How NOT to save $1,000 on your solar system

I got this email today:

“Hi Finn,

I’ve got a quote for a 1.5kW solar system for $2500 and a 3kW system for  $6000. I want 3kW. Why don’t I just buy 2 x 1.5kW systems???

Cheers, Bob”

Bloody good question Sir!

In fact I can’t believe more people don’t ask this question. But, as always, if something seems too good to be true…

The reason you can’t buy 2 x 1.5kW systems for less that the price of a 3kW system is this:

The full solar rebate only applies to the first 1.5kW of any system, and this rebate is 3x bigger than the rebate for any subsequent kW.

Another way if saying it is that: You get 3 x RECs for the first 1.5kW and the rest of the system only qualifies for 1 x RECs. You can only claim the 3x RECs once.

So the price of the first $2,500 1.5kW system is as follows:

Full price for 1.5kW system:  $5,500

Less Rebate: -$3,000

Cost to you:    $2,500

If you then go and buy a second 1.5kW system, you only get one third of the rebate so, unless you break the law, and double dip, here is what you will pay:

Full price for 1.5kW system:       $5,500

Less Rebate: -$1,000

Cost to you:    $4,500

Total cost for 3kW bought as 2 separate systems = $2,500 + $,4,500 = $7,000

However, if you just buy one 3kW system, you will pay about $6,000, broken down like this:

Full price for 3kW system: $10,000

Less Rebate: -$4,000

Cost to you:    $6,000

So sorry Bob, it is still cheaper to buy the single 3kW system!

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.


  1. I found your response on Solar Panels very informative. I cannot say I understood it in detail, but you provided enough information to avoid being totally fooled!

  2. bernie condon says

    Not that impressed with the people im dealing with the three quotes i got from your wesite.One of them i would not touch with a six foot pole after reading reviews on the company on your website.Another turned up and talked alot,wouldnt write anything down,never left any literatureand said he would send an email with details of quote.What was the use of him turning up?

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