Solar power in Adelaide, SA: Compare prices & installers

South Australia solar power reaches 94 pct of state demand on Sunday

Adelaide, SA is a great place for solar power – and did you know that 30-40% of homes in the Adelaide area have solar panels installed on their roofs? With the cost of solar power at historic lows and electricity rates higher than ever, more and more Adelaide homes and businesses are making the move to solar. This article outlines the basics of what you need to know about going solar in Adelaide (and also touches on battery storage).

Considering a Solar Power System for your business? Read our solar power guide for businesses in South Australia here

Four reasons solar power is a good idea in Adelaide

1. High sunlight yields in Adelaide

Finding the best deal on solar PV in Adelaide, (or anywhere in Australia), requires understanding what a solar PV system potentially offers its owner. Solar panels produce electricity only when the sun is shining, and how much electricity is generated depends on the intensity and duration of the sunshine.

The table below provides an overview of how much energy you can expect some common residential solar system sizes to generate, assuming that they are north-facing and about 75% efficient (a conservative number). Please note that these numbers are averages – actual energy yields will be higher in summer and lower in winter.

Estimated Solar PV system energy yields in Adelaide 

(Popular system sizes, facing due north at 30 degree tilt)

Solar system size (kilowatts)
Avg daily system output (kilowatt-hours)
1.5kW 5.4kWh
2kW 7.3kWh
3kW 10.9kWh
4kW 14.4kWh
5kW 18.2kWh
7kW 24.5kWh
10kW* 36.3kWh

*Note: Solar systems over 5kW (inverter capacity) may only be installed if your home is on a dual-phase or 3-phase grid connection, according to rules brought in by SA Power Networks from the end of 2017

What do these energy output numbers mean for my home? (and how much solar do I need?)

The numbers in the table above show you how much energy your solar system is likely to produce, but to work out how much you’ll save with a system you need to estimate how much of the solar energy you’re likely to consume directly as opposed to ‘exporting’ into the grid.

These days, solar panels are quite affordable across Australia, which means that sizing a solar system for your home is not an exact science. Instead, it comes down to how much roof space you have available, what your budget for a system is, and how much SA Power Networks will allow you to install (currently 5kW of total inverter capacity per phase, or up to 15kW if you’re on a 3-phase connection). We encourage you to play with the numbers yourself using our Solar System Payback & ROI Estimator tool.

We also note that these days 5kW is the most popular system size in the country, thanks to the fact that they tend to offer the best value for money while not being too hard on the bank account balance.

Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.


2. Incentives for solar power in Adelaide

Up-front ‘discounts’ on system installation prices through the federal Renewable Energy Target

The federal government offers up-front incentives in the form of ‘small-scale technology certificates’ (STCs). STCs significantly reduce the cost of having a solar PV system installed – typically by around 30% of the total system cost. This incentive should be automatically applied to the price of your system by your installer – you won’t have to take any action yourself to claim it.

The City of Adelaide’s rebates for solar PV & energy storage

The City of Adelaide offers a generous rebate for solar PV and battery storage systems installed in the 5000 and 5006 post codes and which meet certain eligibility criteria. You can read more about this scheme here: The City of Adelaide’s Sustainability Incentive Scheme. South Australia also has one of the countries most attractive battery incentive schemes offering up to $6,000 to eligible customers.

Feed-in tariffs in South Australia

The rate you are paid for your excess solar energy is generally referred to as a ‘feed-in tariff’. At present in South Australia, the rate you are paid depends on your electricity retailer and the plan you are on – you can utlise this electricity plan comparison tool to compare current offerings.

Remember that these days solar households maximise their solar savings by consuming solar power as it is generated. By doing so, they avoid purchasing electricity from the grid in the first place – effectively making each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar power worth as much as each kWh of power purchased from the grid.

3. Competitive solar PV system prices

As mentioned above, Australian solar system installation prices are among the lowest in the world – we know because we’ve been keeping track for a few years now with our monthly Solar PV Price Index. The price of solar has declined significantly over recent years as production scale in Asia has increased dramatically. We are now seeing a competitive environment for installs in Australia keeping margins slim.

You will see in the below graph showing the history of solar prices in Australia, published monthly by Solar Choice. Adelaide pricing, in orange, has tracked closely to the national average, with spikes triggered by state incentive schemes and other announcements.

Adelaide average solar panel prices from Aug 2012 to July 2021

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4. Solar PV systems in Adelaide are a great investment

As the table below illustrates, payback times for solar systems in Adelaide can be quite short and savings quite large. Keep in mind that the results in the table are based on average Adelaide prices as of March 2019 – lower system prices will yield even better results.

We just urge that you make sure that the system you’re purchasing uses quality components and is installed by a reputable installer. Lower prices don’t always indicate lower quality, but they should be approached with a healthy degree of caution – remember that a solar system should last up to 25 years (with inverter replacements every 7-10 years). Any system downtime will reduce savings and extend the payback period – not to mention costs incurred for any repairs not covered by the system’s warranty.

Indicative returns for solar systems @ average Adelaide prices

~Last updated March 2019~

3kW 5kW
$3,430 $4,490
@ 30% self-consumption @ 50% self-consumption @ 20% self-consumption 40% self-consumption
~3.8 year payback ~3.2 year payback ~3.4 year payback ~2.7 year payback
~26% IRR ~32% IRR ~30% IRR ~38% IRR
~$1,042 annual savings ~$1,243 annual savings ~$1,718 annual savings ~$2,087 annual savings

*(Assuming 75% system efficiency, 25kWh electricity consumption/day, retail electricity @ 34c/kWh, solar feed-in rate @ 8c/kWh)

Calculate indicative solar power system returns & payback periods for Adelaide, SA

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What about home battery storage in Adelaide?

More and more households are looking into battery storage to accompany their solar panels. According to our own analysis from April 2019, Adelaide is currently the Australian capital city with the best conditions for battery storage due to a number of factors – mainly a combination of high electricity prices and affordable solar power systems. Read more about battery storage in Adelaide here, or click the image below to see our current ranking of Australian cities for battery-friendliness.

Finding the best solar deals in Adelaide

Our free & impartial Solar & Battery Quote Comparisons contain product, pricing & warranty information from a range of installers in each of Australia’s capital cities – including Adelaide. To get your Quote Comparison, simply fill out the form on this page or click on the button below.

Compare quotes from up to 7 pre-vetted installers in your area now.

Since 2008 our knowledge and sophisticated software has allowed over 160,000 Australian households and businesses to make a well-informed choice on their solar & battery installer.


© 2019 Solar Choice Pty Ltd 

(Top image: Doug Barber, image via Wikipedia)


  1. Please clear up a use of Solar power for me. You say that the best way to use it, is as it produced. It is my understanding that with the current smart meters all solar power produced is sent to the grid and on todays rate I get 6.5c per Kwh. Likewise all power I use is charged at the current SA power user rate of 31c per Kwh (approx). So based on this, what difference does it make when you use power – if it was a reversing meter I could understand, but when all solar produce power goes to the grid I am at a loss. Please help a confused customer.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Think about it this way – when you run devices in your home, they’ll first use the power that’s being produced locally (i.e. the solar panels). If there’s not enough energy from the solar panels, you automatically draw from the grid (and pay for it). Likewise, if there’s not enough electricity usage to ‘soak up’ the energy produced by your panels, it ‘leaks’ back into the grid. Most homes use more energy at night, but it’s possible to shift the usage of certain devices (e.g. a washing machine or dishwasher) to daylight hours to use up more solar energy.

      The main thing to understand is that the solar energy is not automatically sent back into the grid – only the excess is. By using the solar energy yourself, there’s less energy that you have to purchase from the grid at 31c/kWh.

      Hope that makes some kind of sense. You can also read our article about solar self-consumption here.

  2. Hello

    We have 14 Bosch panels which have been good for four years. However, there has been a clear fall-off of power over the last year or so. This is about 15% less, or worse. (Its not dirt or trees – the panels face NW at 40 deg, and get cleaned at intervals).
    Its not one bad panel, as blocking each in turn cuts power similarly.

    Bosch say, “Sounds valid, get them checked by an installer and we will replace and pay costs if there is a deficit”.

    Can you help? And if so, in what way?


    1. Hi Malc,
      Thank you for your comment. Over time there will be a slight loss of efficiency but this does sound a little higher than normal. It will be best to contact a solar accredited electrician in your area to come and test the system. They will also be able to find any faults or problems with the panels. Simply search solar accredited electrician followed by your post code and a list will show in the yellow and white pages

  3. Hi, have purchased a new house, which has existing solar panels on the roof. No nothing about solar. Do I need to negotiate a contract with my existing electricity supplier? Do I receive a tariff? Who would I contact to enquire about battery storage? Dont move in for another month, but system is approx 18 panels/4.5kW. Postcode 5118. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Recognising that our response has taken quite some time (we get lots of comments on our blog), but the basic answer to your question is that you need to shop around for a different energy retailer to get a better overall deal.

      For your reference, we keep a list of feed-in tariff rates by state and retailer here. Also check out the government’s EnergyMadeEasy website to compare deals more holistically, or our own Solar-Friendly Electricity Plan Comparison Tool.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Hello. Can you help?? I am purchasing a house which has a 18 year contract for 5 kW solar power system on it. It is 3 years into the contract according to the owners who advised me that I now get that benefit for the next 15 years at the same contracted price of 24 cents per kw as I am taking over the property and contract now. I can find it in any current legislation that this is the case. I saw it was on your page from 2011 however. So just want to know where I stand as when I rang the company they said I am legible for 5 cents :( ??

    1. Sorry can’t see it in legislation. And can’t find out more cos I am not the policy holder etx

    2. Hi Shane,

      By contract, are you referring to a contract for a solar feed-in tariff, or a power purchase / solar lease agreement?

      I’m going to assume that you’re talking about the feed-in tariff rate. In South Australia the benefits do appear to be transferable to those who purchase a home with solar panels on an existing solar feed-in tariff arrangement. You can read a bit more about this in our article ‘When do the feed-in tariffs end?‘; you can also see where it is addressed directly on SA.GOV.AU’s FAQ page about the state’s feed-in tariff.

      Hope this clears things up for you! Fortunately it sounds like you’ll be receiving the higher rate!

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