Pay-As-You-Go Solar Arrives In Australia

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PAYG Solar Too?

Have you considered installing a domestic solar system but have been put off by the initial cost? Then the recently-announced unveiling of a radical new pay-as-you-go plan in Australia may be for you.

According to an April 21 report in the Sydney Morning Herald, an American company, Sungevity Inc., has teamed up with Lismore-based solar installer Nickel Energy to set up an Australian subsidiary, Sungevity Australia, which offers free solar panel installation. The ongoing costs under the power purchase agreement will, according to the company, be less than the amount households pay at present for fossil fuelled electricity. The costs will increase in line with the consumer price index.

According to the report the scheme has taken hold in the United States and is now being offered in Northern New South Wales and South east Queensland though is slated to appear in other parts of the country in the near future.

Sungevity Inc’s president Danny Kennedy told BusinessWeek that the model had already been received well in the United States and the company, which owns a minority stake in the venture, is looking forward to testing it in Australia.

“We’re obviously seeing the success of the pay-as-you-go solar” model, Kennedy said. “This is going to be the first pay-as-you-go proposition to Australian customers.”

Kennedy added that the power purchase agreement is to be designed to be less than what some Australian households are currently paying for electricity.

According to the company’s website, the evocatively-named “Roof Juice” solar panel product works in the following way:

  • The company will install the RoofJuice solar panels at no cost to you
  • You buy the power the panels produce at a cheaper rate than what you pay for power now now.
  • You pay no up-front cost.
  • The company will guarantee the system’s performance

The site states the product will protect the punter from “future power price rises by selling you solar energy that’s generated on your very own roof.” In a carbon tax future this sounds an attractive way to both offset expected skyrocketing energy prices and reduce your carbon footprint. After all what more gratifying way of knowing you are contributing to a more renewable world than getting power from your own solar panels?

Has this got “winner written all over it” solar fans? Will this take our country by storm as it apparently has in the US?  Let us know what you think of the new plan and if you’d consider taking advantage of it. Join the discussion on our Facebook Page.


  1. On the face of it, it sounds like a plan. Recently we investigated having solar installed but ran into other household repair expenses. I still regret being unable to do both but money doesn’t grow on trees, as the saying goes.

  2. It’s no wonder investors would be keen to install solar on people’s roofs, as after all, they’ll likely be turning a 20% per annum profit on their investment inside 3 years, or less. Home owners need to become aware that even a financed solar system has the potential to have paid for itself inside 6 years, and from then on it’s free energy until the inverter gives up the ghost, and by that time, good inverters will likely be under $1000, with the panels still good for another 10-20 years, albeit at a reduced output (80-90% of original output). With the recent reduction in prices of good quality panels and inverters, thanks in big part to Chinese manufacturers, it’s never been a better time to invest in a solar system. I can see the government making it mandatory their fitted to all new homes in the near future, now that the prices have come right down.

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