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Solar power Western Australia: Are solar panels worth the investment in WA?

by James Martin II on December 5, 2013

in WA

The number of solar power system installation continues to grow across Australia in spite of the withdrawal or reduction of government incentives across the board–and WA is no exception. This article is an overview of the benefits of solar power in Western Australia from 2013 on, as well as some of the considerations that will need to be made for anyone who plans on going solar in Australia’s largest state, including solar PV system sizing and pricing.

The average price of a 5kW solar system in Perth is around $7,500. To instantly compare solar PV system prices for your area of WA, fill out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page. You can also call Solar Choice on 1300 78 72 73.

Solar power in WA: The benefits

Most people who have installed a solar system in WA have done so to save money on their power bills. As households and businesses alike are well aware, electricity prices have risen dramatically in recent years. One of the most favoured options for reducing power bills in Australia has been to invest in a solar system and generate more electricity on site as opposed to purchasing it from utilities. Thankfully, solar power system installation prices have come down significantly in recent years, making solar power a more accessible option than ever before.

How to get the most out of a solar system in WA

Depending on where you are located in WA, advice about how to size and use your solar PV system will vary slightly. If you are located around Perth, your solar system will be eligible to earn you a bill credit of around 8c for every excess kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar power that it exports to the power grid. If you are further north on the Horizon grid, the incentives will vary depending on exactly where you are located; in certain areas, you may not be allowed to have a solar system that exports electricity at all.

In any case where the solar buyback rate is lower than the retail electricity tariff rate (i.e. all Synergy customers, plus some Horizon customers), the key is making sure that the system that is ultimately installed does not produce more electricity than your home or business can consume during daylight hours. This is because solar system owners benefit most by avoiding purchase of electricity from the grid in the first place–which is possible by generating and consuming their own solar power. Solar systems should therefore be sized to meet daytime electricity needs. On the parts of the Horizon grid where export of solar power is rewarded with generous buyback rates, those who can afford to do so may want to install as large a generator as is allowed.

(Are you a Horizon Power customer? Learn more about going solar on the Horizon Network.)

Typical residential solar system installations have capacities in the range of 1.5 kilowatts (kW) – 5kW, although they could be upwards of 10kW for households with high energy demand or where generous buyback rates are on offer. If you’re looking for specific advice relevant to your home and situation, feel free to speak with Solar Choice on 1300 78 72 73 or email sales@solarchoice.net.au.

How much will a solar PV system cost in WA?

Solar Choice regularly publishes average solar system prices for most of Australia’s capital cities (See the most recent PV price index here.). The prices for Perth are roughly indicative of pricing for the rest of the state, but anyone who is interested in checking the prices on offer in their area can fill in the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page to receive a set of quotes specific to their location.

There are many good reasons for businesses to consider going solar in Western Australia as well. Solar Choice manages tenders for medium and large-scale commercial installations. Learn more about our commercial solar activities. 

© 2013 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II

James has been working as analyst and online development manager for Solar Choice since 2011. He holds a master's degree in Environmental Management from UNSW.


David Weinholz December 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

The following statement appears to be incorrect to me. If you are a customer of Horizon who is offered more that 25c/kWh for excess electricity, it would be advantageous for you to go (potentially) much larger than your home or business can consume during daylight hours! This would be particularly the case in towns such as those towns where you can receive 50c/kWh for excess. See http://horizonpower.com.au/renewable_energy_agreement_buyback_price.html

“In both of these cases, however, the key is making sure that the system that is ultimately installed does not produce more electricity than your home or business can consume during daylight hours.”

Solar Choice December 14, 2013 at 7:56 am

Hi David,

Thanks for pointing out the inaccuracy. We’ve updated the article by replacing “In both cases, however” with: “In any case where the solar buyback rate is lower than the retail electricity tariff rate (i.e. all Synergy customers and some Horizon customers)”. We’ll also post update our post about the Horizon Buyback rates with the link you’ve posted.

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