Solar Panels Cost

David Attenborough told you to decarbonise on Netflix and your mate won’t stop banging on about how much his bills have shrunk thanks to his new cheap solar panels.

Regardless of why you want solar, make sure you know how much solar panels cost and when it’s OK to choose cheap solar panels.

How much are solar panels?

How much are solar panels? It depends what you go for.

Here are some rough estimates:

Budget Combo Mid-Range Combo Top-End Combo
Price per watt $0.66 $0.85 $1.20
Price for a 6.6kW solar system* $4,396 $5,661 $7,992
Example Components JinkoSolar panels Growatt inverter Canadian Solar panels Sungrow inverter SunPower Maxeon panels Fronius inverter

*Out of pocket price after STC discount.

It’s hard to say exactly what solar panels cost. Here are some of the factors which will impact the cost of a solar system:

  • System size
  • Complexity of install (Got a complicated roof? Complicated installs take longer so will cost you a bit more)
  • Brand – both the panels and the inverter brands you choose and their warranties
  • Retailer or Installer you choose and their own warranty and customer support quality
  • Supply chain pressures and the value of the Aussie Dollar
  • Your State Governement’s solar incentives and rebates

The only way to be 100% sure what solar panels cost is to get 3 quotes from suppliers tailored to your home!

Or read on to learn more…

Here are just a few of the most common questions we get asked EVERY DAY by our readers when it comes to what solar panel cost:

  1. How much do solar panels cost? (duh!)
  2. Is it OK to buy cheap solar panels?
  3. What should I look out for if I can only afford cheap solar panels?

Here we tackle all these questions and more.

First up: there’s nothing wrong with cheap solar panels. BUT, before you hand your money over, there are a few things to look out for if you want a budget system with cheap solar panels.

Let’s start by looking at what makes cheap solar panels cheap, and pricier solar panels pricey.

Or do you simply want a professional to tell you how much solar panels cost for your home? Complete this form and we’ll connect you with 3 solar suppliers, local to your area, ready to send you their quotes to compare.

4 Key Factors that Determine What Solar Panels Cost

1. Solar system size affects what solar panels cost

This may sound obvious – make sure your solar system isn’t too big or too small. Your roof may fit 10kW worth of solar panels, but buying a smaller and therefore cheaper 6.6kW solar system may be all you need.

If you’re trying to figure out what solar panels cost based on the right system size for your home we recommend using our free Solar Panel Calculator.

2. Panel Brand affect what solar panels cost

A Ferrari costs way more than a Hyundai, but they both get you from A to B. As in every industry, the brand and quality delivered by that brand affects solar panel price.

Cheap solar panels may not capture as much sunlight or tolerate shade as well when compared to more sophisticated options. However, the smaller upfront cost teamed with a lower efficiency panel may still deliver you an excellent return on investment. Just make sure you don’t get stung by cheap solar panels which are junky and prone to early failure and breakage – that will just end up costing you more.

If you do opt for cheap solar panels, check:

  • Online reviews
  • The brand has people on the ground in Australian to help if something breaks; and
  • The product and performance warranties

Just remember, reputable brands with proven track records, great after sales customer service and robust warranties will inevitably charge more. If you sacrifice on price don’t be surprised if it comes at the cost of at least one of these perks!

Here’s an example of 3 brands hitting different price points:

What We Love What We Don’t Like
Top-End
  • Heavily established and reputable – been around for over 35 years, one of the longest in the solar industry
  • Australian office in Melbourne
  • 40 year replacement product warranty
  • Headquartered in the USA with manufacturing in Malaysia, the Philippines and Mexico
  • Expect a longer payback period due to premium upfront costs.
Mid-Range
  • Great value for money
  • Headquartered in Canada with manufacturing in Canada, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil
  • Higher than average efficiency
  • 25 year product warranty
  • Strong Australian Presence
  • Lower panel efficiency and shorter warranty when compared to premium brands like SunPower
Budget-Friendly
  • 30 year performance warranty and 15 year product warranty
  • Australian presence
  • Cheaper materials can be more prone to faults

Top-End

What We Love
  • Heavily established and reputable – been around for over 35 years, one of the longest in the solar industry
  • Australian office in Melbourne
  • 40 year replacement product warranty
  • Headquartered in the USA with manufacturing in Malaysia, the Philippines and Mexico
What We Don’t Like
  • Expect a longer payback period due to premium upfront costs.

Mid-Range

What We Love
  • Great value for money
  • Headquartered in Canada with manufacturing in Canada, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil
  • Higher than average efficiency
  • 25 year product warranty
  • Strong Australian Presence
What We Don’t Like
  • Lower panel efficiency and shorter warranty when compared to premium brands like SunPower

Budget-Friendly

What We Love
  • 30 year performance warranty and 15 year product warranty
  • Australian presence
What We Don’t Like
  • Cheaper materials can be more prone to faults

3. Warranty affects what solar panels cost

Unfortunately, some warranties are not worth the paper they are written on so be wary.

Lengths, but more so STRENGTH of warranty is extremely important, particularly for a system that is going to be exposed to harsh Australian conditions.

We all know you get what you pay for. Paying a bit more for a reputable brand will not only carry longer warranties, but will also be backed by suitable operations on the ground in Australia to honor the warranty if you need it. 

4. Choice of Inverter affects what solar panels cost

The solar panels might seem like the star of the show, but it’s your solar inverter that does a lot of the heavy lifting. It converts the DC energy produced by your panels into usable AC electricity that runs your aircon and washing machine. 

Choose wisely – the inverter is actually the single most expensive component of your system. Your inverter will also have a much shorter warranty than your panels as they have a shorter lifetime. Expect to replace your inverter before you need to replace your panels.

How subsidies affect what solar panels cost

The Australian Federal Government and some state governments offer solar subsidies.

These incentives affect how much solar panels cost from state to state. Find out what’s available in your state below:

Still have unanswered questions? Have a read through our FAQs based on what our customers have been asking us about what solar panels cost:

FAQs

Expect to pay between AU$0.66 and AU$1.20 per watt for supply and install for your entire system (panels, inverter, install, approvals and everything else to make it work).

However it depends on where you live in Australia. Hobart and Darwin tend to be more expensive than the other capital cities. The rest are pretty similar, with Perth often coming in the cheapest. 

For a more accurate answer to ‘how much do solar panels cost in Australia?’ specific for your region, use our solar panel calculator to figure out your ideal system size and then get 3 free quotes from the experts at Solar Market.

Yes and no. If you want to save money upfront when you install your solar system, choosing cheap solar panels could be worth it.

If you need to cut costs anywhere, save money on your panels, and put more towards your inverter (and battery if you’re getting one).

Or choose a reputable installer who’s been around for a long time and has a super established service department.

Cheap solar panels from a reputable manufacturer can be all good so long as you choose a great quality installer with first class post-installation care!

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