Solar panels are leading the way as an alternative energy source for residential homes in Australia. Since we enjoy some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it makes good financial sense to take advantage of this and install solar panels on your roof.
As well as being an effective source of energy, going solar has positive benefits for the environment. With solar power you don’t have to worry about greenhouse gasses, it’s totally environmentally friendly.
Solar power means you can also enjoy energy-independence from grid electricity, always handy when there are power failures, and consistently cheap rates because, unlike energy companies, the price of the sun won’t go up.
Do solar panels actually generate enough power to make a difference?
The answer is ‘yes’, in general, solar panels can convert approximately 15-40% of the sun’s energy into electricity, depending on what type you get.
How much do solar panels cost?
Around five years ago the cost of solar panels in Australia wasn’t exactly cheap. You were looking at between $17,000 to $20,000 for a 5kW system. But according to Australian solar quotes, the same 5kW system can now be purchased for as little as $7,000.
A 5kW system featuring 20 solar panels is considered the average for a medium-sized household with a normal amount of appliances. But systems can go up to 10kW with 40 solar panels. The bigger the system, the more it will cost, but big may not always be better if you don’t need as much power as a larger system generates.
If you reduce the amount of electricity you use before you install a solar system, e.g using the washing machine less or switching off appliances, you can save money by getting a smaller array.
Other factors that can affect solar
There are other aspects that can also affect how much solar energy you can produce. We’ll take a look at a couple of them.
Your roof - the size and shape of your roof can affect how many solar panels you can install. A flat roof that’s oriented to the sun for long periods throughout the day will generate more power than a roof that’s steep and less sunny.
Type and model - what kind of solar panels you install can affect the efficiency of the system. Monocrystalline panels are more expensive but have a higher efficiency than polycrystalline panels.
How much does solar power save on electricity bills?
Solar panels will definitely save you money but how much depends on where you live, the size of your system and your average energy consumption.
For example, a system in Queensland will yield more solar energy than the same system in Melbourne, simply because it’s a sunnier region.
These figures below show the average annual savings from a 3kW system for different states:
- Queensland - $1146
- Northern Territory - $1046
- New South Wales - $1126
- South Australia - $1126
- Western Australia - $1128
- ACT - $950
- Victoria - $866
- Tasmania - $866
If you’re thinking about buying solar panels or need someone to install them, head to Bricks+Agent to get quotes and review the top solar panel installation specialists in your local area. For more homeowner hints delivered straight to your inbox sign up to our monthly newsletter below!