Newcastle, just north of Sydney, is a good place to install a solar PV system, even after the closure of NSW’s Solar Bonus feed-in tariff incentive scheme. The cost of installing a solar power system has never been lower, and there are up-front financial incentives available through the Federal Solar Credits rebate scheme, so purchasing a system has never been more affordable. What’s more, rising electricity rates across Australia mean that returns on investment for solar-equipped households and businesses will continue to improve as time goes on.
Advantages of owning a solar power system in Newcastle
Harnessing Newcastle’s sun
Finding the best deal on solar PV in Newcastle, or anywhere in NSW, requires an understanding how a solar PV system could potentially benefit a home or business. Solar panels produce electricity only when there is sunlight, and how much electricity is generated depends on its intensity and duration. As an annual average, a rooftop in Newcastle receives around 3.9 hours of sun per day–although this number will be higher in summer and lower in winter, and accordingly so will the output of a solar power system. With a 1.5kW solar array, 3.9 hours of peak sun will give around 5.85kWh of solar power. A 2kW system in Newcastle will generate approximately 7.8kWh of electricity, while a 3kW system in Newcastle will produce around 11.7kWh per day, and a 5kW system will generate around 19.5kWh per day.
Home electricity consumption vs solar PV system generation in Newcastle
Demand for electricity in any given household or business varies with power usage patterns. For explanatory purposes, however, one can assume that the average 3-person home consumes around 20 kilowatt-hours (kWh, or units) of electricity per day, on average throughout the year–usually more in the summer and less in the winter. You can determine your own electricity usage by looking at a recent power bill. The right system size for a Newcastle resident is the one that produces just enough electricity to meet daytime electricity needs. This will depend on the household or business in question. Solar systems in NSW offer the best value to those who use a significant portion of their power during daylight hours. You can either refer to the numbers above to determine the best size for you, or get in touch with a Solar Choice broker (on 1300 78 72 73), who would be happy to assist with free, impartial advice.
Federal Government Solar Rebates for Newcastle, NSW
The federal government provides what are in effect up-front subsidies on the cost of installing solar PV systems up to 100kW in capacity. Systems under 100kW in capacity are considered to be ‘small-scale’ under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, and are therefore eligible to create Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). STCs are a tradable type of renewable energy currency which ‘big polluters’ are obligated to purchase. Generally, STCs will take off anywhere from 60-70c per watt (W) off the cost of installing a solar system. The STC discount is automatically figured in to solar installation prices by most installers, as well as in Solar Choice’s own Solar Quote Comparisons.
Finding the best solar deals in Newcastle
Good return on investment and short payback periods on solar PV systems depend first on finding the best deal possible on a solar power system. The best bet is to find a reasonable price for a reasonable quality system. Brokering the best deal on solar power installations is what Solar Choice does best, with a network of over 70 installers Australia-wide. Solar Choice’s head office is located in Manly, NSW. However, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, Solar Choice matches up potential solar PV customers with installers who service their area–anywhere in Australia, including Newcastle. With a bird’s-eye-view of the solar market, Solar Choice is in a great position to identify the best deals on offer and help find the solar system that best suits a customer’s needs and budget. Request a Solar Quote Comparison today by filling out the form to the right of this page, or call us on 1300 78 72 73. © 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd (Top image via Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)
He holds a master's degree in Environmental Management from UNSW, and a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Bridgewater State University in his native Massachusetts.
He currently works remotely for Solar Choice from New York City.
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