Wondering if solar panels will really save you money on your energy costs? Read on as we explore whether solar is a worthy investment in 2018
Most Australians are no strangers to sweltering outdoor summers. With the high cost of electricity in some parts of the country, it’s only reasonable to avoid turning on the air conditioning. So perhaps solar panels are worth the investment in 2018?
What are the advantages of solar?
Australia receives sufficient sunlight to supply the country’s energy demands several times over. Sunlight is free, which means that, as a homeowner, you only need to pay for the purchase and installation of your solar electricity system. The renewable energy is provided freely to you by nature, with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Investing in solar for your home can bring about a range of benefits. Some of the main advantages include:
- Solar is environmentally-friendly. With a solar PV system, you can generate clean, renewable energy for your household and make a positive impact on the environment
- Solar panels can help you save on your energy bills
- Solar is becoming increasingly affordable
- Reduced reliance on the electricity grid
What solar system is best?
It is important to choose the right size and type of solar PV system for your home to ensure that your installation delivers a good return on your investment. Consider speaking to an expert to discuss what configuration would be best for your household energy requirements.
For example, systems which produce higher amounts of energy can better accommodate the needs of larger families, while smaller systems might be more cost-efficient for households with lower energy consumption habits.
Another consideration is whether to invest in battery solutions in addition to solar. With the right battery system in place, you can store excess electricity generated from your solar panels during the day. Stored energy can be drawn upon when solar panels aren’t producing sufficient amounts of electricity, such as at night-time or during overcast conditions where there’s reduced sunlight.
While it is more expensive to install a solar PV system with battery storage as compared to a solar only setup, investing in a solar and battery package can further reduce your reliance on the grid.
Is solar worth it?
Each solar energy installer has a standard pitch about how solar can save you thousands of dollars. In truth, your potential savings really depend on various factors. It is important to determine whether it makes sense for you.
- Your current electricity bill - Electricity rates vary throughout different states and territories. If you live in a state where you pay a high rate per kilowatt-hour, you’re probably a good candidate for solar.
- Solar setup costs - Equipment and installation costs will vary, depending on the company you engage. Be wary when you opt for a cheap company, though. You may save money in the short term, but with a quality installation from a reputable company using high-quality equipment, you are more likely to save more money over the service life of your solar panels.
- Daily sunlight hours - Australia is bathed in abundant sunshine many days of the year, which is beneficial to solar, but if your panels are going to be exposed to shade for large parts of the day, solar may not be suitable. Daily sunlight levels differ across Australia.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme1 provides eligible renewable energy systems with small-scale technology certificates. These certificates can be sold to recoup some of the investment.
If you’re looking for a solar PV solution that can help you save on your energy bills while generating clean, renewable energy without relying on the grid, opt for a system with:
- anti-reflective, anti-soiling surfaces;
- outstanding performance in low-light environments; and
- a warranty of up to 12 years.
Always work with reputable Australian companies when you are looking for a solar PV system.
The final word
Be sure to consider available sunlight hours, the cost of grid-supplied power and your ability to invest. By doing this, you could find that solar is worth it in 2018.
- "Small-scale systems eligible for certificates - Clean Energy Regulator." http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Scheme-participants-and-industry/Agents-and-installers/Small-scale-systems-eligible-for-certificates. Accessed 20 Dec, 2017.