How Much Does Solar Panels Costs in Brisbane in 2021?

Solar panels are the most popular source of renewable energy in Australia. Brisbane homeowners are increasingly turning to solar power for their electricity needs. Solar panel installation is a major investment, but what does solar panels costs in Brisbane in 2021? Whether you’re thinking about installing solar panels or curious to know the cost of solar power, this article will give you an overview of the costs involved, how much you can save on your electricity bill and the government subsidies available.

Solar Panel installed on a roof in Strathpine

How much does a solar panel cost?

There is not one standard answer to the question “How much does solar panels cost in Brisbane?” Depending on how many kilowatts (kW) of power you want from your solar panels, it will affect their price.

The cost of solar panels has dropped substantially since they were first introduced to the market many years ago. The cost of solar panels is reducing, with a typical home installation can cost between $3650 – $9500, but we need to be aware that it varies on a number of factors that affect the cost include retailer/installer you choose, the type of panel and inverter, and the warranties available.

 Source: Solar Choice – Average Solar PV System Prices February 2021
Source: Solar Choice – Average Solar PV System Prices February 2021

Note: prices are a guide only

Solar panels cost can vary in pricing due to the manufacturer and the quality of panels. Solar panels are ranked into three tiers. Tier 1 is made by big companies and the other tiers are brands that are not well known in the industry. As Tier 1 companies have been around for more than a few years, you are better off investing in Tier 1 solar panel installation companies over Tier 2 or 3. You may pay more for Tier 1 solar panels, but as the saying goes, you often get what you pay for.

Output by System Size

For every kilowatt of solar panels that you purchase, you can expect around 4 kilowatt hours per day of solar energy. So a 6.6kW solar panel system will generate about 26.4 kilowatt hours on a good day. This is a general rule. The amount of electricity generated depends on your location, the time of year, how much sun you get in your area, the position of panels on your roof and how old they are.

Coopz Electrical uses the solar design and quoting tool, Pylon Observer. The following example is from a recent quote using Pylon Observer for a solar panel installation in Ashgrove:

6.6kW solar system with Jinko panels and Sungrow inverter
6.6kW solar system with Jinko panels and Sungrow inverter
 Daily Production of Solar Panels per month for 6.6kW solar power system
Daily Production of Solar Panels per month for 6.6kW solar power system

The 6.66kW Solar System using Jinko solar panels and a 5kw Sungrow Inverter generates on average 29.6 kilowatt hours per day. The number of panels is 18 x 370w. As you can see in the Daily Production Per Month chart above, this solar system kilowatt output is higher in warmer months and lower during the cooler weather. One of the reasons for this is that in winter the sun is lower in the sky.

Do you really save money with solar panels? Is a solar system worth it when compared with solar panel costs?

The short answer is yes. The amount of money you save depends on a number of variables.

It is vital to get your power consumption numbers before installing a solar system. You need these figures in order to calculate the size of solar system you will require, and how much it will save you over a period of time. If you have a smart meter installed, it will tell you this information automatically. If not, you can work it out by looking at past electricity bills, which should tell you how much power you’ve used in the previous month or quarter. From this you can figure out the average daily usage.

A typical Australian home uses 15–20kWh per day. But it can vary depending on the size of your household ; for example, a single-person home will typically use 8–9kWh per day while a household with five people might use as much as 33 kWh’s per day.

Canstar Blue recent January 2021 electricity customer satisfaction survey found that the average annual electricity energy bill for Queensland was $1240. Canstar found that bill payers aged 70 or over had the lowest average bill at $836 and that bill payers aged between 40-49 years old had the highest average bill at $1548.

A solar installer, like Coopz Electrical, can work this out for you.

The Pylon Observer tool compares the electricity bill before and after the solar pv is installed.

Monthly Electricity Bill Comparison
Monthly Electricity Bill Comparison

From the graph, you can see that during the warmer weather, the solar pv will be producing more solar energy and a credit will be on your electricity bill. During the colder months, you can expect to have small electricity bills.

What is the Government Solar Rebates in Queensland?

In Queensland, there are still heavily subsidised incentives by the federal government-run solar rebates scheme.

For anyone buying a solar pv of up to 100kW, the program is called the Small -Scale Technology Certificate (STC). It works in the following way: if you install solar panels, you will receive a number of certificates to sell on an open market or you can assign the rights to your installer who will take the value of the STC’s off of the price of the solar system reducing the amount of money your solar panels cost. The price per certificate shifts with supply and demand and price fluctuation is similar to that of the stock market. The price can range from $0 to $40.

The criteria for claiming it is:

(1) Your PV system is less than 100kW in size.

(2) You get it installed and designed by a Clean Energy Council accredited professional.

(3) You use the Clean Energy Council approved solar panels and inverters.

What is a Feed-In Tariff?

A feed-in tariff (FiT) is a credit you get when you send electricity back to the power grid. It is usually at a set rate per kilowatt hour and comes as a credit on your electricity bill. Your solar FiT and your electricity rates are two separate products, with different terms and conditions.

Solar FiT

You should contact your energy provider to discuss any potential tariff changes that will occur with installing solar panels including any additional charges for having solar panels. You might have to chose between a larger discount or a FiT that is higher. To make the decision, factors including the size of your system and how much electricity you consume during the day.

Electricity Rates

Electricity retailers charge for usage and supply. Usage charge is per kWh of electricity used. Supply charges are a fixed cost incurred for supplying power to your household from the grid. The fixed supply charge is charged per day not by kwh.

Our current electricity retailer is AGL and they split the usage rate into a general usage and a demand usage. AGL says, “Demand Charges are based on the maximum amount of electricity consumed ay your site during any given 15 to 30 minute interval.” On our last electricity bill, we paid a $0.2404 demand charge for 4.396 kW of electricity used. This

added an extra $95.11 on our bill.

What is the payback period for solar systems in Brisbane?

There are so many variables that will affect the payback period of your solar system. Variable include electricity rates and feed in tariffs, the homes self-consumption rate, panel tilt and pitch and inflation.

One major factor affecting the payback period is the homes self-consumption rate. The more electricity from your solar pv you use to power your home, the shorter the payback period.

Back to our earlier example, let’s take a look at the electricity costs before and after 6.66kw system size installation:

Electricity costs before and after solar panel installation
Electricity costs before and after solar panel installation

Assuming the cost of installing this solar system is $5500, it would take under 3 years to pay itself off. The estimated annual savings is $2052.33 making the return on investment (ROI) to be 37%! The estimated net present value of investment for 20 years is $35540.90! Solar panel systems are an asset as they generate electricity that will slash your electricity bills.

Solar panel installations are a good investment

Brisbane is one of the sunniest cities in Australia. Installing a system could potentially give you an estimated ROI is 37%! If you’re thinking about installing solar panels, get quotes from local companies like Coopz Electrical.

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