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.

The table below provides an overview of how much energy you can expect some common residential solar system sizes to generate, assuming that they are north-facing and about 85% efficient.

Solar PV system output in Adelaide (Popular system sizes)
Solar system size (kilowatts)
Avg daily system output (kilowatt-hours)
1.5kW 6.9kWh
2kW 9.2kWh
3kW 13.8kWh
4kW 18.4kWh
5kW 23.1kWh
10kW 46.2kWh

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:

Check out our Solar PV System Sizing Estimator Tool here

Solar system sizing calculator Brisbane screenshot

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 generatedBy 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)

1.5kW 2kW
$3,400 $3,700
@ 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
3kW 5kW
$4,780 $6,900
@ 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

Calculate indicative solar power system returns & payback periods for Adelaide, SA

calculator icon

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)

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shane November 13, 2015 at 4:09 am

Hello. Can you help?? I am purchasing a house which has a 18 year contract for 5 kW solar power system on it. It is 3 years into the contract according to the owners who advised me that I now get that benefit for the next 15 years at the same contracted price of 24 cents per kw as I am taking over the property and contract now. I can find it in any current legislation that this is the case. I saw it was on your page from 2011 however. So just want to know where I stand as when I rang the company they said I am legible for 5 cents :( ??

Reply

Shane November 13, 2015 at 4:10 am

Sorry can’t see it in legislation. And can’t find out more cos I am not the policy holder etx

Reply

Solar Choice Staff November 13, 2015 at 7:50 am

Hi Shane,

By contract, are you referring to a contract for a solar feed-in tariff, or a power purchase / solar lease agreement?

I’m going to assume that you’re talking about the feed-in tariff rate. In South Australia the benefits do appear to be transferable to those who purchase a home with solar panels on an existing solar feed-in tariff arrangement. You can read a bit more about this in our article ‘When do the feed-in tariffs end?‘; you can also see where it is addressed directly on SA.GOV.AU’s FAQ page about the state’s feed-in tariff.

Hope this clears things up for you! Fortunately it sounds like you’ll be receiving the higher rate!

Reply

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