Among many Australian homeowners, solar panels have become a popular way to save money and reduce bills. After all, the statistics don’t lie – all over Australia, families are making significant savings with standard solar systems. As electricity prices rocket to new heights, and solar panels drop to record lows… it’s a win-win situation!
In this article, we’re going to focus on how much solar panels cost, while weighing those costs against the potential savings. To do this, we’ll examine the wider ecosystem of solar energy products for their value and suitability.
How much you can expect to save from your system depends on multiple factors, including the specific model of solar panels, the feed-in-tariff, the cost of the panels themselves, and their overall efficiency. To understand how to earn money through solar, you will need to learn more about these factors.
Considering the Cost of Solar Panels in Sydney
When it comes to the rough average cost of solar panels in Sydney, you need to consider the price of the installation, as well as the cost of the panels – this means taking multiple criteria into account.
Thankfully, the industry standard is to include the price of installation with solar panel systems, at least as advertised by retailers. A solar installation with panels could set you back around $5,000 – $7,000 for a 5kWh system.
Whether your price is closer to $5,000 or $7,000 depends on the complexity of the system/ installation, and can include the following factors:
#1 – Power Density/Colour
Power density is a measurement related to the amount of power that a solar panel can produce. It is one of the purest metrics of panel performance.
Darker coloured solar panels tend to be more power-dense – and of course, the more power-dense the panel, the higher its overall price will be.
#2 – Panel Type
Commercial solar panels typically come in polycrystalline and monocrystalline variants. Both are constructed from silicon, but manufactured differently, with a range of appearances and levels of overall efficiency.
Monocrystalline panels are usually more efficient and more expensive, while being black in colour. Polycrystalline panels are less efficient but more affordable. They come in a blue hue.
Other types of solar panels are generally only for specialist applications – they are not really suitable for residential or business purposes. Such solar panel types often include bifacial and concentrated PV.
#3 – Capacity
This is simply how much energy produced per hour in Watts. A bigger system will simply have more solar panels for increased output.
The standard for an Australian household’s electricity needs is the 5kW system. Obviously, the larger the capacity, the more you will pay. However, when you compare the initial cost to savings on energy over time, it often works out to be more affordable to purchase a larger system.
#4 – Inverter Type
Solar panels operate in groups, with the energy from all cells fed back to a single inverter.
The most affordable and popular choice here is the string inverter. Microinverters are more expensive; though they have their use with solar panels that are in the shade, or require a performance increase. Power optimisers are similar to microinverters, while generally being more affordable.
#5 – Installation
Installation of a solar system is no simple task, with a number of facets involved in a successful installation.
As mentioned above, the cost of the solar panels is coupled with the cost of installation. You might pay between $5,000 – $7,000 for a 5kWh solar panel system, including installation.
Some of the factors affecting the cost of installation include:
- Location – Flat roofs are the easiest surface for solar panel installation. However, they can also be installed on the ground, other roof pitches, and even on carports!
- Roof type – Tilted roofs with a lot of pitch are more difficult for solar panel installation. The type of roof will determine how the panels are installed through either racking, a ballast mounting, or a flashing piece. If the roof is very high, making it harder to access or move materials to, you may also pay more.
- Quantity – The more solar panels, the higher the price for the installation.
- Specialisation – If you are purchasing a very specific or niche kind of solar panel, then you will probably pay for a qualified installer.
- Expertise – More experienced providers might charge you more for the installation.
- Interconnection cost – This is the process of connecting the solar system to the electrical grid. The rules and regulations vary depending on your locality.
- Distance to utility metre – Costs for installation will increase if the solar array is far from the utility meter. This is due to the materials (such as wiring) and the extra time taken to lay down this wiring.
Most of these can simply be grouped under one heading: complexity. If you have a complex installation, the price will increase. Each quote will be affected by the difficulty of installation.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Sydney?
The below table details the average cost of solar panels in Sydney. One thing to keep in mind is that these costs include installation – as such, these numbers are not taking into account a highly complicated installation (and the extra costs that come along with it).
The following prices are only averages – always contact at least 3 providers to compare quotes for your exact needs and circumstances. Be sure to confirm that the costs are all-inclusive and that there are no hidden fees.
|Solar System Size||Number of Solar Panels||Price|
|3kWh||9 x 370W Panels||$4,500 – $5,500|
|6kWh||18 x 370W Panels||$5,500 – $7,500|
|8kWh||22 x 370W Panels||$7,000 – $9,000|
|10kWh||28 x 370W Panels||$8,500 – $11,000|
Do You Really Save Money With Solar Panels in Sydney?
The use of solar panels is probably one of the most reliable ways to make money – safer than stocks, bonds, and classical investing. You know most of the information in advance… including the feed-in-tariff rate, electricity price, solar panel system cost, and how much energy you use.
While the tariff and price of electricity are still subject to future fluctuations, solar panels are still an extremely safe investment for any homeowner.
We have a table which roughly indicates how much you can expect to save using solar panels (found below). Most often, solar panel systems pay for themselves within four to five years. Everything you make beyond that is an additional profit!
|Location||5% fed into the grid||25% fed into the grid|
|New South Wales||$1126||$934|
If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not. There is a massive body of official data to back these results up, all over Australia!
Our table here outlines the savings per annum for a smaller 3kWh solar panel system in various Australian states and territories. For your specific situation, it’s advised to research your energy consumption and requirements… simply use an online solar panel cost calculator to estimate your potential savings!
How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power a House?
This question is a little misleading. First, it depends on how much energy your household is using, which is typically dependent on how many people live in your house. For a family of 5, a 5kWh solar system is most appropriate.
The number of panels you need for your system will depend on both the efficiency of each panel, and your total energy consumption. A rooftop system might have around 16 panels or so. For just two people living in a home with modest energy needs, a 3kWh system might be appropriate, and this could have 10 panels.
Focus on meeting your energy requirements based on the total system capacity. The number of solar panels is secondary, and depends on the panel type, size of panel, roof angle, shading, etc.. Microinverters and power optimisers can also influence how many panels you need in total.
How Do I Find Out What Solar Panel Size I Need?
The first step is to figure out your total energy consumption. This is easy: just take a look at your electric bill and see how much energy you consumed last year. This should be displayed clearly. If it isn’t, you can work out your electricity consumption by dividing how much you paid by the price of electricity.
You also need to keep in mind how much available space you have on your roof. Most households in Sydney will need a 5kWh – 7kWh solar system based on energy consumption, with 15 – 25 panels. But you will likely need around 1.5 m2 of space per solar panel – this is something to factor in.
The best bet, as always, is to contact a local supplier. There are many nuances to the purchase of solar panels, and it can get confusing pretty quickly with all of the jargon: feed-in-tariffs, government rebates, inverters, optimisers, capacity…
An experienced provider should be able to cut through the lingo, and give you some no-nonsense advice on what systems will suit you and your home best.
How Does the ‘Government Rebate’ System Actually Work?
First things first: there is no such thing as a rebate. Until 2030, solar panel installations qualify for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). Each megawatt-hour of electricity generated is sold back under the Renewable Energy Scheme (RES). It is a subsidy payment operating under a government scheme to reduce solar power installation costs.
Because this is too convoluted to explain to consumers, marketers have simply called it a ‘solar rebate’. In any case, this rebate is already factored into the cost of solar panel systems when they are priced out. This is why you will see solar installers quoting around $7,000 for a 6kWh system, including installation. Without the rebate already included, the cost would be closer to $9,000.
The bottom line is that the rebate system is already taken care of and discounted in the price, and you don’t have to worry about it. The installer also goes through the hassle of selling the STCs, which is quite time consuming in itself.
How can I make the most out of solar power in Sydney?
Powering your home with solar in a place like Sydney can be a surefire way to make money… but there are still certain precautions you ought to take, before making a decision.
- Installation – Ensure you are working with a CEC licensed installer.
- Capacity – Observe your energy consumption per year and purchase a system to match.
- Consultation – Choose a professional installer, since there are multiple factors that affect installation.
- Panel quality – Purchase Tier 1 panels where possible, with strong warranties and performance guarantees. Longi, Jinko, and LG are all top manufacturers of solar panels that offer such warranties.
- Payment plans – Many solar installers allow for long-term payment plans, making it easier for you to budget for solar.
- Cost calculators – These can give you an idea of savings and your potential ROI.
As long as you are careful and talk to a professional installation specialist, there is absolutely no reason why you won’t ‘break even’ on solar panels in Sydney within five years, if not sooner. There was a time when it took longer than eight years to break even… but this is no longer the case, thanks to generous financial incentives and programs.
Solar Panels in Sydney: The ‘Bottom Line’
If you have a roof without solar panels, you’re pretty much throwing money away. The financial incentives are simply too enticing to ignore!
Most Sydneysiders would pay $5,000 – $8,000 for a 6kWh solar system, to satisfy their average household requirements… the savings on this investment will be achieved within four to five years!
Talk to us at Nationwide Solar Solutions for the highest quality solar panels and a professional installation. Given that you are near certain to make a return on investment, there is little point in using an inferior provider with less experience… they’re more likely to cut corners. You will be saving cents in the install only to lose dollars on every electrical unit generated. It’s not worth the risk!
We offer professional installations nationwide, with over 100 CEC certified installers. We currently offer the highest feed-in-tariff rate in Australia, and only work with Tier 1 panels from top-rated brands.
Call now on 1300 800 991 for a free quote – start saving money immediately!