power and quality. 12% wanted pricing on a “top quality” (most expensive system) in November, 8% a good budget system and approximately 80% were interested in a system offering a balance between quality and cost.

Solar power system cost vs. quality - November 2019

Advanced Energy Consumption Monitoring

64% indicated interest in consumption monitoring – the lowest level in a few months; but not by much. While this feature adds to the cost of a system, advanced solar monitoring is a wise option as it not only alerts to potential issues, but also helps identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency and therefore saving more money on electricity costs.

Solar Power System Consumption Monitoring - November 2019

Battery Ready Solar Power

There was a drop in “battery-ready” solar interest in November (22%) compared to October and September (24%). Just about all solar power systems are battery-ready ( some more than others), but this figure provides some indication of what people are thinking in terms of acquiring a battery down the track. Asking this question also helps prospective installers with system design.

Battery-ready solar power - November 2019

Solar + Concurrent Battery Installation

Just over 5% of Australians using the SolarQuotes service in November were interested in having a battery installed at the same time as their panels. The figure has changed little in recent months  – 5.6% in October, 5.5% in September and August.

Aside from the up-front cost of batteries putting energy storage out of reach of many, PV + storage doesn’t provide the return solar-only does. That said, batteries are probably looking pretty good to a bunch of unfortunate folks up in Sydney that were without power for days after recent severe weather.

Solar + concurrent battery installation - November 2019

Solar Battery Sizing

Where quotes including energy storage were requested and capacity specified, 18% were interested in 1-5kWh capacity, 41% in 5 – 10kWh and around the same in 10kWh+. Last month, just over 52% of all quote requests including energy storage wanted advice on battery sizing, compared to 56% in October and September.

Battery capacity preference - November 2019

Battery Use – Primary Application

Again in November, approximately 4% wanted a home battery primarily as backup, while 40% were focusing on minimising grid electricity consumption (43% in October). 56%  were interested in a battery for both applications.

Intended solar battery application - November 2019

Quarterly Electricity Bills

48% of those who knew what they were paying for electricity indicated bills of between $500 and $1,000 a quarter on average – down a little on October (50%). 11% were paying more than $1,000 per quarter, which was the same as October.

Australian quarterly electricity costs - November 2019

About The auSSII Report

Each month, thousands of Australians submit their details to our solar quote service in order to receive quotes from up to three pre-vetted solar installers participating in the SolarQuotes network that are best matched to their requirements – and the auSSII is based on the information they provide.

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About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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