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 PV Price Index format, which includes more detailed pricing tables as well as info on premium & microinverter system options. (We also began publishing a Battery Storage Price Index, updates for which will be published in this feed.)

Average solar PV system prices for December 2017 [Primary Offerings]

Primary offerings are the default (and most popular) type of systems that retailers and installers display on Solar Choice’s Solar Quote Comparisons (screenshot below). They are generally the most cost-effective offer from a particular installer.

Prices in the table below include both the up-front incentive available for small-scale systems through the Renewable Energy Target (STCs) and GST – they represent the total out-of-pocket cost of the system to the customer. We’ve left fields blank where there were only a small number of price points available in our database (usually fewer than 3).

 

Prices for each system size are colour-coded. (Dark red for highest, dark green for lowest, yellow/orange for in between).

List of products used in primary offerings

Please note that the below list is in alphabetical order and does not denote panel-inverter pairings in installer offerings.

Products used in primary offerings
Panels
Inverters
Australian Premium Solar
ABB / Aurora
BLD BLD
BYD Delta
Canadian Solar Fronius
CSUN Goodwe
Eging Growatt
ET Solar Mass
GCL SMA
Hanover Sofar
HT SolaX
Infinity Solis
JA Solar Sungrow
Jinko Solar Zeversolar
LG
Lightway
Opal Solar
Phono Solar
REC
Renesola
Risen Energy
Seraphim
TN
Topsola
Trina
Xtreme Solar

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Solar system prices for December: $/W medians, highs & lows

This table includes data for primary, premium & microinverter systems. (Click to enlarge.)

Prices above are colour-coded across highs, lows & medians for all cities and system sizes. (Dark red for highest, dark green for lowest, yellow for middle. Cells are grey where only a small set of data points was available. Please note that premium and microinverter options are not colour-coded.)

Premium solar system offerings for December 2017

Solar installers & retailers also upload pricing for ‘premium’ solar system offerings on the Solar Choice portal; these offers can then be viewed by Solar Choice customers. The definition of premium is not hard and fast, and usually comes down to the installer’s selection of components. Oftentimes, premium offers will consist of the company’s standard panel offering but a different brand of inverter – but many installers may offer a higher-end brand of panel as well.

It’s important to note that the range of products used in these systems will vary greatly, and that not all premium systems are equal in their quality; in fact, one company’s premium system may be another company’s primary offering. Be sure to do your research into the brands being offered before making your decision.

Prices in the tables below include both the up-front incentive available for small-scale systems through the Renewable Energy Target (STCs) and GST – they represent the total out-of-pocket cost of the system to the customer. We’ve left fields blank where there were only a small number of price points available in our database (usually fewer than 3).

Prices for each system size are colour-coded. (Dark red for highest, dark green for lowest, yellow/orange for in between).

List of products used in premium offerings

Please note that the below list is in alphabetical order and does not denote panel-inverter pairings in installer offerings. Also note that a premium offer may differ from an installer’s primary offer in a number of ways – such as the inclusion of a higher-end inverter, higher-end solar panels, or both.

Products used in Premium offerings
Panels Inverters
Canadian Solar ABB / Aurora
CSUN Eltek
ET Solar Fronius
JA Solar Redback
Jinko Solar SMA
LG SolarEdge
Phono Solar SolaX
QCells Sungrow
REC
Seraphim
Sunpower
Solarwatt
Sunpower
Suntech
Talesun
Trina
WINAICO

Microinverter solar system offerings for December 2017

Microinverter systems are generally better equipped to handle shading issues and multiple roof orientations than standard, central/string inverter systems. You can read more about microinverters (and whether they’re right for your home) in this article.

We also point out that microinverter systems sometimes compete with premium systems even where shading/roof orientations are not an issue, as microinverters are generally seen as high-end product.

Prices in the tables below include both the up-front incentive available for small-scale systems through the Renewable Energy Target (STCs) and GST – they represent the total out-of-pocket cost of the system to the customer. We’ve left fields blank where there were only a small number of price points available in our database (usually fewer than 3).

Prices for each system size are colour-coded. (Dark red for highest, dark green for lowest, yellow/orange for in between).

List of products used in microinverter offerings

Please note that the below list is in alphabetical order and does not denote panel-inverter pairings in installer offerings. We also note that Enphase’s microinverters comprise the vast majority of microinverter offerings (roughly 90%).

Also note that strictly speaking SolarEdge systems do not include microinverters, but rather power optimisers. However, they are often lumped in with microinverters because of the fact that they are similarly adept at mitigating the impact of shading and multiple roof orientations.

Products used in microinverter offerings
Panels Inverters
BLD APS
Canadian Solar Enphase
ET Solar Involar
GCL SolarEdge
JA Solar
Jinko Solar
LG
Opal Solar
REC
Seraphim
Suntech
Trina

Historic solar PV system prices (since August 2012)

The historic pricing in the tables below do not reflect prices for Darwin, NT. See ‘About this data’ footnote below for a more detailed description of where this data comes from and what it represents.

We have and will continue to included the 1.5kW solar system graph for the sake of posterity, even as we’ve removed them from the ‘All system sizes’ graph below and other tables in this article.

Historic Solar PV Price Index Trend (All primary system sizes, $/W)

The chart below provides an at-a-glance look at solar PV system pricing trends since August 2012. Data points are the average of average $/W for popular system sizes (Only 1.5kW-5kW from Aug 2012 to Nov 2013, then also including 10kW from Dec 2013, with 1.5kW dropped and added 7kW from November 2017.)

(N.b. Please see note about ‘Solar Choice Discount’ in January 2016 edition of the PV Price Index.)

 

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About this data

Tables and charts included in this article were compiled using data from Solar Choice’s installer network database, which contains regularly-updated pricing and product details from over 100 solar installation companies across Australia. Prices do not ordinarily incorporate meter installation fees or additional costs for difficult installations. Pricing data from Darwin is not included any of the charts showing historic trends.

© 2017 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II

James Martin II

Communications Manager at Solar Choice
James has been Solar Choice's primary writer & researcher since 2010. He lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
James Martin II

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