7 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels in Australia

7 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels in Australia

Last updated on October 5, 2023

Have you been thinking of going solar in Australia? Before you go all in and sign up for those shiny new panels, there are a few critical things you should consider.

Installing solar is a big decision that requires a serious investment in terms of both time and money. You want to make sure you go in with realistic expectations about what solar power can do for you. How much can you actually save?

How will it impact the value of your home? Will the savings outweigh the costs over the lifetime of the system?


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    How Sunny is the Area

    Thinking of going solar in Australia? The amount of sunlight your roof gets is crucial.

    Check how many hours of direct sunlight your roof receives, especially during midday. The more the better! Areas that get many clear sunny days year-round like Queensland and Western Australia are ideal.

    Remember, sunlight levels vary over the seasons, so make sure there’s enough sunlight during winter too, when your system will be working the hardest to power your home.

    Think about any shadows that could fall on your roof from nearby trees or buildings. They can significantly impact the amount of sunlight that reaches your panels. It may be worth trimming or removing them.

    Also read; Determining Your Solar Needs

    Energy Consumption in Your Area

    Before going solar in Australia, check how much energy you actually use. The number of panels and batteries you’ll need depends on it.

    • Look at old utility bills to see your average daily kWh usage. The higher it is, the more panels you’ll need.
    • Note how much more you use in summer vs. winter. Australia’s hot summers often spike A/C usage, so plan for enough capacity.
    • Check if your usage varies a lot. In that case, more battery storage could help, where excess solar energy can be stored for when you need it most.
    • Check if your utility offers time-of-use rates. Using more power during off-peak means smaller panels and batteries should still offset enough of your bill.
    • Consider if you’ll be getting an electric vehicle soon. In that case, its charging needs must be factored into your solar system size.

    Government Rebates and Financial Options

    The Australian government currently offers generous solar rebates and incentives to encourage more people to go solar. The main options are:

    • Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme: Gives you tradable certificates for the energy your solar panels produce. You can sell these certificates to energy retailers to earn money back on your system.
    • Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs): Your energy provider will pay you for any excess solar energy you export to the grid. FiT rates vary between providers and states.
    • Low Interest Loans: The government offers low or zero interest loans for solar and renewable energy. This allows you to pay for your system over time with interest rates as low as 3-4%.
    • Rebates: Some local governments and councils offer additional solar rebates and grants for residents. Check with your local council to see if any solar rebates are available in your area.

    Small-Scale Technology Certificates

    The Australian government offers rebates and incentives for installing solar panels through the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). As a homeowner, you’ll receive Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) for the energy your solar system produces.

    Each STC has a monetary value and can be sold to lower the overall cost of your solar panel system.

    The total number of STCs you receive will depend on the size of your solar system, the area where you live, and current STC prices. On average, STCs can cover 25-40% of your total system cost.

    Installation Time

    The time it takes to install solar panels in Australia can vary depending on the size of your system and roof, but you can expect the actual installation to take around 1 to 3 days for an average residential property.

    However, the overall process from signing a contract to final inspection can take 3 to 6 weeks or longer.

    Some key things to keep in mind:

    • Plan ahead and be available for consultations, signing contracts, permits and scheduling prior to installation.
    • Clear your roof and attic of any debris. The installers will need full access.
    • Make sure your roof is in good condition with no leaks or damage before installing panels. Any necessary repairs will require more time.
    • Installation times can vary based on weather conditions. Expect possible delays if there are high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
    • Once panels are installed, it can take a few weeks for final inspections.

    Feed-in Tariffs

    The Australian government offers incentives for homeowners to install solar panels through the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme.

    As part of this scheme, you may be eligible for feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for the excess energy your solar panels generate and export back to the grid. FiTs allow you to earn money in return for this exported power.

    Rates will depend on your energy retailer and location but are typically between 5 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    The more solar panels you install, the more you can potentially earn from FiTs. However, FiT rates have declined over the years as solar has become more affordable. Check with your energy provider for the latest FiT rates in your area to determine how much you may earn.

    Orientation of Your Roof

    The orientation of your roof plays an important role in how much sunlight your solar panels will receive on a daily and yearly basis. For optimal energy generation, aim for a north-facing roof. North-facing panels will receive the most direct sunlight over the course of a day.

    East or west-facing roofs can work too, but your panels may receive shade for parts of the day. South-facing roofs are not ideal as panels can overheat in the intense Australian sun.

    Consider the pitch or angle of your roof as well. A steeper pitch, like 30 to 45 degrees, is best as it allows for optimal sun exposure.

    Flatter roofs will require the panels to be mounted at an angle to properly face the sun. In some cases, a ground mount system where panels are secured in an open area of your yard may be better than a flat roof.

    The ideal installation space is a north-facing roof with a 30 to 45-degree pitch, which will maximize the amount of solar energy received.


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      Anything else you would like to ask us regarding our services and offers? Please feel free to get in touch and our friendly staff will assist you.

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      So there you have it, 7 essential things you need to think about if you want to go solar in Australia.

      Making the switch to solar power is a big decision, but also an exciting opportunity to take control of your energy usage and bills.

      Just do your research, understand the costs and savings, find reputable installers, choose a system that’s right for your needs, and enjoy all the benefits of harnessing the sun’s energy. The future is shining bright for solar Down Under, now go catch some of those rays!

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      E-Green Electrical

      E-Green Electrical is a top tier energy efficiency company based in Sydney. We focus on utilising government rebates to help reduce our clients energy consumption by installing energy efficient solutions. E-Green boasts a rich heritage within the realm of energy efficiency, consistently staying up to date with cutting-edge technologies to deliver optimal results for our valued customers.

      We don't just sell products and services; we also provides tips and information on how to help reduce energy consumption. We believe in using energy wisely and teaching others how to do the same. For E-Green, it’s important to share knowledge with the community. That's why we regularly write articles about saving energy, new government rebates available and increasing sustainability.

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