From the category archives:

Installation advice

Is home solar battery storage worth it? (Jan 2018 update)

January 18, 2018
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2018? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. We then had an August 2017 update, followed by […]

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Sungrow PowCube battery storage system (Analysis & review)

January 17, 2018
Sungrow PowCube battery

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow has recently introduced its PowCube battery storage system into the Australian market. The PowCube system consists of a Sungrow SH5K Hybrid inverter and up to 3x SPB4K8 battery units, which have been developed as part of a joint venture between Sungrow and battery manufacturer Samsung SDI. The PowCube system promises to be […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

January 16, 2018
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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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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

January 15, 2018
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Is home solar power still worth it in Australia in 2018?

January 11, 2018
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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 […]

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

January 10, 2018
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Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the solar energy that they send 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, since we […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2018

January 10, 2018
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Slight decreases in most capital cities and across most system sizes resulted in an overall average commercial solar system price of about $1.17/W – the lowest on record since Solar Choice began keeping track of commercial solar system prices in May 2014. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2018

January 9, 2018
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In this month’s Solar PV Price Index, the average price for a ‘primary’/standard solar PV system offering remains almost unchanged from December, at about $1.31 per watt ($1.31/W). The average for a premium system was $1.56/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.93/W – both up slightly from last month. Average solar PV […]

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Always know which electricity plan is best for you: WATTever launches Deal Tracker service

December 14, 2017
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Choosing the right electricity retailer & plan is an essential first step in keeping power bills under control. For Australia’s nearly 2 million solar households, the question is arguably even more important because in most states different retailers offer different solar feed-in tariff rates. Unfortunately, higher feed-in tariff rates are sometimes used as ‘bait’ to […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – December 2017

December 13, 2017
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Welcome to the second edition of Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index – the companion to our Solar PV Price Index, which covers solar system installation prices around Australia. The aim of the Battery Storage Price Index is to assist you in determining whether batteries are right for your home. Average battery system prices for […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2017

December 12, 2017
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This month’s Commercial Solar PV Price Index sees the introduction of 70kW solar systems for the first time (a long overdue addition). The average cost of installing a commercial solar system in Australia currently sits at around $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) – nominally less than last month‘s figure of $1.20/W and a modest improvement over […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2017

December 12, 2017
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The average price per watt ($/W) for primary offerings was $1.30 this month – down slightly from November and a new low since we began tracking prices in 2012. The average for a premium system was $1.54/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.86/W. December marks the second month using our new Solar […]

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

December 5, 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. Note that this article […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

December 4, 2017
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for November 2017

November 29, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain at about $1.20 per watt (after STC incentive and GST are applied) for the month of November, according to data from the Solar Choice network. While the larger system sizes (30kW, 50kW, 100kW) remained mostly unchanged, average prices for 10kW systems dropped slightly – from $1.34/W last month to $1.30/W this […]

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Solar system size limits: How much does your local network allow? [UPDATED]

November 28, 2017
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What’s the upper limit to the amount of solar panel capacity that you can put on your roof? This is actually a multi-layered question that involves your roof area, your energy saving goals and any applicable restrictions imposed by your local electricity network company. This article touches on all these factors, but focuses mainly on […]

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Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

November 27, 2017
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What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators. [Note that this article was originally published in April 2017.] Solar system sizing […]

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Is home solar power a scam?

November 21, 2017
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Because of our position in Australia’s solar industry as a comparison and advisory service, we get feedback and comments of all sorts. One of the most confounding that we have heard the broadsweeping statement that ‘solar power is a scam’. The fact alone that there are nearly 2 million homes around the country that have […]

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Introducing Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index (and a major overhaul of our Solar PV Price Index)

November 16, 2017
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Since the beginning of 2017, there have been over half a million views of battery storage-related pages on the Solar Choice website and well over 3,000 customer enquiries about batteries. These offer a fairly clear indication that people looking into solar are also interested in battery storage. A lot of this is thanks to coverage […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – November 2017

November 14, 2017
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We’re excited to announce that we have at long last published our first Battery Storage Price Index – a generalised view of what it costs to have a battery storage system installed in Australia. If you’ve done any research into the battery storage market at all, you’ve probably already worked out that batteries are complicated. […]

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How much money can you save with Enphase’s AC Battery?

November 9, 2017
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We recently published an article on the topic of how much money a household could save with a Tesla Powerwall 2. Soon thereafter, we received two separate requests to do a similar analysis for Enphase’s AC Battery – also one of the most popular battery storage offerings available in Australia, but without as much media […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – November 2017

November 7, 2017
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We’ve introduced some major improvements to this month’s Solar PV Price Index. Namely: We’ve added 7kW solar systems to all tables We’ve included in new tables & data for ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ system offerings We’ve drawn clearer distinctions between ‘primary’, ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ pricing We’ve dropped 1.5kW systems from our data tracking (because so few […]

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GreenPower vs rooftop solar (vs both)

November 7, 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

October 26, 2017

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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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for October 2017

October 26, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices stay steady at about $1.20 per watt for the month of October. The average price of a 100kW system comes in at about $1.10 per watt – or about $110,000 for a fully installed system (after STC incentive and GST are applied). Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – October 2017

October 17, 2017
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Average solar system prices hold stable for the third month in a row, with the average price per watt ($/W) for an residential solar system installation coming in at about $1.44/W. The most popular and best value solar system size is still 5kW, costing about $1.14/W or $5,700 for a fully installed system. (Due to […]

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What if you sent all of your solar into the grid? Is it worth it?

September 29, 2017
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If you’ve got solar, the way to maximise your electricity bill savings these days is to use your solar energy directly within your home (or business). From an investment point of view, the conventional wisdom is that the worst thing you could do with the solar energy that your roof produces is to send it […]

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4 interesting alternatives to the ‘Big 3’ electricity retailers

September 26, 2017
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If you want to reduce your electricity bills, the first place you should look is your choice of electricity retailer, which is the company that sells you electricity. Although some people are unaware of it, in most parts of Australia you’re not stuck with a monopolistic ‘utility’ – you can pick and choose from a […]

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Can I add more panels to my existing solar system?

September 18, 2017
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Some of the most common questions we receive at Solar Choice are about adding solar panels to an existing solar PV system. This article takes a look at the situations in which you might want to add panels, and what you need to bear in mind before making a decision. Possible reasons for adding more panels […]

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Backup power with home solar battery storage: What are your options?

September 12, 2017
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Home battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and one of the most in-demand features is backup power, which provides electricity to a home even when the grid is down. In this article we take a look at the main approaches to battery storage that you’ll come across as you shop around for a […]

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Energy blindness: The anxiety of not knowing (Solartopia #3)

September 7, 2017
Electricity bill

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about the ‘Energy Awareness Factor‘ in household energy savings. This was prompted in part by having just moved into a house with solar panels, ducted AC, a dishwasher, time of use billing and hot water on a controlled load – things that will have a significant […]

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