“Solar School for Beginners” is a series of articles to guide you on building a Solar energy system for your home. Click here to read the previous article. For definitions of more technical Solar jargon, check out our Solar School Glossary.
Interested in solar? One of the top questions on your mind when you start to research will most likely be: How much will a solar panel system cost me?
Here’s some good news. Solar panel system installation costs have fallen significantly during the past decade. As per Solar Choice the average cost of a 5kW solar panel system in Australia fell from $12,250 ($2.45 per watt) to $5,170 ($1.03 per watt). That being said, many factors come into play on the cost of YOUR solar panel system and its installation. Let’s break it down.
What impacts the cost of your solar panel system?
Just as your home’s features are unique to your preferences, each solar panel system should be customized to suit your own needs, such as electricity use and property. Here are six main factors that impact the cost of your solar energy system:
- System Size: The size of your solar panel system will depend on your electricity use. The bigger the system, the pricier it will be.
- Battery Storage or Not: There are various reasons why people choose to include batteries in their solar panel systems. If you add batteries, note that these can add some cost to your solar panel system upfront.
- Location: Installation cost varies by state.
- Your roof’s solar potential: If your roof receives fewer hours of sunlight, your system will need more solar panels.
- Equipment: The type and quality of your equipment, such as solar panels, inverters, and batteries, will impact the total cost of the system.
- Labor: Solar companies charge different installation rates.
Do you qualify for government incentives?
If you own your solar panel system, you might be eligible for federal and local government incentives and rebates! In Australia, Federal rebate also popularly known as STC is applicable throughout Australia, rebate values vary by various factors, such as year of installation, location, and system size. Each state also has its own subsidy. Visit Clean Energy Council (CEC)’s website for more information about government programs.
Bonus fact: Homes with eco-friendly features such as solar panel systems can sell for higher values according to this research.
How to get started
Since there are so many factors that influence the cost of your solar energy system, it’s best to contact a local solar installer who can guide you through the process. Below are a few resources:
Solar Quotes offers a simple online service that allows you to get three quotes from different installers.
Solar Choice is another popular site, presenting a similar service as Solar Quotes
Before you contact solar installers, read this article to know more about what you should ask them!