Is solar power worth it in Melbourne? We’re asked this question many times a day, and for most homes and businesses solar makes a lot of sense.
There are currently two great rebates available, plus an interest free loan from Solar Victoria that help significantly reduce the cost of solar, meaning that nearly all Solaray customers are now choosing a top of the range system for additional performance, reliability and longevity.
What are the options for Victorians who are thinking about installing solar, and do they really pay off?
Making The Most Of The Victorian Solar Rebate
There are two main options to approach solar in Melbourne thanks to the additional rebates:
- Get a system that is close to free, or at least ‘no money down’
- Use the additional savings to ‘upgrade’ to a much better quality system
Cheap Solar Is Cheap For A Reason!
If you’ve done any research into solar pricing you will have seen some unbelievable deals advertised.
And unbelievable is exactly what they are. Cheap Panels, a cheap inverter, and often a cheap installation.
Cheap Chinese imports like these cost less upfront, but they most likely will not perform like a good-quality system and won’t give you the same savings over the years that follow. It’s safe to say that this type of solar isn’t worth it.
In recent years the Clean Energy Council revealed that about 1 in 5 systems failed inspection and needed to be decommissioned.
It also found that an incredible 78% of all panels installed in Australia couldn’t produce the amount of power they were rated for and that almost half had lower-quality components substituted into them. These problems are widespread where manufacturers and importers don’t put in the effort to closely monitor every aspect of the products they’re getting.
Ads for low-quality systems often include words like ‘tier 1’ and ‘top solar company’, but as Choice warns consumers, “extremely cheap sale offers like this are a big red flag, and the products are likely to give you problems within a few years. They’re also likely to be installed in a rush, leaving you with the possibility of parts breaking down and even causing safety issues”.
Be extremely wary of short warranties on workmanship (less than 5 years), and anyone who won’t assess your property for shade, angle etc before giving you a quote.
Warranties are also only worth anything if your installer stays in business!
The solar industry is notorious for short-lived companies leaving their customers without support. ASIC lists an incredible 650 solar companies that have closed, gone into liquidation/administration or similarly left the market since 2011, and it’s estimated that one-third of Aussie solar systems are ‘orphaned’ by their installers, which means that they will not be able to access any system support for warranty claims.
Solar Power in Melbourne You Can Count On
A good quality, properly installed solar system pays off to a degree that surprises many people. With two rebates slashing the cost of solar products in Victoria, these top-quality solar systems are more affordable than ever.
Take an average 10kW solar system, for example. The federal government’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is over $4500, lowering the purchase price at which the system is sold. Eligible Melbourne buyers can then also claim the state government’s Solar Homes rebate, which covers up to half of the remaining cost up to $1400.
Based on the average numbers, a 10kW system is capable of cutting thousands of dollars off your yearly power bills, even if you only use around 70% of the solar power as it is generated. This means the system can pay for itself in as little as 3-5 years. Depending on your power needs, larger or smaller systems also offer significant savings.
Your power bill with a solar system in Melbourne
While a majority of homes can benefit from solar power, Solaray usually recommends that to get a significant saving out of solar your quarterly power bill should be at least $400. The smallest system we typically install is 5kW, which can often save you around $400 a quarter, or even more if you are able to use most of the power it generates.
As a ballpark number, each kW of solar capability you install will save you up to around $100 per quarter if you’re able to use most of the solar power in the home as it is generated across the day (or store the excess in a battery to use in the evening). The more power your household consumes, the easier it is to save money when you install a solar power system.
If you generate more solar power you can use, you’ll get paid a credit on your power bill by your energy retailer of around 5-10 cents per kWh for the energy you’ve fed back into the grid.
The financial benefit of the feed-in tariff isn’t as great as the savings you make by using solar power in the home. The feed-in tariff is a part of the agreement you have with your energy retailer, and if you’d like a comparison point we are happy to recommend Energy Locals. They have competitive plans for houses with or without solar power.
Adding Battery Storage To Your Solar System
If the bulk of your electricity use is outside daylight hours, then adding a battery to your solar system can be a great way to use more of your excess solar power.
Battery technology has come a long way recently, and it’s now possible to save the solar power you don’t use during the day to keep things running overnight instead of relying on the grid after sunset.
Solaray offers your personal version of Elon Musk’s Tesla mega battery, the 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall. Tesla Powerwall is a high-quality product with advanced online monitoring that makes it easy for you to see how much energy you’re generating, storing and using in the home.
For more information about this and how to accurately size up a battery-ready solar system for your Melbourne property, request a quote today on 1300 525 451.
So Is Solar Power Worth It In Melbourne?
Generally, solar power is a great investment that can significantly reduce your power bills – for decades! In fact, a 10kW solar system can save you over $100,000 over the 25-year life of the system, and it can be the single most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re only prepared to buy the cheapest system, then there is a good chance your solar isn’t always going to be a great investment due to serious reliability issues. On the other hand, if you select quality solar products it’s possible to save a significant amount of money while also reducing your carbon footprint for decades to come.
For more information and a personalised quote, please contact the Solaray Team today