You have a great advantage.
For solar panels, Sunshine Coast residents have the advantage of lots of sun and lots of roof space.
People install solar power for many reasons. The main reason is that it saves you money.
The financial benefits of installing solar power are dependent on three main factors:
- The cost of the solar system;
- The price of electricity and;
- The rate of self-consumption.
The first factor is self-evident. The price you pay to have a solar installed has decreased considerably over the years. Solar panel production is rising and increased competition is putting downward pressure on prices.
Solar power pricing reached an all-time low in 2015 with solar companies cutting costs to secure customers.
Installed prices for April have fallen slightly, however the average rate has started to slow in all states:
But, consumers should be wary of choosing a solar system based solely on price. Solar is a long term investment.
If the system you purchase if of low quality, the likelihood of that system performing well is also low. Choosing a good quality system can save you thousands of dollars in the long term.
That’s why we recommend that potential solar owners do some research and choose the best quality products their budget will allow.
Rising electricity prices.
The second factor is the price you pay for electricity. Solar power replaces the electricity you would normally buy. From July 1st 2016 electricity prices in Queensland are to be de-regulated.
This means that electricity providers will be able to charge customers more – or less (laughs) than the current regulated price.
The idea would be that an increase in competition would see a reduction in electricity prices as the large energy providers seek to retain and capture new customers.
In 2016/17 the regulated price for electricity in Regional Queensland is set to increase by 7% for residential customers and up to 13.6% for small business. It’s quite clear that price drivers such as an increase in energy and retail costs will see prices increasing at similar rates.
By installing solar panels Sunshine Coast residents can reduce the effects of these price rises.
Getting the right sized system.
The third and final factor is self-consumption rates. Self –consumption refers to the electricity you use from your solar system immediately. It directly replaces the energy you buy from the grid.
The more you use the more you save.
The trick to maximising self-consumption is to use electricity when the sun is shining.
Having a well-designed solar system that matches your household habits also helps.
The electricity you don’t use is fed back into the grid. Electricity retails offer different rates for this electricity, known as the feed in tariff. Usually it’s between 6-8c/kWh, while self-consumption will benefit you around 25c/kWh.
The combination of these three factors – low installation costs, increasing electricity prices and smart self-consumption mean that consumers are well placed to benefit from solar power.