Compare Solar Power in Brisbane - Solar Choice

Solar power in Brisbane: Compare installers & prices

by Solar Choice Staff on April 19, 2016

in QLD,Solar and Renewable Energy Policy,State Government solar feed-in tariffs

Over 30% of the homes in the Brisbane area have solar panels on their roofs – one of the highest rates of any of Australia’s capital cities. Why have Brisbane residents taken such a shine to solar power? This article take a look and the benefits of going solar for households in Brisbane.

Compare solar installation quotes instantly: Complete our Solar Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page.

Why is Brisbane a good place for solar power?

Exhibit A: Ample sunshine

The Sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics ObservatoryFitting for the capital of the sunshine state, Brisbane receives lots of sunshine year-round. According to PVWatts, Brisbane gets about 5.5 hours of ‘peak sun’ per square meter on average per day. How much usable solar energy does 5.5 peak sun hours translate into? The answer depends on a few things, including the size (or kilowatt capacity) of your solar system.

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 Brisbane (Popular system sizes)
Solar system size (kilowatts)
Avg daily system output (kilowatt-hours)
1.5kW 7kWh
2kW 9.4kWh
3kW 14kWh
4kW 19kWh
5kW 23kWh
10kW 47kWh

Great! But what does this mean?

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.

Keep in mind that Queensland no longer has a solar feed-in tariff for new solar installations, which means that you do not get financially rewarded for putting your solar energy into the grid (although some electricity retailers do offer a nominal buyback rate). In short, these days ‘self-consumption’ is the name of the game, and there are two ways to maximise the proportion of solar energy that you consume: 1) Make sure your system is sized appropriately, and 2) Know your electricity consumption pattern and behave accordingly.

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

Exhibit B: Strong up-front incentives through the federal Renewable Energy Target

The federal government indirectly provides what are in effect up-front discounts on the cost of installing a solar PV system through Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. The actual value of the incentive depends on a number of factors such as location and system size, but usually works out to be about 30-40% of the total installation cost. This incentive has been key in making Australia home to some of the lowest solar PV system prices in the world.

As an example, when this incentive is applied to a 5kW solar system in Brisbane, it results in a reduction of $3,605 – $4,120.

Read more about incentives available for rooftop solar under the Renewable Energy Target

Exhibit C: 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 Brisbane: Request a Solar Quote Comparison by entering your details into the form to the right of this page.

What about battery storage?

One way to increase solar self-consumption is to have a battery storage system installed. Although batteries can still be quite pricey, they are quickly becoming more affordable. (Battery storage price comparisons are now available with all of Solar Choice’s Solar Quote Comparisons.)

Exhibit D: Solar PV systems in Brisbane are still a good investment

As the table below illustrates, payback times for solar systems in Brisbane can be quite short and savings quite large. Keep in mind that the results in the table are based on average Brisbane 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 Brisbane prices

(Assuming 85% system efficiency, 20kWh electricity consumption/day, retail electricity @ 25c/kWh, solar feed-in rate @ 8c/kWh)

1.5kW 2kW
$3,100 $3,800
@ 50% self-consumption @ 70% self-consumption @ 50% self-consumption @ 70% self-consumption
~6.6 year payback ~5.3 year payback ~6.1 year payback ~5 year payback
~13% IRR ~17% IRR ~15% IRR ~19% IRR
~$450 annual savings ~$550 annual savings ~$600 annual savings ~$734 annual savings
3kW 5kW
$4,600 $6,350
@ 50% self-consumption @ 70% self-consumption @ 50% self-consumption 70% self-consumption
~5 year payback ~4.1 year payback ~4.1 year payback ~3.4 year payback
~20% IRR ~25% IRR ~25% IRR ~30% IRR
~$900 annual savings ~$1,100 annual savings ~$1,500 annual savings ~$1,800 annual savings

Calculate indicative solar power system returns & payback periods for Brisbane, Queensland

calculator icon

Ready to shop for solar? Compare solar quotes from installers in your area.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Crest Lwin August 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

Hello,
I am wondering if it is possible give me a review about different Solar manufactures? Like Trina, Winacio, Canadian Solar, SMA, Aurora, etc. Mainly the big named brands. Also if you would have any rest results, what type of cells they use, what materials it’s made out of, and where they are manufactured.

Thank you.

Reply

Solar Choice Staff March 9, 2016 at 9:45 am

Hi Crest. There are different ways to assess solar panel & inverter quality, and different organisations have different ways of doing so. We know all of the companies that you mention to be reputable. We’ll see what we can do about putting together a more comprehensive analysis.

Reply

Wayne Jenkins October 18, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Can panels b moved from one side of house to another part of roof , if so at what cost & will there b any damage to tiles

Reply

Solar Choice Staff October 20, 2015 at 1:44 am

Hi Wayne,

What you’ve described is certainly possible (and can most likely be done without damaging the tiles)- but you’d probably want to get a certified installer to do the job for you. One organisation we know of that specialises in dealing with post-installation work is SolarSafe. You can read about what they offer in this article, but you’d have to ask them directly about their rates.

Reply

jed October 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm

I wish to add additional panels-in Brisbane…..
Where can i locate a history of solar radiation occurring at 12pm each day of the year in Brisbane……
Having this information ,how can I convert that information into kw produced by 10 panels of 240w each
This information will help me determine how many panels i can add but still have my inverter operate most of the time within its maximum capability…..
With additional panels I will exceed the peak inverter capacity but hopefully not so often that the upgrade is inefficient
Changing my inverter would cause me to loose my 52 cents/kw rebate that I am on
I wish to extend the bell curve shoulders of production without significantly increasing the peak based on my current knowledge of my system at midday.

Reply

Solar Choice Staff October 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Hi Jed,

The Bureau of Meteorology has data that should suit your purposes. You can check into it here.

Reply

Dr Moore (Jeremy) January 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

For an accredited Grid Connect & Design/Install/Commissioning person/company (or the system owner?) to qualify/get partially reimbursed, via the STC scheme, is it necessary for the panels to be approved here in Australia/or be on a more International approved list?
I am dissatisfied that Australians/Queenslanders and more particularly those of us in the North are deprived of panels like those available to Sunpower customers in the USA and Europe! (>21% “X21-345”)
(EG. If I qualify, in Townsville, can I import panels that are not available on the Australian market and get STC credits? I am a former Ford Motor Company Solar Car Engineer, in Solar since 1987!)

Reply

Solar Choice Staff January 28, 2016 at 9:22 am

Hi Dr Moore,

Provided the modules are on the CEC’s ‘approved’ list, as is the installer you choose to do the job, then you should still be eligible to receive the STC incentive for your system.

Reply

Shawn Hughes January 25, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Hello,

we are look for a quote for the following please.

110 x 80W Mono crystalline solar Panels
20 X 45A Solar Regulators
40 x 265 AH Deep cycle batteries
20 x 1500W 12-24VDC – 240VAC solar inverters

We are after good quality at a good price please.

Reply

Solar Choice Staff January 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

Hi Shawn,

The best way to get quotes from us is to fill out the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page. By doing so, you’ll be able to see a range of quotes from installers in your area, and elect which one’s you’d like to be in touch with.

Reply

Erika May 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

What are your recommendations regarding APS Poly Panels??

Thanks

Reply

Solar Choice Staff May 30, 2016 at 11:08 am

Hi Erika,

No thoughts on these panels as of yet, but some other readers may have opinions on them – which they’re welcome to share in comments here.

Reply

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