Considering investing solar power for your home or business in the Southern Highlands, NSW? This article covers the things that Bowral, Mittagong, and other Southern Highlands residents will need to think about when it comes to investing in a solar panel array, including system prices, system power output, and solar system return on investment.
Solar power in the Southern Highlands, NSW: Why install a system?
Residents of Bowral, Mittagong, and surrounds have all born witness to the dramatic rise in electricity prices that has swept the nation in the past few years. Looking for ways to reduce their power bills, more and more Australian homes and businesses are turning to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to reduce their bills.
On the other side of the equation, the cost of installing a solar system has dropped dramatically in recent years, further increasing solar’s attractiveness as an investment–the electricity that solar systems produce is now significantly cheaper than electricity purchased from electricity retailers. Payback periods for solar PV systems in NSW typically work out to be about 5-7 years, after which point the systems in question can be expected to continue producing fuel-free and cost-free electricity for the duration of their lifespan–25+ years.
Solar in NSW’s post-subsidisation era
If you live in Bowral, Mittagong, or anywhere else in the Southern Highlands, you’re probably aware of the rather rocky history of the NSW government’s support for solar power. The state’s feed-in tariff incentive (which rewards ‘export’ of excess solar to the electrical grid) was yanked back not once but twice, and after the election of a liberal government to office the situation for solar owners got even more precarious, with an ultimately aborted attempt to retroactively cut feed-in tariff incentives for solar homes already receiving them.
The dust is long settled from all of this now, however, and prospective solar households have come to terms with the new value proposition that having a solar power system offers: the more of the solar power you can consume yourself, the more money you save on your power bills. Southern Highlands residents will get the most out of their solar systems by consuming as much of the solar power as possible themselves–‘self-consumption’ is now the key to solar system viability. This means 2 things: making sure your system does not produce more electricity than you can use, and making sure that you are around to use the electricity (or appliances can be programmed to run) when the sun is shining.
Why is this the case? Well, at the moment, NSW solar system owners will receive a credit of about 6-10c for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity that they export to the grid. By contrast, a solar system owner in Bowral, for example, will save around 23c/kWh for using that solar electricity themselves.
Will energy storage work for my home/business in Bowral or Mittagong?
Interest in home energy storage systems has been growing throughout the Southern Highlands, Australia, and the world as of late. Energy storage allows homes and businesses with solar panels to increase their self-consumption rates, thereby further lowering their power bills. Energy storage also allows for decreased reliance on the electricity grid and a greater sense of knowing where one’s electricity comes from.
More and more energy storage options are becoming available on both the Australian market and globally. To reflect this fact, Solar Choice now includes energy storage options in its Solar Quote Comparisons when they are available. Fill out the form to the right of this page or call us on 1300 78 72 73 to find out more.
How much energy will a solar system produce in the Southern Highlands?
A solar PV system installed in Bowral, Mittagong, or surrounds will produce approximately 3.9kWh per installed kilowatt (kW) of capacity per day (more in the winter, less in the summer, of course). Actual solar energy output will ultimately depend on the tilt angle and orientation of the system and the efficiency of the components and the presence or absence of shading throughout the day/year, but the figures below are a good approximation of what a system owner can expect from some of the most common solar system sizes.
1.5kW solar system: 5.85kWh
2kW solar system: 7.8kWh
3kW solar system: 11.7kWh
4kW solar system: 15.6kWh
5kW solar system: 19.5kWh
10kW solar system: 39kWh
How do I choose the correct system size for my home or business?
Your monthly (and possibly daily) electricity generation should be printed somewhere on your most recent power bill, along with your usage for previous months. This will be the primary factor in deciding your system size. As mentioned above, the self-consumption rule means that you do not want to ‘waste’ any of your solar electricity by sending it into the grid, so the system should be sized to only meet daytime electricity needs.
This may be difficult to determine simply by looking at your power bill. If you have any questions, please contact one of our team members for free, impartial advice on how to choose the right system size: 1300 78 72 73.
Compare solar prices & installers the Southern Highlands: Request a Solar Quote Comparison
Solar Choice has provided, free, informative Solar Quote Comparisons to our residential & small-scale commercial customers since 2008. If you’d like to have a look at the solar market in the Southern Highlands (including Bowral & Mittagong), simply fill out the form to the right of this page, or speak to a broker on 1300 78 72 73. Your Solar Quote Comparison will include pricing & component information for all installers in the Solar Choice network who operate in the region.
(Top image by Photohome_UK via Wikipedia)
© 2013 Solar Choice Pty Ltd