Solar Choice has worked hard to expand its installer network presence in Brisbane, Queensland. Demand for solar power systems in Brisbane surged dramatically with Queensland’s generous solar feed-in tariff, and interest in solar PV installations remains viable in the Sunshine State even after the reduction of the incentive. This article is an overview of the options available to Brisbane residents thinking about going solar, as well as the potential benefits of installing a system.
Why is Brisbane a good place for solar power?
Lots of sunshine means lots of potential for Brisbane homes to harness solar power
Brisbane receives an an average of around 4.2 hours of full sun per day, making it one Australia’s sunnier cities, as well as one of the best places to install solar PV. 4.2 hours of peak sun means that, with a 1.5kW solar PV array, a home will generate 6.3kWh per day on average. A 3kW system will produce around 12.6kWh per day, and a 5kW system will produce around 21kWh per day.
Household demand varies by the size of family and the appliances used and how frequently, but let’s say that an average 3-person home uses 20kWh per day, averaged over the course of a year. This means that with a 5kW solar system, the home’s energy production is just about covered by the system’s output–provided all of the solar electricity is used during the day.
This is why, when considering whether and how to go solar, one of the first questions a homeowner will ask themselves is ‘Do I want to offset my electricity bill, or cover my daytime power usage completely with my solar power system output?’ This is a decision that ordinarily depends on the amount of capital that a household has at its disposal for making an investment in solar power, as well as daytime electricity usage.
More sunshine means a larger up-front discount from the federal government
The federal government indirectly provides, though it renewable energy target (RET) scheme, what are in effect up-front discounts on the cost of installing a solar PV system. Depending on how sunny the region in question is, the amount of this discount (sometimes referred to as a ‘rebate’) will vary–even for systems of the same size. Fortunately, Brisbane is located in a relatively sunny climate, and on average the federal discount will work out to approximately 71c per watt of installed capacity. This means that a 5kW solar PV system will see a discount of approximately $3,550.
Read more about solar PV system installation prices.
Solar panels are worth it in Queensland even without a generous feed-in tariff. Here’s how…
The reduction of Queensland’s 44c per kilowatt-hour Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariff rate to 8c/kWh has left many a Queensland resident asking themselves if solar panels are still worth the investment. Fortunately, the changing economic dynamics of solar power (mainly that system installation prices are down while electricity rates are up) mean that they are indeed still worth it–for the right homes and businesses.
Which homes and businesses are those? Those which can utilise the solar power as their systems produce it–i.e. during the daytime. By using the solar power themselves, Brisbane solar system owners avoid having to purchase expensive power from the grid. Electricity from solar systems automatically flows into the home/businesses where it is located first, and any excess is exported to the grid. While a system owner might save upwards of 25c/kWh by using their solar power, export will net them only 8c/kWh–so the key to getting the most out of a system is maximising ‘self-consumption’ of solar power.
Are batteries or energy storage an option for me?
One way to increase solar self-consumption is to have an energy storage device installed. Although not yet widely available in Australia, energy storage solutions are expected to become more common in the coming years. Energy storage technologies can potentially increase self-consumption by 50%+, depending on their size and how energy is used throughout the day. (Solar Choice now includes energy storage options in its Solar Quote Comparisons when they are available.)
How can I find the best deal on Solar Power in Brisbane?
Solar Choice, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, connects solar PV customers with installers who service their area. We provide comprehensive quote comparisons of solar power installations throughout the country–including in Brisbane. With a bird’s eye view of the solar power market, Solar Choice is uniquely poised to identify the best deals on offer and facilitate our customers to 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.
Download a Solar Power System ROI Calculator for Brisbane, Queensland
How to use the calculator*:
1. Download one of the files below,
2. Open in Microsoft Excel or Google Docs,
2. Request a Solar Quote Comparison of the solar system installers in Brisbane to obtain system prices,
3. Visit SwitchWise or a similar site to find the best deal on solar electricity,
5. Alter the variables in the light blue boxes (system size, system price, etc) in column B to calculate system Return on Investment (ROI).
(You may also open the file in Google Docs if you have a Google account.)
*Calculator outputs are indicative only–please keep in mind that electricity rates, as well as Queenslands’s Feed-in Tariff rate, may change over time.
Brisbane Solar Power System Return on Investment Calculator (Excel .xls file, can also be opened with Google Docs)
Brisbane Solar Power System Return on Investment Calculator (CSV file, open with Excel or import to Google Docs)
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
(Top image via Wikipedia)
Solar Choice Brisbane Queensland Office