The Latrobe Valley, Victoria is a great place to install a solar PV system, thanks to the state’s Standard and Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariffs. Rising electricity rates, falling solar PV installation prices, and up-front financial subsidies available through the Federal Solar Credits rebate scheme, now is a great time to go solar for Latrobe Valley residents.
The benefits of owning a solar power PV system in the Latrobe Valley
Harnessing the financial advantages of the Latrobe Valley’s sun
The Latrobe Valley receives around 3.7 hours of sun per day, averaged across the year. 3.7 hours of peak sun means that, with a 1.5kW solar PV array, a home will generate 5.55kWh per day on average throughout the year. A 3kW system will produce around 11.1kWh per day, and a 5kW system will generate around 18.5kWh per day.
Latrobe Valley electricity consumption vs solar PV system electricity generation
Understanding a home or business’s baseline electricity usage patterns and levels is the first step towards finding the best solar PV power system deals in Latrobe Valley, or anywhere else in Australia. Household demand varies by the number of occupants and energy usage patterns, but as a ‘base case’, the average 3-person home uses an annual average of about 20kWh per day. This means that with a 5kW solar system, the home’s electricity use is just about covered by the system’s output.
However, for Victoria solar households and businesses on the state’s 25c/kWh Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff (for systems of 5kW in capacity or smaller), it makes more financial sense to attempt to export as much solar electricity to the grid as possible. On the other hand, for those receiving the state’s ‘1-for-1’ Standard Feed-in Tariff (for all types of renewable energy generation, including solar PV systems greater than 5kW in capacity), a general strategy of energy use reduction and efficiency will yield the greatest results.
Up-front Federal Government Solar Rebates for Latrobe Valley
Understanding the government subsidies available through the Federal and Victorian Governments is another important step in identifying and finding the best deals on solar power PV systems in Latrobe Valley. Victorian residents are eligible for both a Federal government ‘rebate’ and Victoria’s Feed-in Tariffs.
The size of ‘Solar Rebate’ available to someone who has a solar PV system installed depends mainly on the amount of sunshine that the postcode in question receives and the size of the solar system installed. Under the Federal Government’s Solar Credit Scheme, households are awarded a greater or smaller number of Renwable Energy Certificates (RECs, also known as Small-scale Technology Certificates or STCs), depending on their location, the size of the system that they install, and the REC price agreed on between the customer and solar installer. It is also important to keep in mind that STC prices fluctuate with supply and demand. Solar installation companies should inform customers what price they give per STC when negotiating a price. (STC prices are also clearly detailed in Solar Choice’s Solar Quote Comparison sheets.)
Latrobe Valley is located in REC Zone 4. A 5kW solar PV system installed in the Latrobe Valley would generate a base number of 88 RECs/STCs. When the Solar Credit REC Multiplier (currently 3x until 1 July 2012) is applied, however, the total number of STCs generated is (88 + 54 =) 142. Assuming an STC price of $30, a discount of $4,260 off the up-front price of the system. Solar PV system prices are currently reaching unprecedented lows across Australia and the world thanks to increased competition and a glut of stock, making solar systems are an attractive investment for homes and businesses. Victoria residents also enjoy the additional support of Victoria’s Feed-in Tariffs, which improve system return on investment (ROI) and shorten payback periods.
Electricity bill savings through solar PV power systems in Latrobe Valley
All grid-connected Victoria residents can benefit financially from having a solar PV system installed in two ways:
– Avoiding purchase of electricity from the power grid/electricity retailers by consuming solar power as it is generated (“self-consumption”). For this to work, the premises with the system must be occupied, or the appliances scheduled to run during the daytime hours when the system is producing power. When solar power is self-consumed, its value to the user is effectively equivalent to that of electricity from the grid.
– Electricity bills may also be credited for solar electricity ‘exported’ to the power grid under the Transitional and Standard Feed-in Tariffs. When electricity is exported on the 25c/kWh Transitional Feed-in Tariff, its value is greater than that of electricity bought from the power grid. On the Standard Feed-in Tariff, however, the value of exported solar power is equivalent to that of electricity purchased from the grid.
It is important to bear in mind that, as the cost of electricity rises, the optimal Feed-in Tariff will be the Standard Feed-in Tariff, which guarantees that a solar exporter will be paid the same raid that is paid for electricity. In the meantime, however, the Transitional Feed-in Tariff offers a potentially better return on investment (ROI), provided the home or business that operates the system endeavours to export as much solar power as possible. (Read more: The economics of 1-for-1 Solar Buybacks vs Solar Feed-in Tariffs.)
Finding the best solar PV power system deals in Latrobe Valley
Solar Choice, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, matches up potential solar PV customers with installers who service their area. We provide comparisons of Solar Quotes for solar system installers nation-wide, including the Latrobe Valley. Solar Choice is uniquely positioned to identify the best solar PV power system 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 Latrobe Valley, Victoria
How to use the calculator*:
1. Download the Solar Choice Latrobe Valley Solar PV ROI (Excel file) calculator
2. Request a Solar Quote Comparison of the solar system installers in Latrobe Valley to obtain system prices,
3. Visit SwitchWise or a similar site to find the best deal on solar electricity,
4. Find out which electricity retailer is offering the best Solar Feed-in Tariff rate in Victoria,
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 Victoria’s Feed-in Tariff rate, may change over time.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
(Top image via Wikipedia)
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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