Are solar panels worth it?
Thinking about getting solar panels? Not sure if they will save you money?
With electricity prices rising, many Australians have installed solar panels to try and avoid high power bills, but are they worth the investment?
It’s almost an Australian rite of passage to spend summers sitting under a fan, or by an open door hoping to capture any breeze to avoid a big electricity bill. In the last decade electricity prices have increased by more than 60 per cent and the average Australian pays $1524 annually. So it’s understandable many of us try to avoid the temptation of turning the air conditioner on.
But you should be you able to stay cool and comfortable without the high power bills.
How much does a solar system cost?
The cost to install a solar power system varies depending on the size and quality. Although prices have come down dramatically since 2012, systems still cost several thousands of dollars.
A solar power system will take several years to pay off, with the exact amount of time depending on the amount of sunlight, how much electricity you use, your solar feed-in-tariff and how much you pay for electricity.
You can get the best value from your solar panels if you use energy during the day, since this is when your panels are creating electricity from the sun. Using an energy monitoring system that most solar systems come with you can monitor when you’re solar panels are creating lots of electricity and turn on your dishwasher, washing machine, air-conditioner or pool pump. Or you can time your power hungry appliances to use turn on when your panels are creating electricity, lowering your power bill and getting the best value from your solar panels.
How much can you earn from solar panels?
In basic terms, installing a solar power system is a worthwhile investment. Your electricity bill will reduce because you won’t be relying on as much energy from the grid. Also any excess solar power you produce can be sold and used to offset your electricity bill.
Solar self-consumption means to use/consume the solar power you generate. Self-consuming your solar generated energy is your best option to get value out of your panels. You can also sell your excess into the grid and receive some credits on your bill. See the below estimates of what you might earn from your solar feed-in-tariff.
Annual FIT & offset value based on 3kw System
|Location||Based on 35% of electricity
being fed into the grid
|Based on 25% of electricity
being fed into the grid
|New South Wales||$1126||$934|
Estimations on annual FIT & Offset values are provided from the Clean Energy Council of Australia.
How much can you save with solar?
The more energy you use from your panels, the more money you’ll save on your electricity bill. With an energy monitoring system, you can monitor how much energy you’re using each day and estimate how much you’re paying daily for your electricity.
Monitoring can help you keep track of how much your electricity consumption is costing you and tweak how you use your appliances to get the best value from them by monitoring your electricity consumption.
Will it add value to our property?
Lets face it - electricity bills aren’t looking likely to get cheaper anytime soon. In NSW it’s expected there’ll be an annual average increase of 3.9 per cent ,with Victoria tipped to rise 3.5 per cent over the next two years, according to Analysing the Australian Energy Market Commission’s 2016 Residential Electricity Price Trends report.
With more expensive electricity bills, solar will be increasingly attractive to buyers – and tenants, if you plan to rent your property – which makes your property more valuable.
A survey conducted by realestate.com.au and Origin Energy found that 85 per cent of Australians identify solar rooftop panels as a factor that adds to a property’s value.
In addition, they discovered three quarters of renters said they would pay additional rent to live in a property with solar energy, with two out of five saying they’d be willing to pay an extra $10 a week.
So are solar panels worth it?
The short answer is yes, but to get the best value out of your panels you will need to carefully monitoring your system and you energy use to reduce your power bills by tracking how and when your family uses energy.