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If you're like the many people in Australia who are working towards a greener future then you might be thinking about investing in solar panels. We understand that price can be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing whether to invest or not. So, we've put together this guide to solar panels in Brisbane so you collect and compare quotes, and figure out if it's the right thing for you.
What's in this guide?
- Are solar panels a good idea in Brisbane?
- What return can you get from solar panels in Brisbane?
- The solar panel installation process
- How much do solar panels cost to install in Brisbane?
- How much electricity does my home need?
- Do I need approval to install and connect solar panels in Brisbane?
- How to get a solar panel quote in Brisbane
- How to compare solar panel installers
- Compare solar panel installers online
- What solar incentives are available in Brisbane?
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
Are solar panels a good idea in Brisbane?
As the capital of the Sunshine State, it comes as no surprise that Brisbane is one of the most optimal places in Australia to harness the power of the sun. In fact, more than 35% of Brisbane's residential homes already have solar panels installed. According to the Bureau of Meteorology Brisbane averages between five and six hours of bright sunshine each day which has the potential of providing 4.8kWh of power per square meter of solar panels. More than enough to power your average home.
What return can you get from solar panels in Brisbane?
Solar power performance depends on a number of factors including the type of solar system you have, the direction your panels are facing, and how much shade surrounds your home.
Let's take a look at some common solar system sizes and how much energy they produce on average in Brisbane. We've used LG's Solar System Output Calculator and found the following information about Brisbane:
- Energy output with a 6.6kw system: 30.92kWh a day
- Energy output with a 10kw system: 46.85kWh a day
On average, an Australian home uses 18kw to power their homes, which means even the smaller solar system could provide ample energy for your needs.
The solar panel installation process
Choosing to invest in solar panels in Brisbane isn't a process that should be rushed. It's essential to take your time researching different types of solar panels and solar rebates in your area to find the best option for you. Once you've found the perfect solution to your solar panel needs, this is what to expect from the solar panel installation process:
- Engineer visit. A qualified engineer will visit your home or business to double-check that the solar panel system is compatible with your home. Generally, they will check the condition of your roof and your electrical panel.
- Documentation. There's some red-tape involved in solar panel installation in Brisbane. Your installer will take care of most of this, but you will need to be proactive in making sure you have received all of the incentives that you're entitled to.
- Hardware. Your installer will normally order all of the equipment that you need for the installation to take place. This will include the solar panels themselves, along with the inverters and essential pieces of kit.
- Installation. It should only take a few days to install your solar panels, depending on the size of your home, and how many panels are being installed. They'll start by preparing your roof, connecting the electrical wires and installing the racking. Then your solar panels will be laid.
- Switch on. Once the final inspections have been completed, you'll be able to start using your solar panels.
How much do solar panels cost to install in Brisbane?
The price of solar panel installation depends on a number of key factors including the:
- Type of solar panel
- Output you require
The majority of households across Australia opt for 6.6kW solar panels, which have an average energy output of 28kWh per day. This is usually enough to power a small to medium-sized residential property and will set you back between $3,700 and $6,600. If you own a slightly larger house and think you'll need more than 28kWh of energy per day, you can go for a 10kWh system, which starts at the $5,000 mark and easily runs up to $10,000.
Solar Run is a solar retailer who can help you install solar on your rooftop.
- Get quotes for solar panels and battery storage
- Clean Energy Council approved retailer
- NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and ACT
Note: Solar service from this broker is not available in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia.
How much electricity does my home need?
Every home is different, which is why you'll need to work out your personal energy usage to find out how much electricity you'll need your solar panels to produce. The easiest way to do this is by looking at a recent energy bill. Nowadays, most energy bills show an average daily usage figure in kWh. You can figure out your annual electricity usage by multiplying this number by 365.
This energy calculator from Energy Made Easy will help you to understand and compare your energy usage in your local area. For example, a typical four-person household in Brisbane East uses an average of 18.3kWh a day or 6672kWh a year.
Do I need approval to install and connect solar panels in Brisbane?
It's always a good idea to contact your local council before you invest too much money in solar panels. They have the final say on building regulations and will be able to advise you if there are any restrictions you'll need to abide by.
You will also need approval to connect your solar panels to the grid in Brisbane. To do this, you'll need to contact your electricity distributor. In south-east Queensland, this is Energex. Luckily, most solar panel installers will deal with this for you. When you connect to the grid, you'll be entering into a number of terms and conditions with your electricity distributor, which will be set out in a network connection agreement. You'll need to formally accept this offer within 45 business days of it being made.
Once you've accepted the terms of the agreement with Energex, you can get started with the installation process. As soon as the solar panels have been installed, your installation provider must submit an EWR (Electrical Work Request) to Energex to confirm that the work has been carried out to the required standards.
How to get a solar panel quote in Brisbane
Finding solar quotes in Brisbane is relatively pain-free. There are plenty of online calculators that will do the job for you in a matter of minutes if you want a basic quote, or you can contact an installer directly to get a more accurate quote. Before you get click-happy, you'll need to gather some information to make sure those quotes are as accurate as possible. Here's a quick checklist:
- Type of solar panel system you'd like to install
- When you want it to be installed
- How much electricity your household uses each day
- Information about your property like its roof material and how many floors it has
- Your most recent energy bill
- How you'd like to pay for your solar panel installation
- Your contact details
When you're ready, you can use comparison websites like Solar Quotes to compare prices from different companies. Alternatively, use an online marketplace like Oneflare to find and compare quotes from local companies in your area.
How to compare solar panel installers
Solar panels can be a hefty investment, so it's worth putting the time and effort into researching the right installer for the job. When you start collecting quotes from reputable companies, here are a few key questions to ask yourself:
- Is the company a Clean Energy Council (CEC)-approved solar installer?
- Have they provided an itemised quote taking into account any solar rebates?
- What warranty period does the company offer?
- Does the company have a good reputation and stellar reviews from past customers?
What solar incentives are available in Brisbane?
Energy rebates in Queensland are widely available for solar users, which means that over the long-term your solar panels may even earn you money. When it comes to financing solar panel installation the Queensland government offers three different types of interest-free loans and grants. These include loans and grants of up to $4,500 with repayment periods of up to seven years for:
- Battery storage
- Combined solar and battery storage
Through the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme (SB), you may also be eligible for solar rebates via a 'feed-in tariff'. This tariff works by rewarding solar users who generate excess electricity and export it to the main grid for the electricity distributor to use.
By taking the time to research different solar panel installation providers in Brisbane, making the move to solar energy won't seem like much of a big deal. Once you've found a quote, and a company, that you're happy to work with, it's time to get the ball rolling.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to buy the panels myself?
No. Usually, your solar panel installer will deal with purchasing all of the equipment you'll need for the installation. If you'd rather purchase the panels yourself, you can discuss this with your installers.
Can I install solar panels myself?
Solar installers in Brisbane must be accredited. So, unless you have the correct qualifications, you won't be able to install solar panels yourself.
Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
As solar panels become increasingly popular in Australia, it may become easier to sell homes with them. In Brisbane, more than 30% of homes already have solar power, and this number is only increasing.
How long do solar panels last in Australia?
The average life expectancy of solar panels is between 25 and 30 years, although they do become less efficient over time.
What angle and what direction should my solar panels be installed at?
The optimum direction and angle for your solar panels depend on where you live. According to a recent study from the University of Queensland, Brisbanites should angle their solar panels at 26 degrees facing true north. You shouldn't need to worry too much though, as your installer will figure all of this out for you.
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