Adelaide, SA is a great place for solar power – and did you know that 30-40% of homes in the Adelaide area have solar panels installed on their roofs? 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. This article outlines the basics of what you need to know about going solar in Adelaide.
Four reasons solar power is a good idea in Adelaide
1. Lots of sunshine
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.
|Solar PV system output in Adelaide (Popular system sizes)|
|Solar system size (kilowatts)
||Avg daily system output (kilowatt-hours)|
What do these energy output numbers mean for my home?
When you look at your electricity bill, you should be able to see your energy usage listed in kilowatt-hours (kWh) – the standard units used in electricity billing. Your kWh consumption will vary by season and month. You should be able to figure out roughly how many kWh you use per day on average by looking at your old electricity bills. Knowing this number will help you choose the right solar system size.
We have developed a tool to help you select a solar PV system size based on the amount of energy that you consume and your consumption pattern:
2. Incentives for solar power in Adelaide
Up-front ‘discounts’ on system installation prices through the federal Renewable Energy Target
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 around 30% of the total system cost. This incentive should be automatically applied to the price of your system by your installer – you won’t have to take any action yourself to claim it.
Adelaide City Council’s rebates for solar PV & energy storage
Adelaide city council offers a generous rebate for solar PV and battery storage 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 Sustainable City Incentive Scheme. These rebates are paid out after the system has been installed.
Feed-in tariffs in South Australia (no longer really relevant)
On 30 September 2013, South Australia’s feed-in tariff scheme closed to new applicants and no program has been introduced to replace it. If you are considering installing a solar PV system today (in 2016), it makes the most economic sense if you 1) install a solar system that will not generate more electricity than you require during daylight hours, and 2) endeavour to use as much solar energy as possible while it is being generated – i.e. during sunshine hours.
Although some electricity retailers do credit customers 6-10c/kWh (check out the government’s EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au to compare current offerings) of solar electricity exported to the grid, this is a nominal offering. The biggest solar savings can be achieved by consuming solar power as it is generated. By doing so, building occupants can avoid purchasing electricity from the grid in the first place – effectively making each kWh of solar power worth as much as each kWh of power purchased from the grid.
3. Competitive solar PV system prices
As mentioned above, Australian solar system installation prices are among the lowest in the world – we know because we’ve been keeping track for a few years now with our monthly Solar PV Price Index articles. However, to get the freshest possible look at the market, we recommend that you request a Solar Quote Comparison.
Instantly compare current prices for a range of installers & system sizes in Adelaide: Request a Solar Quote Comparison by entering your details into the form to the right of this page.
4. Solar PV systems in Adelaide are still a good investment
As the table below illustrates, payback times for solar systems in Adelaide can be quite short and savings quite large. Keep in mind that the results in the table are based on average Adelaide prices – lower system prices will yield even better results.
We just urge that you make sure that the system you’re purchasing uses quality components and is installed by a reputable installer. Lower prices don’t always indicate lower quality, but they should be approached with a healthy degree of caution – remember that a solar system should last up to 25 years (with inverter replacements every 7-10 years). Any system downtime will reduce savings and extend the payback period – not to mention costs incurred for any repairs not covered by the system’s warranty.
Indicative returns for solar systems @ average Adelaide prices
(Assuming 85% system efficiency, 20kWh electricity consumption/day, retail electricity @ 27c/kWh, solar feed-in rate @ 8c/kWh)
|@ 50% self-consumption||@ 85% self-consumption||@ 50% self-consumption||@ 85% self-consumption|
|~6.9 year payback||~5 year payback||~5.7 year payback||~4.1 year payback|
|~13% IRR||~20% IRR||~17% IRR||~25% IRR|
|~$472 annual savings||~$660 annual savings||~$630 annual savings||~$885 annual savings|
|@ 50% self-consumption||@ 85% self-consumption||@ 50% self-consumption||85% self-consumption|
|~4.9 year payback||~3.5 year payback||~4.3 year payback||~3 year payback|
|~20% IRR||~29% IRR||~24% IRR||~34% IRR|
|~$945 annual savings||~$1,330 annual savings||~$1,580 annual savings||~$2,200 annual savings|
Finding the best solar deals in Adelaide
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.
Ready to shop for solar? Compare solar quotes from installers in your area.
© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
(Top image: Doug Barber, image via Wikipedia)