It’s important to be clear on your objectives for installing solar before you talk to a retailer or installer because this will inform the cost and payback of your solar system. Most people invest in solar panels to gain energy independence, lower their energy bill and support a more sustainable future. Make sure you ask the right questions of your retailer and installer so you get the full benefits of your investment in the long run.
Overall costs of your solar system will be determined by the size of the system, government rebates, your state, the quality of components, and your retailer. There are initial costs and rebates to consider as well as ongoing maintenance costs and feed in tariffs.
Typically, solar systems are made up of:
- Solar Panels
- Customer Interface
The cost of installing a solar power system will vary depending on the number of panels and the total electricity output required. A small solar set up will start at around $3,500. While a larger setup can cost up to $15,000. To ensure you get the right solar system for your property we recommend getting a quote from at least 3 solar installers.
Both federal and state governments pitch in to help bring down the cost of your solar installation.
The state government has its own rebate program through Solar Homes Victoria. These are rebates for solar panels, solar hot water, and even solar panels for renters. There is also an option for an interest free loan for up to the amount of the rebate. Check out their eligibility criteria.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (STCs) was set up by the Australian government to reduce the cost associated with installing solar power. Commonly known as ‘solar rebates’, STCs provide a significant discount to the cost of installing your solar system and will usually be applied during the initial purchase. This is typically handled by your installer but it’s best to check with your solar company.
Feed In Tariffs
Feed in tariffs are rates at which the retailer will buy back excess electricity that is generated by your solar PV system. The government mandates that the minimum rate per is 10.2c per kWh. Retailers may add to this rate, but cannot go below this rate unless you are on a time-varying scheme. The total amount that feed in tariffs will reduce your bill and your payback period depends on the amount you export.
Solar panels are built to last 25 years, and in that time they’ll build up grime. To ensure your system keeps running as effectively as possible, it’s important you keep it clean. Seasonal rain should keep your panels clean, but if you notice a build-up of dirt you can get them cleaned for around $10 – $20 each by an accredited solar installer.
It’s also recommended that your solar systems are inspected every 5 years by an accredited installer. This usually costs around $150-$250.
To see if solar is right for you, visit Solar in your home