6 reasons you should invest in a solar system for your home in 2019

Why invest in a solar system? Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you would have noticed solar panels across many Australian homes and businesses. The reason for this is because first and foremost solar reduces your electricity bills substantially and systems can pay for themselves within 2-5 years through lowered bills.

In case you need convincing that solar is a great idea, here are the 6 reasons you should invest in a solar system for your home in 2019:

  • Great ROI

    Great return on investment and payback periods

    At the end of the day, a solar system is a financial investment because you invest an initial amount upfront and you then get a return over the coming decades through reduced power bills. The size of the system you install will determine how much you spend and also how much you save per year. You can expect systems installed today to cost you between $3,000 and $8,000 and pay for themselves in around 2-5 years. Considering solar systems have an expected life expectancy of 25 year this by any measure is a great investment.

  • Shield from price rise

    Protect yourself against ever increasing power prices

    Australian power prices are amongst the highest in the world and prices are expected to keep rising pretty rapidly over the coming years. By installing solar, you’ll be substantially reducing the amount of electricity you buy from the grid and be less affected by future price rises.

  • System prices have never been lower

    System prices have never been lower

    The cost of solar panels and inverters have dropped substantially over the last 10 years and systems have never been more affordable or accessible than they are today. In 2010, a 5kW system would have set you back a cool $25,000. Today, you’ll spend around $3,000 – $7,000 for a decent quality 5kW system.

  • Generous Government rebates are still available

    Generous Government rebates are still available

    Under the Federal Government Solar Rebate, when you install a system you produce Small Technology Certificates (STCs), which are traded for a substantial rebate. This amount is taken off the price of the system by the installer. Currently you can receive a rebate up to the amount of $4,176 to reduce the cost of a solar system.

  • Get Paid

    Feed in tariffs still pay you for the power you export to the grid

    A Feed in Tariff is a payment you receive from your retailer per kWh for the power your system produces that isn’t consumed in the house, and therefore sold back to the grid. Although this rate is substantially less than it was 5 or 6 years ago, system prices are also much less, so payback periods are still about the same at around 2-5 years.

  • Systems last for decades

    Systems last for decades

    Solar panel and inverter technology has come a long way over the years and is extremely reliable. Because solar panels have no moving parts, most come with performance warranties of 25 years, and inverters, which are the brain of the system typically have warranties around 10 years. With systems paying for themselves in between 2-5 years, your system will pay for itself long before its out of warranty.

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  • Answer some simple questions about your property

  • Get connected with 3 Clean Energy Council accredited solar installers in your area

  • Decide if solar power system works for you

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Compare the benefits of different size solar systems

These calculations assume:

  • Current default data is for NSW,
  • 50% exported to the grid,
  • 37c per kWh for electricity purchased from the grid,
  • You are in the capital city for your state - data will change slightly away from the capital,
  • STC price of $34.
  • This information does not constitute financial advice and is only intended as a guide. Please refer to the information provided by the companies quoting for information specific to your personal circumstances and location.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.