Compare solar panel installation deals in Port Lincoln, SA

Thanks to a number of different factors–including consistent sunshine, the falling price of solar systems as well as South Australia’s solar feed-in tariff (which will close to new applicants on 30 Sept 2013)–now is an excellent time to install a solar panel system in Port Lincoln, SA. This article is an overview of the options that a Port Lincoln resident might be faced with when considering going solar; it also goes over why investing in a system is a good idea in the first place. Let Solar Choice help you find the right solar panel installer for you in Port Lincoln!

How solar panels can save Port Lincoln residents money

Incentives for renewable energy on both the state and federal levels have fluctuated so dramatically in recent years, many are left wondering whether solar panels still worth the investment in SA or not. Thankfully, the fact is that solar panels remain an excellent investment option for both homes and businesses thinking about making the switch to solar.

Australia is blessed with some of the most consistent sunny weather in the world, and Port Lincoln is no exception to this. Below is a rough guide to how much electricity a solar photovoltaic (PV) system will generate per day in Port Lincoln, on average throughout the year. Keep in mind that these figures will be higher in summer and lower in winter, as the days get longer and shorter.

Keep in mind that a ‘kilowatt’ (kW) is a measure of power production capacity in the case of solar systems, while a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a measure of the energy produced.

1.5 kilowatt system: Approximately 6 kilowatt-hours per day

2kW solar system: 8kWh/day

3kW solar system: 12kWh/day

4kW solar system: 16kWh/day

5kW solar system: 20kWh/day

So how many kilowatts do I need for my home?

Solar Choice is frequently asked the question: What size solar PV system do I need? The answer to this question depends mainly on your budget, your energy consumption habits, and the incentives on offer for generating solar power.

Every home and business has its own electricity usage patterns, but generally speaking a 3-person household will consume around 20kWh of electricity per day. If all of this power were used during the daytime, a 5kW solar system would therefore generate enough electricity to power that house.

Understand the solar incentives in Port Lincoln: SA’s transitional feed-in tariff

In reality, however, most people actually use more electricity after the sun has go down–lighting, cooking, television, etc. The power that the panels produce automatically gets fed into any appliances that are used in the home; the rest is ‘exported’ to the electricity grid. Let’s say a home uses only 12kWh of power during the day, but it has a solar system that produces 20kWh. The system’s owner will see benefits to the tune of 12kWh grid electricity averted–which translates to money off the power bill. What about the extra 8kWh of electricity, though? Will you get paid for that?

SA’s transitional solar feed-in tariff scheme plugs this potential gap, making it worthwhile to have a solar system that produces electricity even when you’re not there to use it. At the moment, households with a solar system are paid a rate of about 23c/kWh, which is higher than the retail rate for electricity that most homes pay. This means that whether you are exporting the electricity or consuming it yourself, there is an economic benefit to be had.

Delving into the details of SA’s transitional FiT…

SA’s transitional feed-in tariff is actually comprised of 2 components. The first is a stead rate of 16c/kWh, which will remain available to solar PV system owners until 30 September 2016–provided they sign up for the scheme by 30 September 2013. The second part of the incentive is a ‘mandatory retailer contribution’ which is adjusted regularly to reflect electricity market realities (currently it’s about 9.8c/kWh). This brings the total feed-in tariff benefit in SA to 25.8c/kWh–the most generous still available in Australia.

So, for those who sign up before the 30 September 2013 deadline, this essentially means quicker solar system payback times and less worry about whether you are timing your electricity usage to match solar PV system electricity production–until 2016, when the 16c/kWh rate drops out. What will happen then is as of yet unclear, but it’s fairly certain that that the retailer contribution will remain in place–and possibly even rise. This does give something of a buffer for those who are not home to consume all of their solar power, but nevertheless they will want to try to use as much of their solar power as possible; generating and consuming it on-site means less reliance on the utility grid, whose rates are likely to continue rising.

South Australia Feed-in Tariff Premium Rate Draft Determination until 2014.
South Australia Feed-in Tariff Premium Rate Draft Determination until 2014.

Port Lincoln residents are eligible for a solar system discount through the federal government

Port Lincoln residents, like all SA residents, are also eligible for up-front discounts on the cost of installing a system, thanks to the government’s renewable energy target. Keeping the explanation simple, these discounts come in the form of ‘small-scale technology certificates’ (STCs), which can be created every time a solar PV system smaller than 100kW in capacity is built. STCs will typically knock anywhere from 55-70c off of every watt of installed capacity (1 kilowatt = 1,000 watts). This translates into a discount of about $2,750-$3,500 for a 5kW solar PV system.

(Read more about solar system prices in Australia.)

Let Solar Choice help you compare solar installers in Port Lincoln

Getting the most out of a solar system over the course of its 25+ year lifespan means first finding the best deal on installing a system. Solar Choice is a free solar installation brokering and advice service,  offering customers a bird’s-eye-view of the solar market no matter where they are located in the country; our services extend to Port Lincoln as well.

Once we’ve identified their needs and budget, Solar Choice can help our installers find the solar system that is best suited for them. Our Solar Quote Comparisons make it easy to compare installers’ offerings and prices. Request a comparison today by filling out the form to the right of this page, or call us on 1300 78 72 73.

© 2013 Solar Choice Pty Ltd 

(Top image: Ghoongta, image via Wikipedia)