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Solar Choice Staff

Industry responses to the Finkel Review

June 22, 2017
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Earlier this month CSIRO Chief Scientist Alan Finkel debuted his panel’s report into reform of Australia’s electricity sector. Officially known as Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market but widely referred to as ‘the Finkel review’, the report has stirred emotions across the energy sector – with some saying it goes […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for June 2017

June 21, 2017
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Average pricing for commercial-scale solar systems has dropped to $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) from $1.23/W following some shakeups in the Solar Choice installer network (see notes in our Residential Solar PV Price Index for this month). Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.27/W, 30kW system prices at $1.19/W, 50kW system prices at $1.20/W and 100kW solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2017

June 21, 2017
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This month saw one of the sharpest drops to average system prices since Solar Choice first began keeping track in August 2012. Between May and June, the average system price dropped 23c from $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) to $1.34/W. This sudden decrease stands in sharp contrast to the very gradual changes that we’ve seen over […]

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Why doesn’t my electricity retailer give me a 15c solar feed-in tariff?

June 7, 2017
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Why don’t retailers offer higher solar feed-in rates? Does it matter if feed-in tariff rates are low? What are some of the alternative approaches to conventional feed-in tariffs that are beginning to appear in the Australian market? These are important questions to ask when considering going solar in Australia these days. We take a look at […]

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Can you go solar with a south-facing roof in Australia?

June 5, 2017
South-facing roofs okay for solar?

Anyone who has looked into installing solar panels in Australia would have quickly learned that north is the best direction for solar panels. If north is not an option, northwest and northeast are generally the next best options, usually followed by due west and due east, depending on the circumstances. But what about south-facing roofs […]

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3kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, and returns

June 5, 2017
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How much does a 3kW solar system cost in Australia, and how much energy can you expect it to produce? This article takes a look a these questions, as well as returns and payback periods for 3kW solar systems. (This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect how circumstances […]

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Add more solar panels or get batteries? A customer case study

June 1, 2017
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Being a nation-wide advice & comparison service for rooftop solar, Solar Choice regularly receives enquiries from customers from people all over the country. We recently received a call from a NSW-based customer approaching retirement; her query was about whether it would make more sense for her to install a 3kWh battery bank for around $5,000, or […]

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Peer-to-peer trading with solar & batteries: What to look for

May 31, 2017
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‘Peer-to-peer energy trading’ is a buzzword that is thrown around quite a bit in Australia as the number of solar & battery storage systems grows. What is peer-to-peer energy trading and how can it benefit you? We caught up with Localvolts founder Jitendra Tomar to gain a fuller understanding of the concept – and to […]

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Battery storage: Retrofit or new build with solar?

May 29, 2017
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If you’re considering installing battery storage for your grid-connected home, you probably find yourself in one of two situations: You’ve already got a solar PV system on your roof and want to add batteries to it (possibly with the addition of a few more solar panels), or You don’t have solar yet, so you’re going to install both […]

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Retrofitting battery storage to an existing solar PV system: What to consider

May 29, 2017
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Lots of Australian homes are expected to install battery storage in the coming years. Many of these homes will install brand new solar-plus-storage systems, but quite a few will be retrofitting batteries onto a pre-existing system. What do you need to keep in mind for a battery storage system retrofit? Considerations for retrofitting energy storage […]

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Melbourne solar panels: Compare system prices and installers

May 29, 2017
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Are solar panels still worth the investment in Melbourne? It would seem so: Tens of thousands of Victorian households have installed solar PV systems in the last few years alone, with 10-15% of homes in the Melbourne area now meeting at least part of their energy needs with the sun. This article takes a look at […]

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What is a “Tier 1” solar panel? Tier 2 or 3?

May 24, 2017
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When purchasing a solar system, the quality of the components to be used is frequently a key consideration. However, differentiating one brand from another may not be so simple, especially in the case of solar panels, of which there are hundreds of brands on the Australian market. The terms ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, and ‘Tier […]

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Can you go off the grid with a 10kW solar system plus battery storage?

May 16, 2017
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We previously wrote an article about the feasibility of an Australian home going off-grid with a 3kW solar system – quite a small system size for such an ambitious endeavour. In this article, we’ll look at the case for going off-grid with a 10kW solar system – the unofficial upper limit for residential solar system […]

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3kW vs 5kW solar system: Which is a better investment?

May 15, 2017
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One of the first decisions a household considering solar will need to make is the capacity (in kilowatts, kW) of the system to be installed. Two of the most popular residential solar PV system sizes in Australia are 3kW and 5kW. Which system size is the better investment – and why? You’ll save the most […]

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Queensland solar panels: Compare installers and system prices

May 12, 2017
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Solar panels remain a popular investment option in Queensland thanks to low solar PV system prices and ample sunshine.  Today, both homes and businesses alike consider going solar as a way to save on energy bills. Instantly compare solar & battery system prices 3 reasons to go solar in Queensland There are essentially 3 reasons for the current level […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – May 2017

May 11, 2017
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Average solar system installation prices for May 2017 hover at the same level as April‘s – $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W). 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money at an average of $1.25/W – or about $7,100 installed. Average solar PV system prices for May 2017 Prices in the table below include both the […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for May 2017

May 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain unchanged for the second month in a row, coming in at $1.23/W, according to pricing from the Solar Choice commercial installer network database. Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.32/W, 30kW system prices at $1.21/W, 50kW system prices at $1.23/W and 100kW solar system prices at $1.15/W. Commercial solar […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

May 8, 2017
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Lots of Solar Choice customers ask about battery storage for solar power, but not many have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. How much energy independence […]

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NSW solar feed-in tariff to increase: Three things to keep in mind

May 4, 2017
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In a bit of good news for NSW solar PV system owners, state regulatory body IPART has released a draft report recommending that the benchmark solar feed-in tariff rate be increased to 11.6 – 14.6c per kWh (c/kWh). This is significant increase over current rates of roughly 6-8c/kWh, and is sure to greatly brighten the […]

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Solar panel tilt and orientation in Australia

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What angle and orientation are best for solar panels in Australia? Solar panels are installed differently based on their geographic locations throughout the world. The premise behind this is simple; the sun is in a different place in the sky, and solar panels should face it as squarely as is reasonably possible throughout the day. […]

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Solar Power in NSW: What are the benefits?

May 1, 2017
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Solar power is still a great investment in NSW even in the absence a feed-in tariff incentive in the state. The fact that solar PV system prices have been declining combined with the fact that retail electricity rates have risen significantly in recent years means that solar panels can now serve as a cost-effective, rooftop […]

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Find the best solar power deals in Perth, WA

April 19, 2017
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Perth, WA is one of the best places in the country to install a solar power system. Like most of Australia, in Perth retail electricity rates are rising, and solar installation prices have fallen significantly over the past few years, thanks in part to the financial subsidies available through the federal government. How much does a […]

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Alternative monitoring solution for Enecsys owners who are left in the dark

April 18, 2017
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With the end of microinverter manufacturer Enecsys in early 2015, so ended the company’s online monitoring platform, leaving Enecsys system owners without any way to monitor their system’s output data. Two years on, there is now an alternative monitoring solution that gives Enecsys owners an overview of the performance of their solar panels: EnecsysOutput.com EnecsysOutput is an online […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for April 2017

April 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices increased slightly between March and April, according to data from the Solar Choice installer network. The rise – up to $1.23/W from $1.21/W – follows several months of steady decreases. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

April 11, 2017
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Sydney is a great place for solar power, and roughly 10-15% of Sydney area homes have solar panels installed on their roofs. This article is 5-point guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how Solar Choice can help you compare quotes. 5 good reasons to go solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – April 2017

April 10, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for April 2017 have crept to a fresh low of $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) – slightly lower than March‘s average of $1.58/W but in keeping with the (very) gradual decline that we’ve been witnessing since the beginning of 2017. Average prices for 3kW, 4kW and 5kW solar systems also hit […]

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‘No more energy bills’ with solar? Buyer beware

April 3, 2017
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Rooftop solar panels are a fantastic investment in Australia, but be realistic in your expectations “Eliminate your energy bills!” is a phrase – sometimes used in solar sales pitches – that Australian consumers should greet with a healthy degree of scepticism. If someone is making a promise that sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for March 2017

March 31, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to decrease for the third month in a row, this month hitting a new all-time low of $1.21 per watt. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do not incorporate meter installation […]

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Adelaide City’s solar & energy storage incentives

March 29, 2017
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Since 1 July 2015, the City of Adelaide has been offering some of the most generous incentives for solar power in Australia – and the one of the only incentives for battery storage in the country. What are the rebates available under Adelaide’s Sustainability Incentives Scheme? Please keep in mind that all of the incentives outlined below are […]

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GreenPower vs rooftop solar (vs both)

March 28, 2017
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GreenPower is an attractive option for Australian households who want to support renewable energy production. Is opting for GreenPower a better idea than installing rooftop solar? In this article we take a look at how both options support renewables uptake, and examine the pros and cons of opting for one, the other – or both. […]

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East or west orientation for solar panels? What to do when north is not an option

March 27, 2017
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Determining the orientation and tilt angle of your solar power generation system is one of the most important considerations in designing your solar power system. As we have mentioned before, in the southern hemisphere, due north is usually the best orientation for panels. But not everyone has a perfectly oriented roof. When your two best options […]

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