Posts by author:

Solar Choice Staff

Residential Solar PV Price Index – March 2017

March 22, 2017
Thumbnail image for Residential Solar PV Price Index – March 2017

Average residential solar PV system prices in Australia crept down to $1.58 per watt ($1.58/W) from $1.60 in February, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. Although so slight as to be inconsequential, the drop represents a new low, with $1.59/W (in Sept 2016 and Dec 2015) being the next lowest since we […]

Read the full article →

Whitsunday, Hamilton and Gannawarra Solar Farms move into construction

March 21, 2017
Thumbnail image for Whitsunday, Hamilton and Gannawarra Solar Farms move into construction

It’s been an epic journey! As three large-scale solar farms (totalling 198 MW (DC)) now progress into construction, it’s timely for all of us here at Solar Choice to take a moment to reflect, to savour and to extend a mighty thank you to others who moved mountains over the past year to convert the […]

Read the full article →

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

March 21, 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 […]

Read the full article →

The ACT’s home battery storage incentive program

March 21, 2017
ACT NextGen battery storage

The ACT government’s Next Generation Energy Storage (NextGen) program is one of the most ambitious battery storage incentive schemes in Australia, aiming to subsidise the installation of batteries for roughly 5,000 homes and small businesses by 2020. How does the incentive work, and how will it benefit households in the Territory? How it works The […]

Read the full article →

New smart meter from carbonTRACK to benefit households, bolster grid resilience

March 16, 2017
Thumbnail image for New smart meter from carbonTRACK to benefit households, bolster grid resilience

Australian home energy management system developer carbonTRACK has announced the launch of an ‘intelligent smart meter’ that promises to benefit households, electricity retailers and grid operators alike. For end users, the units will deliver all the benefits of the company’s EMS, and can take the place of the standard meters usually installed with residential solar PV systems. The company […]

Read the full article →

Localvolts’ vision for a truly peer-to-peer electricity market

March 15, 2017
Thumbnail image for Localvolts’ vision for a truly peer-to-peer electricity market

There are now well over 1.5 million households in Australia with solar PV systems on their roofs, altogether comprising over 6 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generation capacity – about the same as 2-3 coal-fired power plants. These privately-owned, small-scale systems are already having a significant impact on Australia’s energy system. But are they being leveraged to […]

Read the full article →

Solar power in Brisbane: Compare installers & prices

March 6, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar power in Brisbane: Compare installers & prices

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. Related PostsSolar […]

Read the full article →

WINAICO solar panels in Australia

March 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for WINAICO solar panels in Australia

WINAICO Solar is a high-end solar PV panel manufacturer that puts an emphasis on the quality and reliability of its products. The WINAICO module range includes models for residential, commercial, and BIPV applications. WINAICO Solar Panels: Top-shelf components and guaranteed yields WINAICO says that it is set apart from other panel manufacturers in primarily two ways: […]

Read the full article →

Commercial Solar PV Price Index for February 2017

February 28, 2017
Thumbnail image for Commercial Solar PV Price Index for February 2017

The average price of commercial-scale solar system installations in Australia dropped to a new all-time low of $1.23 per watt ($/W), according to data from the Solar Choice installer network database. The previous low – which held stead for about 3 months – was $1.25/W. All system sizes included in the index (10kW, 30kW, 50kW […]

Read the full article →

Global battery storage industry to fight Australia home bans

February 28, 2017
Thumbnail image for Global battery storage industry to fight Australia home bans

Some of the world’s biggest battery manufacturing brands have signalled they will fight new battery storage guidelines proposed for Australia, saying the restrictions are over the top and don’t conform to international standards. Standards Australia is believed to be preparing the release of new standards that would effectively force most battery storage units to be […]

Read the full article →

Batteries with benefits: How Reposit Power customers are maximising battery value

February 27, 2017
Thumbnail image for Batteries with benefits: How Reposit Power customers are maximising battery value

Reposit Power is an Australian battery technology company whose name has become synonymous with battery storage value maximisation. The company’s software does two important things for homes with battery storage systems: it makes sure that batteries are always charged in the most cost-effective way possible (whether that be solar or off-peak grid electricity), and it […]

Read the full article →

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

February 22, 2017
Thumbnail image for 3kW vs 5kW solar system: Which is a better investment?

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 […]

Read the full article →

Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar system for Geelong High School

February 21, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar system for Geelong High School

Solar Choice has brokered the installation of a 100kW solar PV system for Geelong High School, a co-ed public secondary school in East Geelong, Victoria. The school opened in 1910, making it one of Victoria’s oldest state secondary schools. It moved to its current location (385 Ryrie Street, East Geelong) in 1915. Geelong High School originally approached […]

Read the full article →

Gross vs net solar electricity metering

February 21, 2017
Thumbnail image for Gross vs net solar electricity metering

In the past there was an important distinction between net and gross metering for residential solar systems in Australia. These days, however, almost all new systems are installed with a net metering setup. What’s the difference between a gross meter and a net meter, and why does it matter? Gross vs net meters: A debate […]

Read the full article →

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

February 20, 2017
Thumbnail image for Why doesn’t my electricity retailer give me a 15c solar feed-in tariff?

Having just updated our article detailing the solar feed-in tariffs on offer in each state and territory, we thought it would be a good time to discuss the realities of solar feed-in tariffs in 2017. We’ll look at two questions: Why don’t retailers offer higher rates? And: Does it matter if feed-in tariff rates are […]

Read the full article →

Does rooftop solar still make sense in 2017?

February 16, 2017
Thumbnail image for Does rooftop solar still make sense in 2017?

Rooftop solar on its own is already affordable enough to be a smart choice for virtually any Australian home with an unshaded roof and some daytime electricity usage. This is true even in the absence of generous, state-backed solar feed-in tariffs and the (slight) reduction of the up-front incentive for solar available through the federal Renewable […]

Read the full article →

Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

February 15, 2017
Thumbnail image for Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the excess solar energy that they send back into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous. Much has changed, however, […]

Read the full article →

Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2017

February 14, 2017
Thumbnail image for Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2017

Despite the decrease in the incentive available under the federal Renewable Energy Target that came in effect from last month, average solar PV system prices have moved little, according to our data. Although this month did see a slight reduction in prices (down to $1.60 per watt from $1.62/W in February), this is mainly attributable to changes in […]

Read the full article →

SA minimum retailer feed-in tariff (RFiT) has ended. What should you do?

February 10, 2017
Thumbnail image for SA minimum retailer feed-in tariff (RFiT) has ended. What should you do?

If you live in South Australia and have a solar system on your roof, there is no longer a guaranteed minimum rate for the excess solar that you send into the grid unless you are on the state’s Premium FiT program (which expires in 2028). The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) made the determination to eliminate the […]

Read the full article →

Tesla’s Powerwall 2 in Australia: Advice for shoppers

February 7, 2017
Thumbnail image for Tesla’s Powerwall 2 in Australia: Advice for shoppers

Tesla leapfrogged its competitors last year with the announcement of its new generation of battery storage product: Powerwall 2. Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is a more powerful and sophisticated version of the company’s original Powerwall, which itself set a benchmark in Australia for both battery storage pricing and performance. It’s on sale for roughly the same […]

Read the full article →

CATCH Power – A solar diverter made for the Aussie market

February 6, 2017
Thumbnail image for CATCH Power – A solar diverter made for the Aussie market

CATCH Power is an Australian company who say they have crafted a solar diverter perfectly tailored to Australian market conditions. By March this year, the company will offer four different versions of its device, all of whose settings can be adjusted to optimise savings – and two of which connect to the internet and allow the user […]

Read the full article →

Sizing inverters to optimise solar panel system efficiency

February 6, 2017
Thumbnail image for Sizing inverters to optimise solar panel system efficiency

The efficiency of the inverter drives the efficiency of a solar panel system because inverters convert Direct Current (DC) (as produced by the solar panels), into Alternating Current (AC) (as used by the electric grid). This leads many to wonder what effect over-sizing or under-sizing an inverter will have on overall system efficiency. This entry […]

Read the full article →

Solar battery storage in Melbourne, Vic: Compare prices & installers

February 5, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar battery storage in Melbourne, Vic: Compare prices & installers

As prices fall, a growing number of Melbourne households are becoming interested in installing battery storage for solar energy. It is now possible to compare battery storage installers and prices in Melbourne by requesting a Battery Storage Quote Comparison from Solar Choice. What else do Melbourne homeowners need to consider before deciding on an installer and […]

Read the full article →

Zhongli Talesun’s solar panels in Australia

February 4, 2017
Zhongli Talesun logo

Zhongli Talesun is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, with a 28 year history in the solar industry. The company offers solar modules for a range of applications in the Australian market, including a module with a 30-year performance warranty, a lightweight module and a ‘zero potential-induced degradation’ module. Talesun solar […]

Read the full article →

Malcolm Turnbull lays out his thoughts on renewable energy in his NPC address

February 4, 2017
Thumbnail image for Malcolm Turnbull lays out his thoughts on renewable energy in his NPC address

Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has laid out his thoughts on renewable energy, electricity pricing and supply, as well as on “clean coal” and gas, describing energy as a “defining debate of this parliament” in his National Press Club address on Wednesday. Related PostsNSW facing blackouts on Friday due to extreme heatwave (10 Feb, 2017) […]

Read the full article →

A comparison of home energy management systems in Australia

January 26, 2017
EMS

Solar PV systems are already commonplace and affordable in Australia, and battery storage is getting there quickly as well. Increasingly, Australia’s solar homes are looking for ways to maximise the value that solar & storage are able to deliver. Home energy management systems (sometimes referred to as EMSs or HEMS) are fast becoming a popular […]

Read the full article →

What size solar power installation should you buy?

January 25, 2017

A Solar Choice broker will help you, at no charge, decide what size solar energy installation best suits your needs and budget. In the meantime, we hope the following article will assist you in making the right decision. (This article was originally published in 2009 – we updated in January 2017 to reflect the new […]

Read the full article →

Solar Choice site stats for 2016: Looking back on a stellar year

January 20, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar Choice site stats for 2016: Looking back on a stellar year

Rooftop solar is the energy of the people in Australia. In less than half a decade, solar panels have gone from being pricey ‘green bling’ to something that any home or business with some unshaded roof space would contemplate as a practical way to save money & bolster energy independence. More than one in ten […]

Read the full article →

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

January 20, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

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 […]

Read the full article →

5kW solar systems: Pricing, output, and returns

January 17, 2017
Thumbnail image for 5kW solar systems: Pricing, output, and returns

The average solar system size in Australia has grown in recent years to about 5 kilowatts (kW). What are the price ranges, electricity yields (in kilowatt-hours, kWh) and financial returns that a household can expect from a 5kW solar PV system? This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect […]

Read the full article →

Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2017

January 12, 2017
Thumbnail image for Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2017

Average commercial solar system prices continue at about $1.25/W for the fourth month in a row, starting off the new year with no eventful news. 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 fees […]

Read the full article →