If you are looking for solar power on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, why not drop by the Solar Choice office in Manly? Solar Choice offers free and instant quote comparisons for the whole of Australia, including Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Why own a solar power system in the Northern Beaches area?
Harness the power of the Northern Beaches’ ample sunshine
Solar panels produce electricity only when there is sunlight, and how much electricity is generated depends on its intensity and duration. As an annual average, a rooftop in the Northern Beaches of Sydney receives around 3.7 hours of ‘peak’ sun per day. This number will be higher in the middle of summer and lower in the dead of winter. With a 1.5kW solar array, 3.7 hours of peak sun will generate around 5.85kWh of solar power. A 2kW system in the Northern Beaches will generate approximately 7.4kWh of electricity, while a 3kW system on the Northern Beaches will produce around 11.1kWh per day, and a 5kW system will generate around 18.5kWh per day.
Solar system power generation vs electricity consumption on the Northern Beaches
Depending on the number of occupants and how they use power throughout the day, household and business electricity demand varies. However, for means of explanation, let’s say that a 3-person home consumes an average of about 20kWh per day averaged across the year. A 5kW system in the Northern Beaches would therefore produce enough power to just about cover a home or business’s electricity consumption (if all electricity were consumed during the day).
Federal Government Solar Rebates for the Northern Beaches, NSW
Under the Federal Government’s Solar Credit Scheme, solar systems are awarded a greater or smaller number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs, also known as Small-scale Technology Certificates or STCs). How great the solar rebate is depends on the location, the size of the system in question, and the STC price agreed on between the system owner and solar installer. STC prices are flexible, fluctuating with supply and demand. Installation companies will usually tell customers what price they give per STC when initial pricing details are settled on. (STC prices are also clearly listed in Solar Choice’s Solar Quote Comparisons.)
The Northern Beaches of Sydney are located in REC Zone 3. (REC Zone and applicable STCs can be calculated for free on ORER‘s website.). A 5kW solar system installed on a Northern Beaches home would, for example, generate 103 RECs/STCs. After the Solar Credit REC Multiplier (currently 2x) is included, however, the total number of STCs generated is (103 + 55 =) 158. Assuming an STC price of $30, a rebate of $4,740 off the up-front price of the system is applied. This up-front discount is one reason that solar PV system prices are reaching unprecedented lows across Australia and the world.
Saving money on power bills via solar PV systems on the Northern Beaches
Grid-connected NSW residents can see financial advantages from having a solar system installed by lowering their power bills. Since the Solar Buyback schemes in NSW are not available through all electricity retailers, and even then only at a nominal 7-12c/kWh rate, the main benefits of going solar in NSW come when occupants can ensure that electricity is consumed while the solar panels are generating power. In essence, this means that solar is a great choice for businesses and residences that are occupied during the day. Power is first drawn from the solar system, and only the excess, unused power is fed into the electricity grid.
The smartest way to get the most out of solar power on the Northern Beaches is therefore to 1) install a PV system that will not generate more electricity than the occupants require, and 2) try to consume as much solar energy as possible while it is being produced–that is, when the sun is shining. This will enable a home or business to take a chunk out of its electricity bills.
A note about the NSW Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff Scheme
Since the abrupt conclusion of the NSW Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff scheme, there has been no state government-mandated incentive for small-scale solar power. Instead, there is a recommended rate is between 7.7 and 12.9c/kWh which electricity retailers may pay solar customers on a voluntary basis. NSW residents are encouraged to ‘shop around’ and find the retailer who offers a favourable rate through the state government’s My Energy Offers site.
Finding the best solar deals on the Northern Beaches
Good return on investment and short payback periods on solar PV systems depend first on finding the best deal possible on a solar power system. The best bet is to find a reasonable price for a reasonable quality system. Brokering the best deal on solar power installations is what Solar Choice does best, with a network of over 70 installers Australia-wide.
Solar Choice’s head office is located in Manly, NSW. However, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, Solar Choice matches up potential solar PV customers with installers who service their area–anywhere in Australia, including the Northern Beaches. With a bird’s-eye-view of the solar market, Solar Choice is in a great position to identify the best deals on offer and help find the solar system that best suits a customer’s needs and budget. Request a Solar Quote Comparison today by filling out the form to the right of this page, or call us on 1300 78 72 73.
Download a Solar Power System ROI Calculator for the Northern Beaches of Sydney, NSW
How to use the calculator:
1. Download the Solar Choice Northern Beaches solar power ROI calculator (Excel file)
2. Request a Solar Quote Comparison of the solar system installers in the Northern Beaches to obtain system prices,
3. Visit SwitchWise or a similar site to find the best deal on electricity,
4. Find out which electricity retailer is offering the best solar rates the state government’s My Energy Offers site,
5. Alter the variables in the light blue boxes in the calculator (system size, system price, etc) in column B to calculate system Return on Investment (ROI).
(You may also open the file in Google Docs if you have a Google account.)
*Calculator outputs are indicative only–please keep in mind that electricity rates, as well as NSW’s Feed-in Tariff rate, may change over time.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
(Top image by James Martin)
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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