5 things to know about solar for your home

With recent electricity prices soaring up to 30-40 per cent for many residents, it’s no surprise that solar power is on homeowners’ minds. Making free green energy on your own rooftop helps take back control of power bills.

With the highest rates of household solar power installation in the world, Australian’s are living up to their reputation as ‘sun-lovers’. Around 1.7 million Aussie homes now have rooftop solar, and numbers are growing. Low prices, climate change awareness, quality systems and killer bills are driving factors in this rooftop revolution.

Thinking about getting a slice of the sun-kissed action to reduce your energy bills? Check out these facts to help make your decision. 

1. Not every home is created equal

Solar power is ideal for people who can use power during the day. Think: retirees, young families and people who are planning for retirement, working from home (full or part time), and other stay-at-home folks. Things are changing with battery storage, but prices are still prohibitive for most households to make batteries cost effective.

2. Size the system properly

This really depends on:

  • Your electricity use during the day
  • Roof size, its orientation and shade
  • How many people live in your home and when they are home
  • Your budget

Ask suppliers about these factors when they quote. Currently it’s best for your wallet if you use as much electricity that your solar panels produce, rather than exporting to the grid. Having said that, energy retailers have increased how much they pay to households for exported power, so don’t rule out a larger system that makes the most of the available roof space.

3. It’s a great investment

Prices have plummeted Expect to pay around $1,500 per kW of capacity installed. So for the average size house in the Eastern Suburbs a 4 kW solar system should cost around $6,000 for a good quality system.

With typical payback periods of three to six years and ongoing savings enjoyed over the 25 year lifetime for panels, solar makes for a great household investment. There are still upfront discounts from the Federal Government that come off the purchase price but these are decreasing each year.

4. Warranties count

Like most investment advice; it’sbest not to skimp on quality for a cheaper price.  A good warranty period for panels is at least 25 years, and 10 years for an inverter. Ask the supplier for these details. If manufacturers have a solid track record in Australia, then you are probably onto a good thing.

5. Battery storage on the horizon

There’s plenty of hype surrounding batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall. However with a typical 12-14 year payback, the financials don’t stack up currently.  Good news is that they are getting cheaper, and could prove cost-effective to store excess solar for use at night in just a couple of years, according to the Australian Technology Association (ATA). It’s definitely a space to watch.

Find out more:

FREE EVENT: Register online for our free Home Solar and Battery Info Session. Thursday 2 Nov, 6-7.30pm Waverley Library. Or call 9083 8023.

PHONE: Free Solar and Energy Savings Helpline for advice on 1300 339 915

ONLINE: ourenergyfuture.org.au

As published in The Beast magazine (October 2017)


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