Australian Solar Systems Interest Index – December 2020

auSSII solar report - December 2020

The proportion of Australians considering an immediate solar power system purchase was very high in November. Discover how high and more in the latest SolarQuotes auSSII report.

Solar Power System Capacity

Interest in 6kW or bigger solar systems dropped back a touch again in November to 83% where a system size was specified (85% in October, 84% in September). Interest in 3 and 4 kilowatt systems was a little over 4%, while for 5kW systems it was a tad under 13%. 34% of Australians using the SolarQuotes service requested advice on solar system sizing.

Solar system sizing selection in November 2020

Solar System Purchase Timeframe

The desire to begin busting electricity bills with solar energy sooner rather than later was very strong in November, with a whopping 28% considering an immediate purchase (October: 24%, September: 23%, August: 20%) and just under 98% sometime from now to within three months.

The increase in “immediate” purchase interest may have to do with the looming holiday period when installers usually down tools for a bit and perhaps also the solar rebate reduction in 2021 came into play. But don’t panic and rush a decision – the subsidy isn’t disappearing any time soon as it’s being gradually phased out. Also possibly contributing was dread of high electricity bills over summer from air-conditioner use.

The “immediate” interest was particularly strong in Victoria, likely also relating to pent-up demand from lockdown when system installations couldn’t be performed.

Looking back at November last year, the proportion looking at installing solar panels immediately was around 26% – so a significant uptick this year.

System purchase intent  in November 2020

System Price And Quality

Not much changed here in November. As in October and September, approximately 12% of solar shoppers were requesting pricing on a “top quality” (most expensive) system, 80% were interested in a package offering a good balance of quality and cost, while 8% wanted a quote good quality budget system.

Price and quality - November 2020

Advanced Solar Monitoring Interest

Interest in advanced monitoring continued its downwards trend in November at 45%. It has continued to drop each month since at least July, when it sat at 69%. Why should you consider advanced monitoring? Find out here.

Advanced solar monitoring option - November 2020

Microinverter/Power Optimiser Interest

Close to 13% of those using the SQ service expressed an interest in either microinverters or power optimisers in November.

While adding to the cost of a system, microinverters have advantages over using a single string solar inverter. But whether some of these advantages will be particularly beneficial depends on the installation situation.

The same can be said about another form of panel level optimisation (PLO) – power optimisers. You can learn more about panel level optimisation options here.

Microinverter or Optimiser option - November 2020

“Battery-Ready” Selection

Interest in battery-ready systems was around 6% in November. While a home battery system can be retrofitted to practically all PV installations, noting storage may be wanted in the future can assist with system design and perhaps avoid a few headaches and extra cost down the track.

Battery ready solar - November 2020

Concurrent Solar + Battery Installation

Just under 13% of quote requests involved having a battery installed at the same time as solar panels – the same level of interest as in October and September. If you’re still tossing up whether to have an energy storage system installed from the get-go, SQ’s solar and battery calculator will show you how savings are impacted by a battery system and solar panels separately.

Solar + battery storage - November 2020

Battery Storage System Capacity

Where a battery capacity preference was mentioned:

1 – 5 kWh: ~16% (October 17%, September ~14%, August 14%)
5 – 10 kWh: ~54% (October 49%, September ~51%, August 50%)
10 kWh +:  ~31% (October 34%, September ~35%, August 35%)

55% of those considering buying a battery to go with their solar power system were seeking advice on system sizing in November, down from October’s 61% and back to the level of  September.

Battery system size selection - November 2020

Primary Battery Application

Around 7% noted the primary application for a battery would be for backup, ~37 % for minimising mains grid electricity consumption and 56% for both purposes.

Primary battery application - November 2020

Electricity Bills Before Solar

In November, just under 49% of Australians who knew what they paying for electricity said they had bills averaging between $500 and $1,000 a quarter. The proportion of Australians paying more than $1,000 a quarter sat at little under 11%. In October this figure was 12% and in September, 13%.

Power bills before solar - November 2020

About The auSSII Report

SolarQuotes auSSII reports are based on details provided by Australian users of this service who submit requests for quotes.

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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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