Darwin Solar Panels: Installation, Quotes and Costs | Finder

Solar panels quote Darwin

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Solar panels tick two boxes; they're better for the environment, and they can help to reduce your energy bills. If you're based in Darwin and are considering adding solar panels to your home, or business, we've answered a few questions that might be on your mind.

Are solar panels a good idea in Darwin?

To cut a long story short, installing solar panels has tonnes of potential in Darwin. As Australia's most northern capital city, Darwin sees an average of nine hours of peak sunshine hours each day, and an average annual temperature of 27 °C. Having adequate sunlight is obviously crucial to generating enough energy to run your average household.

During the rainy season in Darwin, solar panels will produce less energy on average per day, but still enough to power an average household. Many believe that the odd rain shower can even improve the efficiency of your solar panels as it rids them of dust and pollution that can stop them from absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight possible.

What return can you get from solar panels in Darwin?

In Darwin, the typical solar power system is sized at 6.6kWh. Larger households or businesses may opt for a 10kWh system. How much energy your solar panels produce depends on where your panels are placed and how much sunlight they receive.

LG's handy solar system output calculator takes into account your postcode and works out how much electricity you can expect from your solar panels. Here's a quick overview of what to expect in Darwin:

  • Energy output with a 6.6kw system: 34.34kWh a day
  • Energy output with a 10kw system: 52.03kWh a day

To put this into perspective, the average household in Darwin uses just over 18kWh of energy a day. If a home uses all of the power generated, this can lead to a large saving of more then $2,000 each year in energy bills. If the average cost of solar panel installation in Darwin is between $5,000 to $8,000, this means your system will pay for itself in just over three years time.

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The solar panel installation process

Most solar panel installations will follow the same steps. Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect from the process from start to end:

  • Site assessment. A qualified engineer will come to your home to check out its structural integrity and ensure your roof can take the weight of the solar panels. They will also check your electrical connections, and measure the sunlight and shading on your property.
  • Legal documents. Your solar installation company will submit all of the necessary permits and agreements to your local council and wait for their approval.
  • Preparation. Once they give you the green light, your chosen provider will order the necessary hardware and prep your roof ready for the installation. This includes putting up the racking system and organising the electrical system.
  • Installation. Your installer can then lay your solar panels and connect them to the grid.
  • Inspections. Final tests and inspections will be carried out by a qualified professional who will let you know if your solar panels are ready and safe to use.

How much do solar panels cost to install in Darwin?

When you receive solar quotes, they will typically take into account all of the required hardware, any rebates you're entitled to and the installation fee. Costs vary considerably depending on the size and quality of the system, and the service provider you choose to work with.

To install a 6.6kWh solar panel system, you can expect to pay between $5,300 and $8,000.

It's worth remembering that cheaper isn't always better in the case of solar panels. Many installers will offer premium packages that use high-quality materials that may have a longer life-span and work more efficiently. In the long-run, it can often pay to go premium.

Also note that incentives exist to reduce the cost of installation in many cases.

How much electricity does my home need?

Understanding your energy consumption is one of the first steps to knowing which solar system is right for your home.

Your home's energy consumption is measured in kWh, with most households in Darwin consuming an average of 6,612kWh of electricity each year. The easiest way to find out your personal electricity usage is by looking at a recent energy bill. Most energy providers include your average daily usage figure here. You can multiply this by 365 to find your annual electricity consumption figure. This will give you a ballpark figure of how much electricity you need your solar panels to produce.

If you don't have an energy bill to hand, you can find out the average energy usage in your postcode using the government's Energy Made Easy energy consumption calculator.

Do I need approval to install and connect solar panels in Darwin?

Unfortunately, Darwin is prone to seasonal cyclones. For this reason, you will need to jump through a number of administrative hurdles before you're allowed to connect your rooftop solar panels. Luckily, most solar panel installation services will deal with this red tape for you, so you won't need to worry about it too much.

Here's a quick checklist of what needs to happen to get approval:

  • Submit The Network Connect Agreement and The Power Purchase Agreement to Power and Water.
  • Check that the solar panels and inverters are approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
  • Obtain relevant building permits to comply with the Building Act and Regulations in NT.

How to get a solar panel quote in Darwin

One of the easiest ways to find solar quotes in Darwin is by searching online. Business directories like White Pages and online market places like Oneflare can be useful to find local installers near you. Alternatively, using a comparison website can help you to compare a range of different companies by filling in a quick questionnaire.

Before you start searching for quotes, you'll need to have the following information at hand:

  • Your home's average daily energy consumption
  • The type of solar system you want
  • Details about your property including its age and roof material

How to compare solar panel installers

Your solar panels will be with you for at least twenty years, so it's important to find a reliable and high-quality installer to carry out the job. Here are a few must do's when it comes to finding and comparing solar panel installers in Darwin:

  • Make sure you're using a CEC-approved solar panel installer.
  • Find customer reviews for an insight into the company's reputation.
  • Ask about a company's experience working with solar panels.
  • Find out what warranty period the installers offer.

What solar incentives are available in Darwin?

As well as federal government incentives, the Northern Territory offers a number of local solar rebates and incentives for residents too.

Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)

When you install solar panels on your home in the Northern Territory, you're entitled to the federal government's STC rebate. This is a financial incentive that varies depending on the size and location of your solar system. You don't need to worry about applying for this rebate, as your solar installation provider will organise this for you.

Feed-in Tariffs

When you have a solar panel system in Darwin, you may be eligible for the solar feed-in incentive scheme. This incentive allows you to export surplus electricity to the grid and be rewarded for this. Energy suppliers usually give you a fixed amount of money per kWh of energy you provide.

Home and Business Battery Scheme

The Home and Business Battery Scheme gives grants of up to $6,000 for houses or businesses that install a battery storage unit of at least 7kWh. This is in an effort to reduce the amount of energy purchased from the grid and increase sustainable energy usage.

Bottom line

With substantial sunlight hours, a range of solar incentives and plenty of CEC-accredited installers to choose from, joining the green solar revolution is an easy decision to take in Darwin. By collecting and comparing quotes from different companies, you can be sure you're getting the right price for the job.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to buy the panels myself?

Normally your solar panel installer will provide all of the equipment for the job, including your solar panels.

Can I install solar panels myself?

No. Without the right knowledge and accreditation behind you, installing solar panels isn't just illegal, but extremely dangerous too.

Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?

More often than not, solar panels increase the value of a home. This is especially true if they still have a long life span.

How long do solar panels last in Australia?

Solar panels last between 25 and 30 years after they've been installed. In the last ten years of their life, you may notice that they start to lack efficiency.

What angle and what direction should my solar panels be installed at?

Located in the tropics, finding the right angle for your solar panels in Darwin can be tricky. During the winter months, the sun hits Darwin from the north and during the summer months, it comes from the south. To make the most out of the sunshine all year round, it's best to position your solar panels at a flat angle.

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