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The Economics of Investing in Solar

The Economics of Investing in Solar

One of the questions we hear frequently at Solar Australia is, ‘How long will it take for me to see a return on my solar investment?’ Well, unfortunately there’s no easy answer to this question as there are a few factors to consider when investing in solar.

However, some simple calculations could give you an outline of your individual payback period.

Households that use a large portion of electricity during the day, or can set their appliances to run on timers in the day, are a great fit for solar and could see a short payback period of just four to five years.

If the residents of your home are out of the house during the day at work or school, you’ll typically pay back your investment after about 8-10 years.

A good-quality solar energy system has a lifespan of about 25 years so many people have minimal energy costs after they’ve paid back their system.

In saying that, let’s have a look at the factors that could impact upon your payback period as well as some ways you can get more out of your investment.

Your upfront costs

The cost of getting your home or business to go solar includes the purchase of solar panels, an inverter, a meter and possibly a battery and then you’ll have installation costs too. These costs will vary depending on the size of your home or office and whether you purchase a battery to store your solar power.

Electricity savings

The savings you expect from the reduction in electricity usage from the grid will vary depending on:

Feed-in tariffs

States and territories across Australia have had a range of feed-in tariff schemes (FiTs), some of which are still in place and others have expired. FiTs are an incentive for people with solar panels to feed electricity back to the grid. If those with solar are generating more power than they use, in certain states those people can be paid for the additional power their system puts back into the electricity grid. It’s a good idea to check your state’s sustainability website for more information on FiTs that apply in your region. Feed-in tariffs can make a significant difference to the payback time on your solar investment. A federal FiT scheme has been proposed but hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Government rebates

To offset your initial investment in solar, some Federal Government rebates could be available to you. Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), the value of your rebate will be determined by how much power your solar energy system is expected to generate and where you live in Australia. The rebates come in the form of solar credits, which are typically calculated by the supplier of your solar energy system and offered as a discount on the purchase price of that system.

The team at Solar Australia can show you all of the options available to you so you can make the best choice for your needs. We sell and install a range of well-known solar panels and batteries. Customers are also welcome to visit us in-person at our office in Sandgate in Newcastle.

Solar Australia is a member of the Clean Energy Council and an approved solar retailer. We abide by the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, which means we provide a five-year, whole-of-system warranty on the solar panels and batteries that we sell and install.