Solar energy systems can most definitely save you money. The real question is, how much exactly? Well, that figure is based on a number of factors in which we cover in this section.
Solar energy can help you dramatically reduce the running costs of your property, especially in sunny Australia. To find out how much money you can save with solar energy, there are a number of factors that need to be considered:
- Your average energy consumption
- Usage patterns
- Your feed-in tariff rate
- The size of the solar energy system you install
- Where you live
Tip: Use our Calculate your savings to compare savings on common PV systems
Your Average Energy Consumption
You can easily determine how much electricity you use by looking at the back page of your last power bill. The amount of electricity you consume will be shown in kilowatt hours (kWh). This is the first step in determining how much you can save with solar energy as well as which system is right for you.
Typically, larger properties or households with higher energy demands will require a solar energy system around the 5kW range or higher.
A 5kW system in Australia generates between 18kW/h - 25kW/h (depending on your region) of solar electricity on average per day. Refer to your bill to see how many kW/h or units you are currently using.
Some regions are limited by the size of the system they can install; to find out more information, contact us.
Your solar energy system will produce electricity during daylight hours and any excess electricity generated is fed back into the grid unless you have a solar battery or other location to divert the energy to. Your energy provider will credit you for the export of power and this credit helps offset your power bills.
The clean electricity created by your solar energy system is always used in your home before power from the grid. If your home uses more electricity than what your solar energy system can provide, it will then source grid power.
Your Feed-in Tariff Rate
Most customers who sign an agreement with their energy provider will be offered a rate of 8c/kWh for the solar energy that is fed back into the grid.
It’s best to check with your power company to find out the tariff rates on offer and if you can, it’s recommended that you shop around to secure the best rates. Feed-in tariffs can also vary state-to-state, so make sure you have your figures right before you start calculating your savings.
The Size of The solar energy System You Install
Larger solar energy systems, such as a 5kW unit, will produce significantly more power than a smaller, 2kW system for example.
The size of the solar energy system you install has a great impact on the amount of money you save. It’s important to choose a system that is large enough to cover your power usage, lessen your payback period and maximise ROI.
On the other hand, installing a system which is too large will mean you’re exporting a surplus of power back into the grid. Now that feed-in tariffs are lower, you will be selling power back to your energy provider for much less than the costs of your electricity rates.
Finding a system which suits your property size and consumption behaviour is the key to saving money.
Where You Live
Australia enjoys the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. As a result, there’s plenty of opportunity for us to harness the power of the sun.
Your geographic location will influence the energy production of your solar energy system and ultimately, how much you can save. For example, solar energy systems installed in Queensland will yield more solar electricity than an equivalent unit installed in Melbourne.
In other words, in one region where solar radiation is stronger you may install a 2kW system, while in a region with less solar radiation, a 3kW unit will be necessary to achieve the same results.
The table below demonstrates what a 3kW system will save on average per annum. The two values indicate the average savings based on 5% and 25% export of electricity