Don’t Pay Diamond Prices for Plastic | The True Cost of Solar


The solar industry is confusing. Rebates, feed-in tariffs, inverters and other boring words are overwhelming and sometimes over-used. With all this confusion around terminology, it’s easy to get ripped off by installers. We have heard so many stories about people paying $10k for a solar system that is worth half of that. Here’s a break down of the true cost of solar, so you know when you’re getting the best deal or when it’s too good to be true.

The True Cost of Installing Solar

There are many things that can determine or change the cost of installing solar so to help you through your process, our table below provides you with the estimated price for various solar system sizes.

*These estimated prices are inclusive of the Solar Federal Government Rebate which entitles individuals and small businesses large subsidies when installing eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (under 100kW) such as solar PV systems.

System Size

Price Estimates

1.5kW system


3kW system


4kW system


5kW system


6kW system

$3470- $10,990

7kW system


10kW system


How to Purchase a Reputable & Affordable Solar Brand

Many of us all love a good bargain and seeing these ‘amazing solar deals’ are tempting but you need to be careful of these cheap dodgy offers! These ‘too good to be true’ solar quotes and deals may end up costing you a lot more as there could be hidden costs, cheap materials could be used, or no warranty is provided. So how do you tell if your deal is bad?

The True Cost of Cheap Solar Panels- What to look out for

  1. Look at the reviews. If lots of other people have had issues with the business, then chances are you will too.
  2. Check the fine print to ensure ‘full installation’ is included within the purchase price so you aren’t just left with the panels on your front lawn. TIP: installers generally are not allowed to do the final grid hookup- ensure you discuss these additional prices and consider them within your budget.
  3. Ensure you are given the names of the brands and model of the solar system being used in your installation
  4. Low warranty or warranty that is dependent on regular panel servicing.
  5. For a good installation job, the going rate is around $1000. If the business, you are going with is not transparent about installation costs or is promoting an installation cost significantly lower than this then you may start to jeopardise the safety and quality of your system.
  6. Watch out for sneaky additional charges that look along the lines of:
    true cost of solar

    A) Additional charges for pre-install inspections.
    B) Extra charges for ‘non-standard installations’.
    C) You are required to upgrade your fuse box.
    D) Houses outside of the CBD designated areas may incur additional charges.
    E) Additional charges for two-storey homes.
    F) Additional charges if your roof does not have a sufficient slope.

So now that we know how to spot a dodgy solar deal, how do we find a happy medium between the overpriced and the under priced solar systems?  Research, Research, Research! The more you know the better equipped you will be to identify not only a good deal but a good quality product.

How To Get In Touch With CEC Accredited Solar Installers 

The best way to get the solar panels that suit you is to compare quotes from multiple, experienced CEC accredited installers in your area. This is to ensure you are getting a system that is tailored to your needs and property, not what the installer wants to sell. 

Solar Market partners with top solar installers across Australia and will match you up with 3 local solar installers so you can start saving from those dreaded power bills now. 

If you need more help, take our 2 min quiz to find out what kW solar panel system you need and the costs involved.

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Download Your FREE Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition

Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy-saving tips and more!

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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.

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