Media Release

Australia’s richest suburbs don’t bother with solar energy

  • 45% of homes with solar installed have a household income under $75K
  • The highest uptake of solar is in Elimbah on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast
  • What to consider if you’re thinking of switching to solar

31 May 2018, Sydney, Australia – Solar power take-up is lowest in Australia’s wealthiest suburbs, according to, the site that compares virtually everything.

The analysis reveals that postcodes earning a higher household income are least likely to have solar panels installed.

In fact, 45% of the homes with solar installed have a household income under $75K, while only 35% of those homes have an income of over $100K.

A measly 7% of households in Richmond, Victoria, have solar power installed, despite having an average household income of $124,722.

In comparison, 50% of homeowners in Godwin Beach, which has an average household income of $72,944, have solar installed

Sydney’s Cammaray has a penetration rate of just 6% solar panels, despite the high household income of $149,655, this equates to only 82 homes in 1,361 having solar installed.

The investment for a 5kW solar system and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery costs around $20,328, and the research shows households earning $50,000 - $75,000 are more likely to take the plunge – that equates to 40% of their annual household income.

Graham Cooke, Energy Expert at, says it’s disappointing to learn that wealthy suburbs have less homes with solar power.

“The upfront cost of installing solar requires at least 40% of the income of those households who are actually taking the plunge, which shows they’re much more conscious when it comes to energy spend.”

“The research suggests that higher earning households are happy to fork out for expensive energy bills without considering how much they can save by investing in solar.”

“Over the last few years there have been many changes to solar rebates and it’s likely that a lot of these lower income households installed solar when it was subsidised and available at a discount.”

A recent survey conducted by reveals thats 70% of Aussies are struggling with the high energy prices and are actively taking measures to fight expensive bills.

“Aussies are feeling the pinch and some are switching to solar, although it’s not a quick fix in the short term, and is more of a long term solution.”

“On average, solar systems will pay themselves off in around six to ten years depending on location, the size of the system and usage. So essentially, Aussies’ short-sightedness is stopping them from saving hundreds on their energy bill in the long run.”

Australia’s greenest suburbs*
PostcodeSuburbStateSolar uptake
25117Angle ValeSA60%
85171McLaren ValeSA52%
92899Norfolk IslandNSW51%

*Data is postcode level, suburbs listed are largest within postcode area.

What to keep in mind if you’re considering installing solar

  1. Can you afford it?
    Installing solar can be expensive, costing on average $20,000 per installation. It also often comes with many additional costs so make sure you set yourself a budget and shop around before you jump in, this way you’ll know whether you’re getting the best value system for your needs. A solar system takes on average 6 - 10 years to pay off but once you meet the breakeven point you can save hundreds on your bills each year.
  2. Is it a practical solution for your home?
    Deciding you want solar is all well and good but if you don’t have the right space or area to house your solar panels you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle. Solar panels rely on the energy of the sun, so if you have a few large trees blocking the sunlights direct access to your panels you might want to rethink your placement. As a rule of thumb fixed solar panels should face north, so that they collect the most sunlight throughout the day.
  3. Do you plan on powering your whole house?
    You don’t always have to go completely off-grid. Installing a smaller system might not be powerful enough to supply your whole home with electricity but it is a start and can reduce initial investment.


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