Adelaide, SA is a great place for solar power. With the cost of solar power at historic lows and electricity rates higher than ever, more and more Adelaide homes and businesses are making the move to solar. The motivation to do so is made even stronger thanks to generous federal, state, and city-level incentives.
Going solar in Adelaide: Benefits and options
Find the best solar deals in Adelaide and harness the power of the sun
Finding the best deal on solar PV in Adelaide, (or anywhere in Australia), requires understanding what a solar PV system potentially offers its owner. Solar panels produce electricity only when the sun is shining, and how much electricity is generated depends on the intensity and duration of the sunshine.
The average Adelaide rooftop receives 4 hours of peak sun per day, averaged across the year. This number will be higher in summer and lower in winter, and the output of a solar system will fluctuate accordingly. With a 1.5kW solar array, 4 hours of peak sun will generate approximately 6kWh of electricity. A 2kW system in Adelaide will generate approximately 8kWh of electricity, a 3kW system in Adelaide will produce around 12kWh per day, and a 5kW system will generate around 20kWh per day.
Solar panel electricity production vs energy use in Adelaide
What size solar PV system should you buy for my home or business? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including budget and aims.
Electricity usage habits differ from house to house and from business to business. As a rule of thumb, however, an average 3-person home will use around 20kWh of electricity per day. A 5kW system will therefore produce roughly enough electricity to cover the needs of a 3-person household.
However, a system of this size may be outside the budget range of certain households or businesses, who may instead opt to install a system with the intention of reducing their electricity bill.
Federal Government Solar Rebates
The federal government offers up-front incentives in the form of ‘small-scale technology certificates’ (STCs). STCs significantly reduce the cost of having a solar PV system installed, typically by as much as 55-70c per watt, depending on the market price for STCs.
Adelaide City Council’s Solar Rebate Scheme
Adelaide city council offers a generous rebate for solar PV systems installed in the 5000 and 5006 post codes and which meet certain eligibility criteria. You can read more about this scheme here: Adelaide City Council Solar Rebate scheme. These rebates are paid out after the system has been installed.
SA’s Transitional Feed-in Tariff + Generating your own power
Solar PV system owners in South Australia stand to benefit in two separate ways: 1) being paid for excess power under SA’s Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme, and 2) from consuming the solar electricity from their system as it is generated, thereby reducing the amount of electricity purchased from the grid in the first place.
Fortunately, with a Feed-in Tariff of 23c/kWh (generally higher than the retail rate of electricity), Adelaide residents don’t need to be home and consuming their solar electricity to benefit from having a solar system–for the time being, exporting to the grid is more economical than using the solar electricity directly.
The SA Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff is composed of 2 separate components–a steady rate of 16c/kWh plus a ‘retailer contribution‘ of 7.1c/kWh for the remainder of 2012. The latter component is expected to continue rising (at a rate of several cents per year) as time goes on to match the ‘real value’ of solar power to the electricity grid, while the former is scheduled to expire on 30 September 2016.
This means that after 30 September 2016, unless the retailer’s contribution has jumped to a rate equal to or nearly equal to the cost of retail electricity, it will make more sense for solar system owners to consume as much of their electricity as possible at home; to favour self-consumption over export to the grid.
Finding the best solar deals in Adelaide
Good return on investment and short payback periods on solar PV systems are predicated on finding the best deal possible on a solar PV system. Most solar PV customers, knowing that cutting corners by looking only for the cheapest system possible can result in future disappointment, look for high-quality components at reasonable prices. Solar Choice, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, is uniquely positioned to identify the best deals on offer anywhere in Australia. Solar Choice can then match customers up with installers to help them find the solar system that best suits their 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: Doug Barber, image via Wikipedia)
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.