The Economics Of Solar Power in Australia [infographic]

I put this together to try and get across just how economically compelling solar power is if you look at the cost of electricity over 20 years instead of simply focussing on the up front cost.

If you can get good financing, solar power is an economic no-brainer for most households.

solar infographic

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About Finn Peacock

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

Comments

  1. Hi Finn,
    would really appreciate your opinion. True value solar have quoted $6900 for a 5Kw SMA inverter and 20X 250W Seraphin panels. What are Seraphin panels like? Also, they do say you need to get a service done every 2 years to maintain their 10year installation warranty?????

    Give them a miss??
    Thanks,
    Craig

    • SMA inverters are great – but I would not recommend True Value Solar as an installation company, I’ve just heard too many bad experiences. Also they’ve been pinged by the ACCC for misleading advertising in the past.

  2. I thought TrueValue guys did a good job quoting & helping me & Seraphim were as good as most others on the market in that price range. I also went to Sunergy but they were rude and not very clued up on their products.

  3. I love solar power and even installed it myself and we are more than happy with the results. but my parents were conned by solar or sun?

    There needs to be tighter regulations on the installation of these especially on unsuspecting elderly people who think it will save them dollars instantly as that is how it is presented to them…they were not even connected to the grid !

  4. Terry Nesbitt-Foster says

    Who is kidding who? In three years use of a 1.5Kwh solar power inverter I have saved $210. At an installed cost of $3000 it will take 40 years to recover at today’s rates!

    • Terry – there are a lot of reasons you may be getting crappy returns.

      Key question – before further diagnosis is possible:

      How many kWh per day has your system produced averaged over 3 years?

      Let me know the answer to that and we can start to fix your problem…

    • Solar power is nowhere near being cost-effective compared to grid power. It was only a good idea when it was massively subsidised (through feed-in tariffs). Now the feed-in tariffs have disappeared, PVs are completely uncompetitive with grid power (as you have found out).

      Factor in the likely degradation of energy output over time (experienced by all systems) and the costs of maintenance and it is a *lot* more expensive.

      If you have saved $210 in three years, that’s $70 per year. If the system costs you more than $70 per annum in maintenance and repairs, it is actually costing you money. If your costs of ownership exceed $70 per year (quite likely), your best economic decision is to junk your solar system and go back to grid power exclusively. Chalk it up to experience.

      • Yes Minister says

        I have a property with 1.2kw PV that hasn’t had a power bill in four years. Another with 10kw PV has obviously never had a power bill & has 75% paid for itself in three years. Neither have or need airconditioning and both systems are installed on north-facing roof. I did have another property with 1.0kw PV on east-facing roof … all the system did was cover the cost of running airconditioning that was essential most of the time.

    • david Anderson says

      Our 5kw system reduced our latest power bill to $0.26, fair dinkum!

  5. NovaCoder says

    Solar roof tiles will be mandatory for all new homes within 10 years, should be interesting.

  6. The main problem is…. if you don’t have solar panels yet – YOU HAVE MISSED THE BOAT FOR SAVINGS!!!!!! Those who installed over 12 months ago got a great rate 25 cents plus. Now it is just 7-8 cents. We have been conned BIG TIME BY ENERGY AUSTRALIA who claimed that they didn’t get our paperwork 3 times until the rate went down to 8 cents. Steer clear of them. Savings are just not worth the initial expense.

    • Hey Rhonda,

      You can still make savings – but these days you need to carefully size your system, and shift as much power usage as you can to the day:

      http://www.solarquotes.com.au/do-i-get-paid-for-my-solar-energy.html

      If you do this you’ll still see good payback. You can calculate the paybacks (even with the crappy feed in rates!) here:

      http://www.solarquotes.com.au/calc3/indexsavings.php

      • Do these savings show up when a regular calculator is used? So why do we need to use a special calculator to see these savings?

        Could you simply supply the numbers (costs, and average output per day in kWHs) so we can work it out for ourselves? You will find that most people who read solar energy blogs probably already have access to a calculator; the practical problem is not that we can’t do arithmetic, it is that you never quote actual numbers which we can use to calculate the answer for themselves.

        Or do the savings only show up if your magic calculator is used?

    • We have solar panels and Energy Australia tried to con us also but I got in touch with the electricity supplier and they told me they were telling me bull. So back I went to energy Australia and they agreed to let me go because I ranted and raved. So I moved to another supplier who gives me the full amount of .25 cents. So my advice is pack your kit bag and leave Energy Australia they are crooks.

  7. john haley says

    I have 16 panels my redate to grid is 8cents what a joke tropically from groverment promise u everthing deliver nothing ido not know what we can do but hope comment secent from either party will applied ie 36cents charged at leased 30cents per kwh redate john haley

  8. who regulates what they pay you for your feedback to the grid maby its time those of us who only get a little back on our feedback stop sending it back I use most of mine during the day I have a 10 panel system it would be nice to know how many kw they are getting at 8 cents and selling it back to us at 33 to be fair we should be credited with our over generated power with a one for one off our bill any way I think its time for us to do something about giving them cheap electricity

    • If the state government does not mandate a feed in tariff then the electricity companies are under no obligation to pay you anything for your power. You can’t force someone to buy anything you produce! So, for example, in NSW where there is no mandated minimum payment, AGL voluntarily pays 8c per kWh, a couple of others pay 6c per kWh and the rest pay zilch!

      Guess how many solar owners choose to go with AGL in NSW? All of them! (almost).

      • david Anderson says

        Ergon in Central Qld pay us 44 cents/kWh. Further, our location (geographic parallel) receives the greatest number of sunny days in all of Australia, so solar makes great cents!

  9. David Leach says

    I did the following financial analysis which showed installation of solar for my circumstances is currently a 50/50 proposition. The analysis was based on 10 year solar radiation data at Melbourne Airport.
    Installed System Cost – $4800
    Write off Period – 10 years
    Mtce Cost $150/yr – $1500
    Foregone Investment Return on initial capital @5.5% compound – $10548
    Electricity Use cost saving @$800/yr escalating @5%pa – $10565
    Hence Nett Saving over 10 years – $17
    At my age +70, I’ll be going solar when electricity consumption charges increase more than 5%pa and/or there is significant initial capital cost reduction.

    • Don’t forget that tax is payable on interest earned for most people.

      Secondly, using solar PV generated electricity also removes the GST componenet (10%) on electricity consumed from the grid.

      Thirdly, There’s no telling how much electricity will increase. (electricity has increased 130% in some cases over 5 years).

      Fourthly, there is a hidden cost (savings) in terms of the environment……. the sun provides the same amount of energy in 1 hour what the entire world produces from fossil fuels in 1 year – staggering – over 8000 times – that is ….. it is only a matter of time when scientists will be able to increase the efficiency of solar panels from 14-19% to over 90% (meaning less panels required to do the same job). Free energy is there, just the technology to capture is not quite mature…. but it’s a start…..

      For those who complain why the feed-in is only 0-8c/kWh offered by retailers is because the wholesale price of electricity is about 3c/kWh (or $30/MWh). As a business, why would they pay up to 8c when they can get it for 3c? So, the incentive is to use solar as much as you can during the day (so you effectively can get up 40c/kWh saved if using TOU) and minimise usage at night. Or invest in battery technology ($$$) to store your generated energy for use at night but this is not cost-effective solution, and is really only for those in remote areas (to save on generator fuel).

      • Hi SolarKing and Finn, I have a 1.5kw system and I am with Origin Energy in Queensland. I still get slugged with a GST component on my bill for energy that I use from the grid. You said “Secondly, using solar PV generated electricity also removes the GST componenet (10%) on electricity consumed from the grid.” So am I being ripped off? They claim its normal. I’m getting around it by being part of ‘plan’ that gives you a credit of 8% for paying on time and 2% for giving them your bank details and since I’m always in credit, I’m no worse off. Just want to know if I should be paying the GST at all. Thanks

  10. Again, you claim that solar energy is cheaper than grid power, but provide no evidence whatsoever for your claim.

    How did you calculate a “levelized cost of 12.65c per kWh” ? What capital expenditure did you assume for the equipment and its installation? What daily energy production did you assume? What allowance have you made for maintenance and repairs? What degradation in power output over time did you assume?

    You keep claiming that solar is cheaper, but never produce a single analysis showing this to be true. Which rather makes me think that it isn’t actually cheaper, or else you would provide these figures. This opinion is further enforced by the comments, where people with solar are saying that it hasn’t been cost-effective.

    If you genuinely believe that solar is a good investment, instead of just claiming this to be true you should find a real-life installation and actually work out how much the energy actually costs. And I doubt very much that it is 12.65 cents per kWh. Maybe someday you will actually calculate the cost of solar power and show us the calculations so we can see for ourselves. But given that you published many blogs stating that solar power is cheaper than grid power but never once produced any evidence this is true, I doubt it. Based on your extreme reticence to publish actual numbers, I suspect that you know your claims are false. Which makes this particularly sad.

    • weterpebb,

      Wow, you really are an angry and suspicious fella!

      Once you’ve calmed down, have a look at the bottom of the infographic for the sources.

      This calculator does exactly what you ask for including degradation/inverter replacement/opportunity cost etc.:

      http://www.solarquotes.com.au/calc3/indexsavings.php

      You can even put your own numbers in there and see what pops out!

      The calculations are really are not that complicated – but I’m happy to provide the php code so you can check that there isn’t a communist pixie inside your computer manipulating the results in solar’s favour.

      Also you may want to tell those guys over at Maquarie Bank et al that are investing in solar farms that they can’t do their sums and offer to give them some of your investment advice.

      Best Regards,

      Finn

      P.S, Ive invested plenty of my own money in solar, and am very happy with the returns. Thanks for asking!

      • I had a play with your calculator. If you click on “advanced options”, you can see that the calculation actually assumes a pretty healthy feed-in tariff. Drop the amount of energy backsold to the grid to zero, and using the default figures solar power costs $0.27 per kWh, which is more than I pay currently and is over double the cost of 12.65 cents per kWh that your article quotes.

        Can you explain this huge difference?

        Is your figure of 12.65 cents per kWh assuming that you exploit a feed-in tariff? What feed-in tariff is it based on? Or if it doesn’t assume a feed-in tariff, why are the costs that you state less than half the costs that your own calculator predicts?

        Surely you must have been involved in some domestic PV installation where the consumer is actually producing energy cheaper than they can buy it from the grid, as you claim. Why not produce actual evidence of your claim that it is 12.65 cents per kWh, instead of simply displaying a cartoon which makes this claim without evidence?

        • weterpepp wrote
          “Based on your extreme reticence to publish actual numbers, I suspect that you know your claims are false. Which makes this particularly sad.”

          So please show us your assumptions you put into the calculator as well (all assumptions), or you are considered to fudge the result as well. I think that’s only fair.

          • The results of the calculator are rather moot. You can put whatever figures you like in, and get whatever result you like. The savings should not depend on using a special calculator; it should be a very simple calculation. I have a calculator already, thanks.

            I used your figures for the cost of your solar installation (the lowest figure, $12,000) and I looked at the graph of the power generated compared to average household consumption (also provided by you). Using these figures which you thoughtfully provided, I worked out the effective cost of the energy, which was a bit over 70 cents per kWh. And unlike you, I documented every assumption and step in the analysis.

            So it turns out that on your own figures, the energy from a domestic PV array costs about 4.5 times as much as grid power. 70 cents per kWh is a long way from the claimed 16 cents per kWh.

            So, Mr Engineer, I have used your own figures to demonstrate that your stated costs (16 cents per kWh) are less than a quarter of what your own example shows.

            Perhaps if you published how you calculated 16c per kWh I can show you the error in your calculations. And then you can publish a correction, and an apology to anybody who may have actually made a purchasing decision based on your erroneous calculations.

            So how about you produce the calculations leading to 16c per kWh so we can find your mistake? Why won’t you do this? You actually did calculate it (and not just invent it out of thin air), right? So why not show us?

  11. To me its all a bit of a con job. Solar panels in Australia are ‘cheap’ because of the subsidies that we pay to the electricty companies – so we are being ripped off to support overseas companies profits producing ‘green’ solar panels. And we are being sold solar panels on the basis of totally misleading and unobtainable cost savings.

    I’m wondering how ‘green’ and ‘good’ for the environment solar panels really are, I suspect that if the total carbon dioxide emitted to the environment to produce and install them is greater than the savings in carbon dioxide not emitted over their lifespan. I bet it’s the ‘Prius’ of the electricity generation world, causes more environmental damage than it solves.

    • Do your research, then you can stop wondering and start knowing 🙂

      http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/solar-panel-energy-payback-whats-the-truth/

      The answer is: 18 months to pay back the energy used to make a solar panel if installed in Australia.

      • It isn’t only the EROEI problem. Pedrova drew attention to the CO2 emissions caused by the production of solar panels. Of course, all sources of energy will have a certain amount of CO2 emissions to make them. However i think a more serious environmental problem is the pollution caused by plants making the panels: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5650 “Many of the solar panels that now adorn European and American rooftops have left behind a legacy of toxic pollution in Chinese villages and farmlands.

        The Post article describes how Luoyang Zhonggui, a major Chinese polysilicon manufacturer, is dumping toxic factory waste directly on to the lands of neighboring villages, killing crops and poisoning residents. Other polysilicon factories in the country have similar problems, either because they have not installed effective pollution control equipment or they are not operating these systems to full capacity. Polysilicon is a key component of the sunlight-capturing wafers used in solar photovoltaic (PV) cells”

        • Quite right.

          China rather specialises in heavy, extremely polluting industries. China enjoys a competitive advantage in these industries because its environmental laws are so loose and inconsistently enforced. Solar panels are a good example; one of the reasons that China dominates the world supply is because you can simply dump whatever toxic chemicals which are involved into the nearest river. An even better example is rare-earth extraction; China produces virtually the whole world’s supply. Both Australia and the US have far better sources of rare-earth metals than China, but due to the environmental pollution this industry creates they cannot be cost-effectively mined in countries with strong environmental regulation. China doesn’t care. There are many similar examples in assembling high tech gadgets; much cheaper if you can just dump the noxious chemicals in a river when they have served their purpose.

          If you buy Chinese made solar panels, then you are supporting an industry which is causing massive environmental damage in China, and killing Chinese peasants. They are cheap though.

        • If environmental performance of solar companies is important to you (as it should be) then the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition produces an annual scorecard here:

          http://www.solarscorecard.com/2013/

          I also wrote a blog post about this exactly 1 year ago:

          http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/are-your-green-solar-panels-killing-chinese-villagers/

  12. Geoff Sherrington says

    The high cost of conventional grid power is due in no small part to stupid, costly investment in large wind farms and large solar plants. Electricity suppliers are paying an uneconomic cost for these and loading it on to your power bills. Chances are they never asked you if you wanted this extra expense. Unfortunately, it has the effect of making your solar rooftop look more competitive than it is. It’s lose lose and the consumer pays for the charade,

  13. Steve Mann says

    Regarding the feed in tariffs. I have been chasing the utilities dept here in Perth for over two years now about the forms they ‘didn’t receive’. Would be interesting to know how many other people were given the same story! They just keep fobbing me off.

  14. john peevor says

    what about Blue Gen I believe that this is more effective and doesn’t look ugly on the roof is this true?

    • Bluegen is a mini gas-fired power station and has to be run 24/7. It only makes sense if you use more than 36kWh per day and your usage is spread evenly across 24 hours. Also you need to have a use for all the waste heat, enough to heat about 200l of water per day. It can make sense for commercial applications – but not residential.

      Also you will always have a gas bill (it uses a lot of gas). With solar you obviously don’t need to buy fuel.

      • Actually gas turbine is a far cheaper way of generating electricity than solar, even if you don’t use the waste heat. That is why electricity companies use it to generate grid power, and do so without legal compulsion.

        If you are after the lowest cost for power, it is far cheaper to buy electricity from the grid than to try and make it yourself. A significant and growing part of grid power uses natural gas turbines, because these are both cheap and easily adjustable (output can be changed between zero and maximum very quickly). So by using grid power you are both getting low cost electricity and indulging your liking for natural gas as a power source.

        • The CEO of Xstrata Energy (major utility) in Colarado would beg to differ with you:

          David Eves, the CEO of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary in the state told the Journal solar power is now cost-competitive with natural gas-fired generation:

          “This is the first time that we’ve seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut — without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard — strictly on an economic basis.”

          I’m sure you’ll enjoy the whole article – especially the graph. You seem to be living about 3 columns from the left. Meanwhile the future happened:

          http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-solars-99-cost-plunge-to-grid-parity-48733

          • The cost efficiency of natural gas versus solar depends on when the power is needed. Gas turbines in the US and Australia are designed only for intermittent peak loads, as gas is far more expensive than coal but can be turned on and off in minutes rather than hours. That is a completely different usage profile to solar, which can’t simply be turned on and off as needs demand. How much is being able to generate power in the evening worth? Because solar can’t do it. The author doesn’t say how he allocated costs based on the flexibility to turn gas off and on at any time in a 24 hour cycle. And as gas turbines operate on a very low duty cycle, what duty cycle he used to compare costs. He’s just spruiking his company.

            Australia now uses very little gas turbine power generation. It is far more expensive than coal. Its use peaked about 15 years ago. Australia’s electricity consumption is actually decreasing (has done since 2007) and so we need less generation capacity than in the past. As a result, the gas turbines are very seldom used in Australia.

            The last thing we need in this country are more power stations; we have more than sufficient for current demand, and demand is shrinking.

            If solar can take market share away from other energy sources based on cost, then great and it will succeed. Hasn’t so far.

  15. Juli Davine says

    I am chasing a reliable company in Victoria, near Ballarat. I am wanting to go solar for a variety of reasons, including environmental, but would also be looking for reliability and honesty. Any clues, anyone?

  16. why won’t you show your calculations like ‘weterpebb’ suggested? A lack of transparency is how con jobs operate. If your not a con job just post your calculations, easy.

  17. John Andrews says

    Al very interesting.
    Who’s the best bet to contact in Perth WA please ?

    John Andrews

  18. I must be one of the lucky ones! I installed a 4kw system last year having previously had bills around $900 per quarter. I do get 52c feed in tarrif and also run my pool and pool heat pump on the lower tarrif but I have just received a dheque for $620 for the last 12 months. That means a system costing me $8000 is currently worth $4000+ per year. I am totally satsified!!!

  19. That’s because you are being massively overpaid for your electricity. And the people who end up paying for your system are other electricity users, who have to subsidise your solar installation. Ripping off other electricity users is one thing, but boasting about it in public is rather offensive.

    However, I am not particularly worried. This scam is being wound back in every State. Lots of people in NSW and Vic have previously boasted about being paid 52 cents for electricity with a wholesale value of only a few cents per kWh. Then the government has closed down the scheme (or otherwise limited it) and they are stuck with an uneconomic solar installation. They bear the ongoing costs, not other electricity users.

    If you were saving money by using solar power without ripping off other electricity users (ie by not exploiting excessively generous feed in tariffs), then this would be a legitimate thing for you to feel proud about. If your feed in tariff survives long enough for you to completely recoup your investment, then you have been financially successful in your investment (even if still morally culpable for forcing the rest of us to pay for it). Neither of these yet applies. As it is, despite ripping off other users, you are still currently in the red.

    Nobody should make a business investment which makes sense only if the government subsidises its operation. Governments remove subsidies eventually, and the investment is no longer economic. This is happening all over Australia with domestic solar. Maybe your government mandated subsidy will continue long enough for you (in the long run) to make money, but I certainly wouldn’t bank on it. Or boast about it in a blog. Counting chickens before they hatch and all that.

    • peterwebb, these are my very simple calculations for the economics of solar PV.
      Cost of system approx $1000 per kW installed capacity.
      Energy generated approx 4.5 units per day per kW, ie 1642 kWh/year.
      Value of this electricity at minimal 8c/kWh FiT = $131
      Payback time = 7.6years.
      If I use half the electricity rather than export value = (821 * 26c) + (821*0.08c) = $279
      Payback = 3.6years.
      If I use it all – even shorter.
      Annual maintenance – well its been zero so far for 6years on my current system. Replace inverter after 10 years ? – ie after payback period. Panels warranty for 25 years ?
      I know I don’t include interest on capital but with tax on any earned interest its pretty irrelevant.
      I think this is a very simple calculation anyone can understand if they do these calculations on any quote they get.

      • Actually, most solar installations use cheap Chinese inverters which don’t last that long – but the company that sold them is usually gone by the time they fail. Of course, those calculations are completely fictitious, as they assume an output from the system that you rarely get. The feedback into the grid is a farce, too, as it occurs at times of little demand, then at peak demand the owner has to buy electricity off the grid.

        • When air cons are going flat out in summer between around 9.00am till late and solar systems are outputting at their best therby reducing the aircon running costs and decreasing demand on the grid,how can this period be of little demand?.

          Why is this not a win /win situation?

          • Chris Harries says

            It’s true that solar peaks partly overlap with daytime peak loads. But only to a limited degree. In cooler Southern states most peak power is at night (from 6pm on) when its already dark during the winter time. In Summer there is a useful overlap during the late afternoon air conditioning peak. Solar panels on schools are the best because their power usage almost totally coincides with daytime solar, i.e. from 9 am to 3 pm.

  20. These seem to be theoretical calculations (ie you are looking at a hypothetical 1 kW system).

    Why didn’t you publish the actual numbers, seeing as how you actually own a PV system? How much did it actually cost, and how many kWh does it actually generate per year?

    I also have to wonder what you use the power for in the middle of the day? For most households, the only thing that uses electricity during the middle of weekdays are fridges, and their use is tiny. That’s a major problem with domestic PV systems – they generate power at exactly at exactly the time you don’t need any for five days out of seven.

    So, how much did you actually pay for your system, how many kWh per year does it actually generate, how much do you actually sell (at what rate) and how much do you actually use? Your actual experience is worth far more than another theoretical argument. Lets see what return you actually get.

    • We have a 5.5kWp system, Trina Honey 250W panels and a Power One Aurora 5000 inverter.
      The costs last July was $12,000 for the installation with special racking for 3.5kW panels on the flat roof and $1000 for a new braker panel. 3.5kW is facing North and 2kW West.

      The first year is not over yet, but the system has so far produced 6500kWh in North Brisbane, at the end of the first year it will be between 8100kWh and 8500kWh.

      We use 3000kWh a year (including a 50,000l pool, two residents, one person at home during the day) and we try to use as little as possible during the day because of the FIT. So far we sell 92% of the production back into the grid for 52 cents.

      The payback for the system will be around four years.

      Regards,
      D.

      PS: We use 14Watts during night time…

  21. GrahamEales says

    Hi Guy’s,

    I added a bank of storage batteries and now buy no grid power at all.

    It’s the only way to make it pay.

    Cheers,

    Graham

  22. Whenever there are two sides stridently arguing opposing numbers it is a fairly safe bet that reality lies somewhere in the middle. Biologist Jarad Diamond explored this in some depth arguing that is natural for advocates to extract and use figures that most boosts their cause, and thus both sides tend to exaggerate their claims. (He used verifiable examples to illustrate this.)

    It’s therefore fairly safe to assume the info graphic is a little loaded, but also that the detractors’ case is also likely to be loaded. What is certain is that the renewables industry has grown faster than anyone’s expectations, and has surprised even the most ardent environmentalists.

  23. Julie O'Shea says

    Hello Finn,
    Thank you for all the information and giving us the ability to do our own research. Can you please let me know of any reputable companies on the Gold Coast. The environment is the cost, and I have no intention of being responsible for any further pillage of our natural resources when we have a magnicent sun offering it to us every day (well just about!!). Look forward to receiving your recommendation

  24. I have a 1KW grid connect system that we have now had for about 5 years. We are in Victoria and are still getting a 66c /kwh feed in tariff. ( WeterPebb , I don’t want to see you reply about how I am ripping you off , I paid handsomely for being a reasonably early adopter , you can please keep your opinion to yourself ) We would like to expand our system up to about 4 or 5 kw and understand we can either install a second separate system, or replace our inverter and add more panels. I am happy to do either, but someone mentioned to me that if I was to do this, I will lose my feed in tarrif and go onto the current rate. Is this correct ??? Or more to the point, do I need to let my energy provider know at all ?

  25. I just did a bit more digging. Have a look here http://www.originenergy.com.au/feed-in-tariffs?g%5Buser_state%5D=vic It states I cant increase my power generating capacity. Were you aware of this ? I’m assuming i’m screwed , or is there a way around this ?

    Thanks fro your advice 🙂

  26. Steve Mooney says

    Best investment ever (2kw 10 panel system $4,500 over 2 years). Normal power bill $450-500 a quarter balance after solar contribution under $100 per quarter. Specific details – Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (lot of sunshine) with northern facing roof, family of 4, heat pump for hot water and gas cook top.Possible hidden costs (but needed to be done) meter box upgrade (very old meter that actually went backwards when solar panels installed!) Needed new smart meter.

    • Steve, that’s good to hear.

      Just a tip. Install a whole house power meter and try to find hidden standby users. If you had $500 quarterly bills I can guarantee you use too much electricity. We found that one of our airconditioning inverter systems used 220Watts around the clock
      . That alone represents $450 a year. And there were many other standby users that we were able to eliminate.

      Regards,
      D.

  27. andrew graeme palmer says

    Yes I can see how it all helps those single parents pensioners and everyone else that cant afford solar panels support the infrastructure were bound to pay for reality is a dream…Thank you successive governments of insanity. Andy s
    wan Hill

  28. My 5kW SMA inverter, powered by 22 x 250W Suntech panels is grid connected at $0.44/kWh net. In the first year, we paid nothing for electricity and ended up with a cheque for $1,200+. The actual daily average kWh we use is slightly higher than what the panels produce, but as we export most production during the day and use the grid power at the lower rate, we are making a positive monetary return on our “investment” of several thousand dollars per year. Our system will be totally paid of in savings, within five years. That will leave another nine years to save the money to replace the Inverter at approximately fifteen years. Without the 44 cent rebate, I probably wouldn’t have bought a system, yet.

  29. Gail Day says

    Dear Finn

    Am trying to decide what company to go with. I got a particularly cheap quote from solar ray? Leaning towards Bradford Solar(Even though they are more expensive) any thoughts? Gail From NSW

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