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

How much power do solar panels produce 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

Solar system size (kilowatts) Avg daily system output (kilowatt-hours) Annual output (kilowatt-hours)
1.5kW 5.4 kWh 1,971 kWh
2kW 7.3 kWh 2,665 kWh
3kW 10.9 kWh 3,978 kWh
4kW 14.4 kWh 5,256 kWh
5kW 18.2 kWh 6643 kWh
7kW 24.5 kWh 8943 kWh
10kW* 36.3 kWh 13250 kWh

*Note: Solar systems on single-phase connections in South Australia are limited to 5kW of exports. Some areas with congested grids are lower at 1.5kW.

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.

 

Incentives and rebates 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 $3,000 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.

How much do solar panels cost in Adelaide?

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.

Based on our data from March 2022, a typical 6kW solar system would cost $5,070 on average including the STC rebate and GST.

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.

Solar panel cost history in Adelaide South Australia

 

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

 

What is the financial return for solar in Adelaide?

As the table below illustrates, payback times for solar systems in Adelaide can be quite short and savings quite large.

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 in Adelaide – Updated March 2022

Solar Panel Size Average Cost Average Daily Energy Usage Self Consumption Rate Annual Savings Payback Period
5kW $4,580 15 kWh 40% $884 5.1 Years
6.6kW $5,070 20 kWh 40% $1,172 4.3 Years
10kW $9,110 30 kWh 40% $1,768 5.1 Years
15kW $13,665 45 kWh 40% $2,652 5.1 Years

Assumptions/Limitations

  • Assumes energy price of 24.3c / kWh which is towards the middle of what is offered in Adelaide
  • Assumes a solar feed in tariff of 7c / kWh
  • Average costs come from the Solar Choice Price Index for March 2022
  • Your self-consumption rate will vary depending on how you use power in your home. At higher rate, means less power is exported to the grid and improves your financial return

calculator iconUse our calculator to work out the return for your own specific details in Adelaide

 

What about home battery storage in Adelaide?

South Australia has one of Australia’s most attractive state-based battery rebate schemes, which for example can deduct $2,700 from the cost of a Tesla Powerwall 2. The rebate is scaled based on the size (kWh rating) of the battery.

In our regularly updating analysis on ‘whether solar batteries are worth it‘ we have suggested that the economics don’t quite stack up for solar batteries just yet (despite the rebate) when looking at purely as a financial decision:

Use Case Solar and Battery Solution Total Year 1 Savings Payback Period Solar & Battery Payback Period Battery Only
Young Adults / Older Family 5kW of Solar Panels and a 3.5 kWh battery $1,154 8.2 years > 20 years
Retirees / Young families 6.6kW of Solar Panels and a 6.5 kWh battery $1,775 6.9 years 18.7 years
Big Energy User 13 kW of Solar Panels and a 13.5 kWh battery $3,063 7.4 years > 20 years

For a full explanation of our methodology and assumptions – see the full article.

For this reason many customers in Adelaide are installing solar only, however keeping their options open to add a battery in the future if prices come down. Installing a ‘hybrid’ inverter with your solar system will increase your options when adding a battery as you can DC-couple a battery without the need for an additional inverter.

 

How to find the best solar company in Adelaide?

Since 2008, Solar Choice has been vetting solar installers across Australia based on our criteria of business longevity, accreditations and qualifications and evidence of a track record of happy customers.

You can use our online comparison service to find local companies who have passed our criteria and immediately browse through their solar and battery quote information on our portal. Through this process you can select the installers you wish to contact you and complete a site inspection if necessary and provide a customised final quote. Click the button below to get started!

 

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.

 

© 2022 Solar Choice Pty Ltd 

(Top image: Doug Barber, image via Wikipedia)

Comments

  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?

    Thanx

    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!

Comments are closed.