Lorraine has lived in Upper Mount Gravatt near Brisbane for more than seven years, and she has been a long-time user of solar panels. Her current home already had them when she moved in, and the previous home she sold also used solar power. However, Lorraine has been using more electricity during the day since she retired, and she was considering a larger solar system to compensate for her higher consumption.
After being contacted online by Lorraine, Instyle Solar proposed a 6-kilowatt solar panel array with a 5-kilowatt inverter and a smart monitoring system. Lorraine felt comfortable with our team and our proposal, and she has been our customer since July 2021.
- When she received her first quarterly power bill after the system upgrade, Lorraine was pleased to find that our solar panels had saved her $400 in just three months.
- In other words, Lorraine saves $1,600 per year with her new home solar system.
Early in November 2021, the number of rooftop solar systems in Australia surpassed three million. This means one in every four Australian homes is now using solar panels, and many companies have also realized the benefits of this technology. In Southeast Queensland where Lorraine lives, the percentage of homes with solar panels is much higher than the national average. According to an estimate from the Australian PV Institute, over 40% of homeowners are now using them in Queensland and South Australia.
How Lorraine’s 6kW home solar system reduces her power bills
Lorraine achieves three different types of savings thanks to her solar panels, and here we will describe how they add up:
- Direct savings, by generating and using her own electricity. This amount is subtracted from the consumption billed by her electricity provider each quarter.
- Power bill credits, by selling extra solar power to her electricity provider.
- Electricity tariff savings, by avoiding expensive water heating tariffs during the night.
Lorraine mentioned how her consumption has always been low, but after retiring she was suddenly using more electricity during the day. This includes using the air conditioner more time, and this device can greatly increase power bills with its high consumption. Lorraine saw the opportunity to use a larger solar panel system since they are productive during the day, exactly when she needs more electricity!
- With a larger solar system, Lorraine can generate more kilowatt hours during daytime. These are directly subtracted from the consumption billed by her electricity provider.
- However, when Lorraine doesn’t use the full output of her solar panels, she can sell the difference in exchange for a power bill credit.
Lorraine also mentioned how she was paying a higher nighttime tariff for water heating. Since her home solar system is now larger and capable of powering more devices, she can avoid this expensive hot water tariff.
When all the savings achieved by her Instyle Solar system are added up, Lorraine is saving around $400 on each quarterly power bill (around $1,600 per year).
- If you look for Upper Mount Gravatt on the World Bank Global Solar Atlas, you will notice that this Brisbane suburb gets plenty of sunshine during the year. For each kilowatt of solar panel capacity, you can expect to generate around 1,600 kWh per year.
- With a 6-kW home solar system like the one used by Lorraine, you can expect an electricity output of over 9,600 kWh per year (assuming favorable rooftop conditions for solar panels).
What did Lorraine like the most about her Instyle Solar system?
Instyle Solar not only increased the generation capacity of Lorraine’s system. The upgrade also includes a solar monitoring system, and Lorraine pointed out how it’s fun to watch.
- Thanks to the user-friendly graphs displayed by the monitoring system, Lorraine now knows exactly how much electricity is provided by her solar panels each day.
- She can also see how the productivity of her panels changes during the day, reaching its peak during the hours around noon.
Lorraine also mentioned how she was very pleased with the overall experience provided by Instyle Solar. She felt comfortable talking with our sales team, and then she pointed out the professionalism of our solar installers.
Going Solar in Australia in 2022
Since Australia is a sunny country with expensive electricity, the potential savings offered by solar panels are very high. However, you also get a financial incentive from the federal government in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates or STC. This incentive is calculated based on the size of your home solar system and its location:
- The Australian Clean Energy Regulator has a solar incentive calculator, which estimates your STCs based on general information about your system.
- For a 6-kW solar power system in the Brisbane area, like the one owned by Lorraine, you can expect an incentive of 74 STCs.
- Each STC is worth around $39 as of 2022, which means 74 STCs are equivalent to a total solar incentive of around $2,886.
The STC incentive is decreased gradually each year, and it will remain available until the end of 2030. Since Lorraine installed her 6-kW system in 2021, it qualified for a larger incentive than the one available today. Last year the incentive for a system like hers in Brisbane was 82 STCs, equivalent to $3,198 (at $39 per STC). This is 10% higher than the incentive available in 2022, but the benefit is still significant for Australian homeowners who go solar.
Considering the typical savings achieved by solar panels in Australia and the STC incentive, most homeowners can expect a payback period of less than five years when using them. If you live in a particularly sunny place and your electricity tariffs are high, even a payback period below three years is possible.
At Instyle Solar we work with some of the top brands in the industry, and their solar panels have a service life of 25 years or more. This is much longer than their typical payback period, which means going solar is one of the best possible investments for Australian homes.
Interested in solar? By clicking below you can use our smart solar calculator to find out just how much you could save with solar, what rebate you are eligible for, and the impact you will have on the environment.
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