Why Solar Power Should Be Part Of Your Retirement Plan


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Whether you’re hoping to retire within the next few years or the next 10, it’s never too early to start thinking about your retirement plan and how you are going to manage expenses once the stability of an income is no longer there to cover costs.

While some will throw a portion of their funds into stocks or even investment properties, these types of investments can be high risk if you do not have the finances to fall back on. Others heading towards retirement will focus on minimising overheads and living costs, therefore being able to stretch out their retirement fund and savings for longer.

To do this, expenses such as your electricity bills are going to be the prime focus and installing a solar PV system could be the solution.

Minimising Electricity Bills But Not Consumption

As a future retiree, it’s likely your home energy consumption may increase due to the fact you will be home more often instead of at the office or on-site at work. Even if your retirement plans include a lot of out of the house activities your need for electricity to run the household isn’t going to disappear. This is why a solar PV system is a beneficial no-risk investment to consider for your retirement plan.

retirement solar market

By installing a solar PV system on your roof you will be able to produce your own daytime electricity for the household to run and only be charged for the excess energy needed which the solar PV system has not produced (at night when panels are not receiving sunlight).

Some households have seen electricity bills decrease as much as 80% after installing a solar panel system and have seen a return on investment in as little as 2-5 years. This fast return on investment means you could install the solar PV system prior to retirement and be pocketing the savings to add to your retirement fund.

In addition to having a quick return on investment period, solar panels have a lifespan of 25 years with warranties to match, meaning you won’t have the issue of high maintenance costs post-installation.

“Installing solar when you’re planning for retirement is a good idea. You can spend the money while you still have disposal income and then get the savings when you need them most.”

Sue from Seaholme, Melbourne | Source: AEF

Choosing a solar panel system for your retirement plan

Before deciding on a solar panel system the first thing you will want to do is determine what size and models are going to be most beneficial and cover the majority of your electricity bills, as well as have a fast return on investment. You can grasp a good idea of this by using our solar savings calculator or by speaking directly to solar installers who can provide tailored quotes and recommendations for you.

Be put in touch directly with local solar installers and request obligation free solar quotes to compare and get the best deal for your retirement plan.


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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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