Australian Solar Systems Interest Index – January 2021

auSSII solar report - January 2021

Summer air-conditioning bills and the looming solar rebate reduction were likely on the minds of the many Australians wanting to go solar during December.

Solar Power System Sizing

The proportion of Australians interested in a solar power system larger than 6 kilowatts capacity (45%) started to pull further ahead of 6kW systems (40%) in December. Interest in 3 or 4 kilowatt systems still sat at around 4% combined, while for 5kW systems it was around 11%; down on November’s 13%.

SQ’s Ronald mentioned yesterday some of the installers SolarQuotes works with were averaging more than 8kW capacity per system installed in 2020 – and capacity was still rising.

Solar system sizing selection in December 2020

Purchasing Timeframe

Even with the festive season looming, there was very strong appetite for buying a solar power system immediately (30.8%). This was higher than November’s result of 28% (October: 24%, September: 23%). Another reduction in Australia’s solar rebate on January 1 likely played a significant role.

But don’t panic if you haven’t started on getting panels installed yet. The solar rebate is still very generous, but bear in mind the longer you put off installing panels the longer you’re locked into paying electricity bills a lot higher than they would otherwise be with a system installed.

System purchase intent in December 2020

Price And Quality

Approximately 11% of solar buyers were wanting a quote on a “top quality” (most expensive) system – down a little on November, October and September’s 12%. The loss there went to systems offering a good balance of quality and cost (~81%), while interest in budget systems (but good quality) was static at around 8%.

Price and quality - December 2020

Consumption Monitoring Interest

Interest in advanced monitoring (consumption monitoring) again continued its downwards slide in December, dropping to approximately 39% (45% in November). Back in July last year, interest sat at 69%. The continuing drop interest will make SQ founder Finn a little sad as he’s a big fan of this option- and here’s why.

Advanced solar monitoring option - December 2020

Microinverter/Power Optimiser Option

Nearly 12% of Australians using the SolarQuotes service in November expressed an interest in having either microinverters or power optimisers installed (13% in November). Both are a form of Panel Level Optimisation (PLO), which can be particularly beneficial in some installation scenarios. You can learn more about Panel Level Optimisation options here.

Microinverter or Optimiser option - December 2020

“Battery-Ready” Solar Systems

Interest in battery-ready systems was around 5% in December (6% in November). Home energy storage can be added to just about any solar installation at a later date, but indicating batteries may be wanted down the track can help with system design.

Battery ready solar - December 2020

Concurrent Solar Power + Battery Install

Not much changed in the level of interest in having a battery installed concurrently with a PV system in December – just over 13% compared to just under 13% in November, October and September. For Australians considering installing a battery but still tussling with trying to figure out if energy storage is worth it, SQ’s solar and battery calculator is a really useful and easy to use tool. It will show you how savings are impacted by a battery system and solar panels separately.

Solar + battery storage - December 2020

Battery System Capacity

Where a battery capacity preference was noted in a request for a quote on solar + storage:

1 – 5 kWh:  ~14% (November ~16%, October 17%)
5 – 10 kWh: ~51%  (November ~54%, October 49%)
10 kWh +:  ~36% (November ~31%, October 34%)

Around 53% of quote requests in December where battery storage was involved were wanting advice on system sizing (November 55%, October 61%).

Battery system size selection - December 2020

Intended Battery Application

Approximately 5% indicated the primary application for a battery would be for backup purposes, ~40 % for minimising mains grid electricity use and 55% for both.

Primary battery application - December 2020

Electricity Bills Pre- Solar Panels

Where electricity bills were known prior to having solar installed, 47% of Australians stated they were paying between $500 and $1,000 per quarter on average (49% in November), while around 9% were paying more than $1,000 a quarter (11% in November, 12% in October and 13% in September). 44% were paying under $500 a quarter on average (November, ~41%).

Power bills before solar panels - December 2020

About The auSSII

The auSSII is based on details provided by the thousands of Australians who use our quoting service each month. We’ve helped more than 521,000 Australians get quotes from carefully pre-vetted installers since 2009. SolarQuotes puts installers through the wringer so you don’t have to.

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Reproducing Content From The auSSII

If you wish to reproduces graphs or other auSSII report content, you don’t need to contact us first but attribution to SolarQuotes and the page from which the content was sourced is required.

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.


  1. Dr Nic Williams says

    I’d be interested to see the System Size Preference “6kW+” category broken down into more categories.

    Also, is this their initial preference or the system they ultimately installed?

    When I started investigating I would have expressed interest in 6kW; but ultimately had 21kW installed. How would my data point be captured?

  2. I would be interested to see how many are installations were affected by shading that require microinverters or power optimisers.

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