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Is Solar Power Worth It in Melbourne?

Is solar power worth it in Melbourne? We’re asked this question many times a day, and for most homes and businesses, solar makes a lot of sense. There are currently two great rebates available, plus an interest-free loan from Solar Victoria that help significantly reduce the cost of solar, meaning that nearly all 1KOMMA5° customers are now choosing a top-of-the-range system for additional performance, reliability and longevity. What are the options for Victorians who are thinking about installing solar, and do they really pay off?
Author
Tom Sedgwick
Updated at
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3 min

Making The Most Of The Victorian Solar Rebate

There are two main options to approach solar in Melbourne thanks to the additional rebates:

  1. Get a system that is ‘no money down’

  2. Use the additional savings to ‘upgrade’ to a much better quality system

Cheap Solar Is Cheap For A Reason!

If you’ve done any research into solar pricing you will have seen some unbelievable deals advertised.

Cheap Solar Melbourne

And unbelievable is exactly what they are.

Firstly, many companies are confusing people by offering interest-free finance and then advertising a ‘no-money-down’ offer. The problem is that is interest-free offer is not a rebate from Solar Victoria, it is finance offered by a 3rd party. We constantly get people telling us how confusing it is and how they thought the finance they were being offered was from Solar Victoria. Here is an example of what we mean:

Out of Pocket Expense

In this example, a $13,156 system is advertised as ‘$900 out-of-pocket’.

The other main problem is cheap solar: cheap Panels, a cheap inverter, and often a cheap installation.

Cheap Chinese imports like these cost less upfront, but they most likely will not perform like a good-quality system and won’t give you the same savings over the years that follow. It’s safe to say that this type of solar isn’t worth it.

In recent years the Clean Energy Council revealed that about 1 in 5 systems failed inspection and needed to be decommissioned.

It also found that an incredible 78% of all panels installed in Australia couldn’t produce the amount of power they were rated for and that almost half had lower-quality components substituted into them. These problems are widespread where manufacturers and importers don’t put in the effort to closely monitor every aspect of the products they’re getting.

Cheap Solar Panels Going Brown in the Sun

Ads for low-quality systems often include words like ‘tier 1’ and ‘top solar company’, but as Choice warns consumers, “extremely cheap sale offers like this are a big red flag, and the products are likely to give you problems within a few years. They’re also likely to be installed in a rush, leaving you with the possibility of parts breaking down and even causing safety issues”.

Be extremely wary of short warranties on workmanship (less than 5 years), and anyone who won’t assess your property for shade, angle etc before giving you a quote.

Warranties are also only worth anything if your installer stays in business!

The solar industry is notorious for short-lived companies leaving their customers without support. ASIC lists an incredible 650 solar companies that have closed, gone into liquidation/administration or similarly left the market since 2011, and it’s estimated that one-third of Aussie solar systems are ‘orphaned’ by their installers, which means that they will not be able to access any system support for warranty claims.

Solar Power in Melbourne You Can Count On

A good quality, properly installed solar system pays off to a degree that surprises many people. With two potential rebates slashing the cost of solar products in Victoria, these top-quality solar systems are more affordable than ever.

5kW LG300 EN Kellyville

Take an average 10kW solar system, for example. The federal government’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is over $3570, lowering the purchase price at which the system is sold. Eligible Melbourne buyers can then also claim the state government’s Solar Homes rebate, which covers up to half of the remaining cost up to $1400.

Based on the average numbers, a 10kW system is capable of cutting thousands of dollars off your yearly power bills, even if you only use around 70% of the solar power as it is generated. Depending on your power needs, larger or smaller systems also offer significant savings.

Saving of a 5kW Solar System

Your Power Bill with a Solar System in Melbourne

While a majority of homes can benefit from solar power, 1KOMMA5° usually recommends that to get a significant saving out of solar your quarterly power bill should be at least $400. The smallest system we typically install is 5kW, which can often save you around $300 a quarter, or even more if you are able to use most of the power it generates.

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Our Aim Is To Help You Minimise Your Power Bills

Our primary aim is no longer to minimise your return on investment because doing so would mean buying a very small solar system. This made sense 5 years ago when solar was so expensive, but now that solar is cheap and battery storage is available, most of our customers want to install a system that will minimise their power bill.

This is totally different to worrying about ROI, and it will mean you will be able to save much more money over the life of the system.

Furthermore, good-quality solar panels have become so cheap that it no longer makes sense to consider the bottom end of the solar market. You can have the best solar panels from the world’s leading manufacturers, online monitoring, professional installation, and full technical support.

If you generate more solar power you can use, you’ll get paid a credit on your power bill by your energy retailer of around 5 to 7 cents per kWh for the energy you’ve fed back into the grid.

The financial benefit of the feed-in tariff isn’t as great as the savings you make by using solar power in the home. The feed-in tariff is a part of the agreement you have with your energy retailer, and if you’d like a comparison point we are happy to recommend Energy Locals. They have competitive plans for houses with or without solar power.

The Victorian Government also has a great comparison tool to help you find a good deal: https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/offers

Adding Battery Storage To Your Solar System

If the bulk of your electricity use is outside daylight hours, then adding a battery to your solar system can be a great way to use your excess solar power rather than feeding it off to the grid.

Battery technology has come a long way recently, and it’s now possible to save the solar power you don’t use during the day to keep things running overnight instead of relying on the grid after sunset.

1KOMMA5° offers your personal version of Elon Musk’s Tesla mega battery, the 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall. Tesla Powerwall is a high-quality product with advanced online monitoring that makes it easy for you to see how much energy you’re generating, storing and using in the home.

For more information about this and how to accurately size up a battery-ready solar system for your Melbourne property, request a quote today on 1300 525 451.

Solaray Energy Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation with Director Peter Thorne Indoor

So Is Solar Power Worth It In Melbourne?

Generally, solar power is a great investment that can significantly reduce your power bills – for decades! In fact, a 10kW solar system can save you over $100,000 over the 25-year life of the system, and it can be the single most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re only prepared to buy the cheapest system, then there is a good chance your solar isn’t always going to be a great investment due to serious reliability issues. On the other hand, if you select quality solar products it’s possible to save a significant amount of money while also reducing your carbon footprint for decades to come.

For more information and a personalised quote, please contact the 1KOMMA5° Team today!

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Wärmepumpen sind Effizienz-Wunder: Sie produzieren aus 1 kWh Strom bis zu 4 kWh Wärme oder Kälte. Mit der 1KOMMA5° Strompreisbremse profitierst du jetzt erstmals auch ohne Solaranlage von Strom zu maximal 15 Cent/kWh¹ in Verbindung mit Heartbeat und unserem dynamischen Stromtarif Dynamic Pulse. So wird der Betrieb einer Wärmepumpe um über 50% günstiger als beim Wettbewerb.

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