Solar power Western Australia: Are solar panels worth the investment in WA?

The number of solar power system installation continues to grow across Australia in spite of the withdrawal or reduction of government incentives across the board–and WA is no exception. This article is an overview of the benefits of solar power in Western Australia from 2013 on, as well as some of the considerations that will need to be made for anyone who plans on going solar in Australia’s largest state, including solar PV system sizing and pricing.

The average price of a 5kW solar system in Perth is around $6,500. To instantly compare solar PV system prices for your area of WA, fill out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page. You can also call Solar Choice on 1300 78 72 73.

Solar power in WA: The benefits

Most people who have installed a solar system in WA have done so to save money on their power bills. As households and businesses alike are well aware, electricity prices have risen dramatically in recent years. One of the most favoured options for reducing power bills in Australia has been to invest in a solar system and generate more electricity on site as opposed to purchasing it from utilities. Thankfully, solar power system installation prices have come down significantly in recent years, making solar power a more accessible option than ever before.

How to get the most out of a solar system in WA

Depending on where you are located in WA, advice about how to size and use your solar PV system will vary slightly. If you are located around Perth, your solar system will be eligible to earn you a bill credit of around 8c for every excess kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar power that it exports to the power grid. If you are further north on the Horizon grid, the incentives will vary depending on exactly where you are located; in certain areas, you may not be allowed to have a solar system that exports electricity at all.

In any case where the solar buyback rate is lower than the retail electricity tariff rate (i.e. all Synergy customers, plus some Horizon customers), the key is making sure that the system that is ultimately installed does not produce more electricity than your home or business can consume during daylight hours. This is because solar system owners benefit most by avoiding purchase of electricity from the grid in the first place–which is possible by generating and consuming their own solar power. Solar systems should therefore be sized to meet daytime electricity needs. On the parts of the Horizon grid where export of solar power is rewarded with generous buyback rates, those who can afford to do so may want to install as large a generator as is allowed.

(Are you a Horizon Power customer? Learn more about going solar on the Horizon Network.)

Typical residential solar system installations have capacities in the range of 1.5 kilowatts (kW) – 5kW, although they could be upwards of 10kW for households with high energy demand or where generous buyback rates are on offer. If you’re looking for specific advice relevant to your home and situation, feel free to speak with Solar Choice on 1300 78 72 73 or email

How much will a solar PV system cost in WA?

Solar Choice regularly publishes average solar system prices for most of Australia’s capital cities (See the most recent PV price index here.). The prices for Perth are roughly indicative of pricing for the rest of the state, but anyone who is interested in checking the prices on offer in their area can fill in the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page to receive a set of quotes specific to their location.

There are many good reasons for businesses to consider going solar in Western Australia as well. Solar Choice manages tenders for medium and large-scale commercial installations. Learn more about our commercial solar activities. 

© 2013 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II


  1. I would like to know what you would recommend for an installation where only east or east facing situation is available…
    I do not have north facing roof only direct east or west…should I peruse or just forget about it…I am located in Perth on the coast

    1. Hi Ron,

      Solar is definitely fine facing east/west if due north is not an option, and especially if the tilt on your roof is not too steep. If you only install on one side, west is usually the better one because a west-facing array will generate a bit more energy later in the afternoon – when you’re more likely to be using it.

      You can get a free & instant comparison of solar quotes by filling out the Quote Comparison Request form on this page. Give us a ring on 1300 78 72 73 if you have any problems with that or if you have any questions.

  2. Hi, I have a nominal 1.5Kw system installed during the high feed-in tariff time (47 cents buy back), I am a synergy customer and my panels face East and output peaks to around 1200w on a good summer day, OCV of my array is 330v dc, and sc Current is 5.2 Amps, there are 8 panels (190 W) with 44.5voc and 5.56Asc each.
    The inverter has a power rating of 1800w (Max) with 480v maximum DC input. Max DC input current is 12 Amps.
    I have heard it is possible to add panels to increase system output up to a maximum of 30% without loosing our current FIT’s (47c) although this has not been officially confirmed.
    Can you please confirm or correct the above, I am aware that a full system check would be needed prior to going ahead but would be interested to know what your thoughts on me considering such an upgrade.
    Seems to me there is some room to increase output in view of general inherent system inefficiency etc.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Wayne,

      As we understand it, it is possible to expand your system in WA and retain the tariff provided you do not increase your inverter size (read more about this here). We’d recommend checking with an electrician or certified installer about the technical details of the expansion.

      Best of luck!

  3. Hi guys – cheers for the info,

    I’ve just bought an existing home that has solar panels already installed. I’ve heard conflicting stories about my eligibility as a new home owner to export power to the grid. Can you clarify what the current legislation is for this scenario? WA resident. Cheers

    1. Hi Chris,

      Great question – we’re looking into it and will get back to you when we have a response. In the meantime, can you tell us where in WA you are, and if you are with Synergy or Horizon?

      If you are with Synergy, you should be able to continue exporting power to the grid, but the question that would need answering is whether the rate will change. The old feed-in tariff rate is higher than what is given for newly connected systems.

      1. As someone who bought a house in Northam, I found that Synergy still credited me with the 40c Net feed-in tariff from the existing system. But note that at least with Synergy it only lasts for ten years; regardless of owner, regardless of size, the 40c Net feed-in tariff ceases at that time.

  4. Hello there, in 2011 I had a 1.5kW solar Panel system installed . The inverter installed is an Eversolar unit which recently began malfunctioning. When I tried to contact the company that I purchased the system through I found they had gone out of business and was directed to an alternative company who is handling the warranty replacements. I have been told that there are approximately 100 Eversolar inverter customers waiting for a replacement unit and a 6 week waiting period. As I do not have a lot of confidence in this brand, I am wondering whether it is possible to buy an alternative inverter unit and have it installed.

    1. Hi Marg,

      Sorry to hear about your problems with your inverter. To answer your question: yes, it is possible to have a different inverter installed. While we recommend against mixing panel brands in a single array, inverters brands can be swapped in and out of a system, provided they are the appropriate ‘size’. If you’re going to go this route, make sure you get in touch with an electrician or certified solar installer to do the job.

  5. Hi David,

    Thanks for pointing out the inaccuracy. We’ve updated the article by replacing “In both cases, however” with: “In any case where the solar buyback rate is lower than the retail electricity tariff rate (i.e. all Synergy customers and some Horizon customers)”. We’ll also post update our post about the Horizon Buyback rates with the link you’ve posted.

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