Considering installing a solar power system in the Blue Mountains? Solar panels offer significant financial benefits to the right homes and businesses across Australia. This article is an overview of the benefits and options for going solar in the Blue Mountains, NSW.
The benefits of solar power in the Blue Mountains
Installing a solar system saves households and businesses money, increases their degree of energy independence, and reduces carbon pollution. Thanks mainly to their attractive value proposition and growing familiarity, however, solar systems have become immensely popular throughout Australia over the past few years, with the number of homes with rooftop solar surpassing 1 million.
Thanks to the abundance of sun in Australia, solar is an excellent prospect for fuel-free power production. Averaged over the course of a year, the average rooftop in the Blue Mountains will receive approximately 3.5 ‘peak sun hours’. This means that a 100% efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the Blue Mountains will generate 3.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh, units) of solar energy for every kilowatt (kW) of system capacity. A 1kW system will therefore generate 3.5kWh of electricity (on average) per day, while a 2kW system will generate double that–7kWh/day. A 5kW solar system will generate about 17.5kWh/day. These figures, as averages, will actually be higher in the summer and lower in the winter, of course, as the length of the day varies.
Electricity consumption vs solar system energy generation in the Blue Mountains: How solar panels save you money
To put the above figures into context, the average 3-person Australian home consumes about 20kWh of electricity per day. The key thing to keep in mind when considering investing in a solar system in the Blue Mountains (or the rest of NSW, for that matter) is that systems should be sized to meet daytime energy needs.
This is fairly self-explanatory: Solar panels only produce energy during the day, and solar energy storage remains prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, NSW electricity retailers offer only a small reimbursement for solar energy that you do not consume yourself–this amount (usually 6-8c/kWh) is below the rate that most homes and businesses pay for electricity from the grid (over 20c/kWh in some instances). This means that you save more money by reducing your reliance on the grid (i.e. using your solar power, thereby reducing the amount of power that you must purchase from the grid) than by selling the solar power that your system generates to the grid.
To clarify: Your solar PV system will automatically feed the power it produces into any appliances that you are running. The ‘overflow’ or excess will automatically go to the grid. Solar panels therefore offer the best value to Blue Mountains homes and businesses that consume a significant portion of their power during the day.
Read more: What solar system size is right for you?
Federal incentives for solar power in the Blue Mountains
The federal government offers what is in effect an up-front discount on small-scale (up to 100kW) solar installation costs under its Renewable Energy Target. Without getting too technical, these discounts come in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), which are a kind of renewable energy currency. The value of STCs varies with supply and demand (and therefore so do the discounts afforded by them), but customers can expect STCs to knock around 60-70c per watt (W) of installed solar capacity in the Blue Mountains.
Read more: Solar system installation prices in Australia
Let Solar Choice help you find the best solar power deals in the Blue Mountains
Working with over 100 solar installers across the country, Solar Choice makes it easy for homes and businesses to compare solar installation prices anywhere in Australia–including the Blue Mountains. Fill out the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page or call us on 1300 78 72 73 to talk to one of our brokers. Our services are 100% free to our customers.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
Top image by JJ Harrison via Wikipedia