Customer Survey Findings On Solar & Battery

In February we reached out to customers who had requested solar quotes from us in 2018 and asked them to shed some light on their experience with our service, the solar industry as well as their current solar situation and opinions on solar and battery. A total of 1,568 responded to our survey which we ran for a month.
Here are some of our findings.

Most Popular Size Solar System For 2018

Most popular solar system size

Most Popular Size Solar System For 2018

Of the respondents who had installed solar we found the most popular size system to install in 2018 was by far a 5 kW system or above. This is not surprising considering a 5-6 kW system can produce up to 24 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day, which is a sufficient amount to run the average Australian household.

The assistance with Government Rebates and drop in solar system prices has also a made 5 kW system and above much more affordable. For a quality 5-6 kW system and installation prices average around $5,000-$6,000, with a return on investment within 3-5 years.

 

Satisfaction With Solar System After Installing

An overwhelming response of 89% of people who had installed in 2018 were happy with the purchase of their solar system. Many stating how pleased they were with the reduction of their electricity bills.

Approximately 25% of the respondents who had selected unhappy, did so due to wishing they had selected a larger system to cover more of their electricity bills. The majority of the remaining people who selected they were not happy with their solar system stated it was because of technical difficulties due to poor quality installs and lack of post customer service from an installer and not the system itself.

Satisfaction With Solar System After Installing

At Solar Market we refer only CEC accredited installers and recommend you do a thorough background check on the installers, providers and products in which you are comparing quotes. You can do this by looking online at past customer testimonials and using the following tips on our Choosing the Right Installer and Questions To Ask Installers pages.

Tip: If you think you should have opted for a larger size system or don’t feel you’re making the savings you should with your solar system, try these tips to maximise savings or determine whether it is time for you to replace or upgrade your system here.

 

Experience With The Installer Solar Market Referred

Experience With The Installer Solar Market Referred

Experience With The Installer Solar Market Referred

It was great to hear that the 85% of respondents who had installed with an installer Solar Market connected them with, rated their experience 4 stars or above out of 5. Feedback from customers suggested they were primarily happy with the communication pre and post purchase, the system provided and installation, competitive pricing, tailored quotes with home-site visits and the knowledgeable amount of information provided when asking the installer questions.

Customer Thoughts On Battery Storage

52% of our customers who had installed a solar system were interested in adding battery storage, either to their current solar system or when upgrading in the future. However, 85% of people would not pay more than $7,000 and 90% would be wanting a return on investment in 7 years or less. While price was a huge factor for our customers when considering to add battery storage; quality, return on investment and less reliance on the grid proved to be more important.

 

Maximum Amount Customers Would Be Willing To Pay For A Solar Battery

Maximum Amount Customers Would Be Willing To Pay For A Solar Battery
 

Payback Period Customers Would Be Happy With

Payback Period Customers Would Be Happy With
 

Most Important Factors To Customers When Considering Battery

Most Important Factors To Customers When Considering Battery
 

Is It Time To Invest In Battery Storage?

Whilst battery is the next step to energy independence, today’s prices (if your State does not offer subsidies or incentives for battery) could have you looking at an expected return on investment in 8-15 years. As technology advances and batteries become more accessible it is expected prices will drop, similar to how they have for solar systems.

Solar Battery

Households with solar systems that aren’t generating a large amount of excess power may find it more cost-effective to receive the feed-in tariff rates for their excess power, instead of purchasing a battery. Those with larger sized solar systems that generate a substantial amount of excess power may opt to add battery and give themselves greater energy independence.

TIP: If you’re interested in battery and yet to install a solar system or are looking to upgrade your system, you may want to consider a battery ready system. A battery ready system means a battery can be easily added to your system when or if you decide to add battery storage in the future, when prices and payback periods have lowered. These Battery ready systems are also known as Hybrid systems.

 

Solar Market Customers Who Requested Quotes But Are Still Yet To Install

Out of all the respondents to our survey only 28% of those did not follow through with installing a solar system after requesting quotes from us in 2018. Whilst reasons were varied the majority of customers who did not install after requesting quotes selected the following reasons;

  • I can’t afford the outright cost to install
  • I’m waiting for batteries to become affordable so I can install with the solar system
  • Quotes I received to install were too expensive
  • I Can’t Afford The Outright Cost To Install

    Being unable to afford the upfront costs of a solar system and installation was the biggest de-motivator for those who requested quotes from us in 2018 and did not follow through with an installation. Thankfully these days there are ways of overcoming this obstacle and still reap the benefits of reduced power bills through installing solar. An option we recommend if your State Government does not offer interest free loans is a Green Loan.

    A Green Loan is a low interest loan that is specifically designed for those wanting to invest in green projects. A Green Loan’s low-interest rate means the savings you have accumulated from using your new solar system could potentially cover your loan repayments! A well-known and reputable name amongst the market is RateSetter who are supported by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and offer rates as low as 6.9% p.a.

    Read more on Green Loans and other Finance options here

  • I’m Waiting For Batteries To Become Affordable So I Can Install With The Solar System

    Many homeowners in Australia are holding off from installing a solar system until batteries become more affordable so they can install a solar system with battery storage in one go. Whilst this might sound like the simplest option it’s not the most cost-effective. This is due to the savings through reduced bills that you’ll be missing out on whilst waiting for batteries to come down in price.

    To avoid missing out on solar savings a proactive option would be to install a battery ready solar system without a battery and start reducing your electricity bills now. You can then add a battery in the future easily when they become more affordable.

    Read our Blog “Should I Wait For Battery Prices To Drop Before Installing” to find out more.

     

  • Quotes I Received To Install Were Too Expensive

    The price tag of any big purchase like a solar system can be daunting and be an immediate deterrent, however, a solar system should be viewed as a long-term investment for your household. These days solar systems have become quite an affordable and worthwhile investment with the assistance of Government Rebates as well as the drop in upfront costs for systems and installations in recent years.

    If you combine these two factors with your potential electricity bill savings that you’ll make from generating your own free energy and having less reliance on the grid, an average home with solar can expect a return on investment within 3-5 years. Considering a good quality solar system has a lifespan of 20-25 years, that’s approximately 20 years of just savings!

If you’re considering solar or battery you can find out more information in our Beginners Guide To Solar Power or start speaking to installers and receive obligation free quotes to start comparing your options!

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Download Your FREE Beginner’s Guide To Solar Power!

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 "Beginner’s Guide To Solar Power".

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!

Download Your Free Copy Now!

 

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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.