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Who doesn't want to save money on their monthly energy bill? Solar panels help you save money by harnessing the power of the sun. Not to mention with solar you can make a difference on climate change by reducing your carbon footprint.
What's in this guide?
- Are solar panels a good idea in Canberra?
- What return can you get from solar panels in Canberra?
- What's the process for installing solar panels?
- How much do solar panels cost to install in Canberra?
- How much electricity does my home need?
- Do I need approval to install and connect solar panels in Canberra?
- How to get a solar panel quote in Canberra
- How to compare solar panel installers
- Compare solar panel installers online
- What solar incentives are available in Canberra?
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
Are solar panels a good idea in Canberra?
The climate of Canberra, according to the Bureau of Meteorology is exceptionally dry with warm to hot summers that boast an average high of 28 degrees in January. The winters can be quite cold and can even dip to -0.1 degrees in July. Despite the varying mercury, one thing remains consistent in Canberra and that is ample sunshine year-round, which makes solar panels an excellent idea.
If you install panels on a north-facing roof, then you can expect the sunlight energy to average around five hours of full noon sunshine every day. That is substantial and puts Canberra equal with Adelaide for sunlight exposure and in a much more favourable position then Hobart, Melbourne, or Sydney for solar energy.
What return can you get from solar panels in Canberra?
If you install a 5-kilowatt solar panel system on the north-facing side of your roof then you can expect the system to produce about 20 kilowatt-hours per day, which works out to 7,300-kilowatt-hours in a single year.
If you install a 10-kilowatt solar system that features 27 solar panels then you can expect an output every day of 36 kWh. You can expect a solar feed-in saving of up to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Your annual savings for a 10-kilowatt solar system in the Canberra area work out to annual savings between $1,736 to $2,202.
What's the process for installing solar panels?
Below is an outline of installing solar systems. Canberra area installers all have their own unique style of installation but typically this pattern is always followed.
- A complete roof and site assessment is carried out by the solar installer. They will measure the roof, evaluate the structural integrity of the home, and collect readings to determine sunlight and shading availability.
- The number of panels, panel wattage, manufacturer, roof placement, inverter type, and other facets is gone over with the homeowner for final approval.
- All permits and paperwork are completed. The installer handles the entire process.
- Depending on the solar installer, they might need to special order all the solar system equipment if they do not have it in stock.
- The installers will prep the roof, connect the electrical wiring, and racking is then installed on the roof to support the panels. The panels are then installed on the racking. The inverter system is then installed and connected to the panels to start converting the direct current (DC) energy from the panels to alternating current (AC) energy for your home's use.
- Final inspections are carried out.
How much do solar panels cost to install in Canberra?
The cost to install 6.6kW solar panels is about $5,250 for a basic home system according to Solar Run. You'll achieve about 28kWh output every day with the system. This system is considered suitable for a medium-sized home.
If you want a larger system, then a 10kW solar panel setup averages around $8,490 according to Solar Run. These panels will have an output of around 42kWh per day which can be suitable for a large home. You can also upgrade the panels to improve efficiency and combat any shade, but the upgrade choices do cost more.
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.
Does your company belong in this list?
How much electricity does my home need?
To determine how much electricity your home needs you should check your energy bill and read your meter regularly to get an idea. Some providers will even show your consumption rate online.
Remember that all households are different. A large family household with four members is going to use more power than a senior living alone. According to the Mount Alexander Shire Council, a household with a family of four will average 41 kWh per day which works out to a cost of around $9 per day. To determine the energy consumption of various appliances in the household you can use an energy calculator.
Do I need approval to install and connect solar panels in Canberra?
It's always a good idea to ask your council first if you're unsure, especially if your home is heritage listed or the panels will face the street.
You generally won't need development approval for solar systems if your panels comply with the Planning and Development Regulation 2008. Some of the requirements are:
- No panels within 1.5m of the block's side or rear boundaries.
- No panels can protrude higher than 300mm above the closest point of the roof.
- No part of a protruding panel blocks solar access to another block.
- No ground panels can be between the front boundary and building line.
In Canberra, households can install a solar system up to 10 kilowatts for those with single-phase power but those with three-phase power can install up to 20 kilowatts. However, you must obtain council permission for anything over 10 kilowatts.
To connect to the network, you must complete a Special Connection Request form (typically your solar panel installer Canberra will complete the paperwork) to receive approval prior to starting the solar installation. An electrician must also submit a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) within 14 days to Access Canberra Electrical Inspections. As the homeowner, you can ask to be around when the inspection is carried out
How to get a solar panel quote in Canberra
Before approaching a company for a solar panel quote, you'll need some information handy first:
- Your average electricity consumption
- What type of system you're after e.g off-grid, on-grid, hybrid
- Information about your property including the roof materials and property age
- Your budget
- When you want the system installed
Once you've compiled this information, you can get quotes from various installers by researching in business directories online or using a solar comparison service.
Be sure to read customer reviews for the various installers online, and make sure they have good reputations.
Be sure to ask for itemised quotes so you know exactly what everything is going to cost and there are no hidden charges. Check out our guide to obtaining solar panel quotes for more information.
How to compare solar panel installers
Here are a few tips to help you better compare solar panel installers in Canberra:
- Are the installers Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited? Small-scale technology certificates (STCs) require that a CEC-accredited installer handle the installation of your solar panels. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) represents the country's clean energy sector.
- How long has the company been in business? Make sure the company has a proven track record in the industry.
- What are the company's previous customer reviews? How many previous installations have they done which were similar to your own?
- What do previous customers think? Check the company's reputation on Google, Facebook and other relevant directories to make sure they have an acceptable track record.
What solar incentives are available in Canberra?
Lower electricity bills
One of the main incentives of installing solar power is to lower your home's non-solar energy consumption which helps you save money on your electric bill. The monthly savings build-up quickly so that the cost of installing solar eventually pays for itself.
In addition to this there are incentives from the government. The Renewable Energy Target is an Australian federal policy that focuses on promoting the use of solar and other renewables in the country. They offer financial incentives that are provided through small-scale technology certificates (STCs) which provide a certain reimbursement percentage on the cost of solar installation.
Eligibility depends on whether or not the homeowner or small business owner uses a solar system that is less than 100 kW in size, has approved panels and has been professionally installed by a solar company.
A single STC is valued at around $40. How many STCs you can earn depends on the solar systems size. Check out our guide which shows how to save money with STCs.
With the Solar for Low Income Households program, ACT households that qualify can receive a rebate of up to 50 per cent off the cost of installation and supply of a rooftop solar system with a cap of $2,500. The rebate will also cover any switchboard upgrade.
ACT Labor is offering interest-free loans to Canberra households to encourage the installation of rooftop solar panels and household battery storage. The interest-free loans are between $2,000 to $15,000 and cover the upfront costs of installation.
Locally, many energy retailers can also pay feed-in tariffs to the homeowner. The tariffs are earned when your solar system makes excess electricity which is then fed back into the retailer's grid. The rates vary and depend on the particular retailer.
With the correct information, making the move to solar panels in Canberra could be a great benefit and might save you money over time. Always take the time to compare your options by researching various installers and remember to only use an accredited installer.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to buy the panels myself?
No, the installer will help you select and then purchase the panels and equipment.
Can I install solar panels myself?
Installing solar panels is not a DIY project and can be dangerous if you're not qualified. You will need a reputable solar panel installer with the proper accreditation.
Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
It is not hard to sell a house with solar panels, as more people are embracing the benefits of clean energy. In fact, a well maintained solar panel system represents an investment and a potential value-add for a property being sold, so it can actually increase the value of a property.
How long do solar panels last in Australia?
Solar panels last around 25 years in Australia.
What angle and what direction should my solar panels be installed at?
Your installer will choose the optimal angle for your panels, but generally a 20 to 30-degree pitch on a north-facing roof will suit a property in Canberra.
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