Residential Solar Panels Tasmania

Residential Solar Panels
If you’re considering installing a solar power system in your home, we advise you to have a read of this guide to familiarise yourself with the basics. Solar Choice is an independent, impartial organisation that doesn’t have a preference for product brands or different types of solar designs.

The Basics: How does solar power work in Australia?

In Australia, the overwhelming majority of household solar power systems are connected to the grid and do not include a solar battery.

Having a grid-connected system allows you to remain connected to the grid and purchase power during nighttime and cloudy days. Your solar inverter will seamlessly work with the grid power to utilize all available solar power before drawing any power from the grid. Additionally, grid-connected solar systems provide the option to sell power back to the grid. Disconnecting from the grid entirely is typically not practical or financially feasible.

An off-grid system is a self-sufficient power source that combines solar panels and batteries to provide 24/7 power, without relying on a connection to the grid. This type of system is more common in remote, rural areas of Australia, where it can cost over $50,000 to connect to the grid. In these cases, installing a standalone solar and battery system to power a new home may be a more economically and environmentally sound choice. Although there is a substantial initial cost, typically starting at around $25,000, the system will provide free power for its lifetime.

A hybrid solar system is a grid-connected setup that includes a solar battery to store excess solar energy for use during times when there is no solar power, such as at night. Solar batteries offer a reliable backup power source and the ability to make better use of your solar power. However, their current cost does not provide a strong return on investment. In a recent analysis of 48 scenarios across all states in Australia, none showed a payback period of less than 8 years, with most scenarios being over 20 years. Given that the typical lifespan of a modern battery is 10 years, it’s not surprising that fewer than 1 in 10 households currently choose to install a battery with their solar system.


How Does Solar Power Save you Money?

Before determining whether investing in solar panels is a smart financial decision, it’s crucial to understand how installing them can reduce your electricity bill. Let’s set aside the environmental benefits for the moment.

  1. Offsetting your energy consumption

The main way that solar panels can help lower your energy expenses is by reducing the amount of electricity you have to purchase from your electricity provider, which typically costs between 15-40 cents per kilowatt hour. A grid-connected solar system will prioritize solar energy and supplement any remaining energy requirements from the grid. The amount of energy usage a typical household can offset with solar panels ranges from 30% to 70%, depending on how much electricity is consumed during daylight hours. The offset percentage can approach 100% by adding a battery storage system.

  1. Feed in tariff for excess energy

The amount of energy generated by your solar panel system is determined by the sun’s strength, not your energy consumption. As a result, there will be times when surplus energy is produced and can be sold back to the grid at a rate known as a “feed-in tariff.” These tariffs vary by state and electricity provider (e.g. AGL, Origin, etc.). Typically, you can find a feed-in tariff ranging from 3-12 cents per kilowatt hour. Your ability to access a feed-in tariff is usually capped by a maximum size limit for your solar system. 



Some options for increasing self-consumption

To lower your energy bills, it’s important to increase the amount of solar energy you consume yourself. You can maximize your return on investment by timing the use of certain household appliances such as your electric hot water system, washing machine, dishwasher, swimming pool pump, and underfloor heating system. To do this, you can either purchase a programmable wall-socket timer for under $50 at a hardware store or have an electrician install one for you.

How much will I save on my electricity bill?

To calculate your potential savings, it’s crucial to determine the correct system size for your needs. As previously mentioned, you save money by offsetting the amount of electricity you buy and selling excess energy back to the grid through a feed-in tariff. Understanding how much solar energy you will be consuming yourself is key to determining your savings, as there are different rates for purchasing and selling energy.


System Size Ave. Daily Solar Energy Created (kWh) Ave. Daily Electricity Usage (kWh) Annual savings from self-consumption Annual savings from Feed-in Tariff Annual Total Savings
3kW 10.2 10 $360 $225 $585
5kW 17 20 $692 $350 $1,042
6.6kW 22.5 25 $876 $472 $1,348
8kW 27.2 30 $1,053 $575 $1,628
10kW 34.1 40 $1,384 $700 $2,084

Given the following assumptions:

  • The solar panels have been installed in Sydney at an angle of 30 degrees facing north. Output data from other cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin are available for reference.
  • The cost of electricity is $0.25 per kilowatt-hour and the solar feed-in rate is $0.07 per kilowatt-hour.
  • The electricity usage primarily occurs in the morning (6am to 8am) and in the evening (4pm to 10pm), following a “double peak” consumption profile.


How much does home solar cost?

To determine the cost of a solar system, various factors need to be taken into account such as location, the type of system and products chosen, and the solar company contracted. Our free market comparison service aggregates current pricing data from hundreds of solar installation companies across Australia, and we present the average pricing per capital city in our Solar Price Index.


Adelaide, SA$3,760$4,190$4,600$5,000$5,580$8,900
Brisbane, QLD$4,370$4,870$5,630$6,080$7,160$9,700
Canberra, ACT$4,420$4,720$5,240$5,820$6,870$9,920
Darwin, NT$5,800$7,710$8,920$10,170$11,250$14,420
Hobart, TAS$5,020$5,650$6,620$7,560$8,570$12,390
Melbourne, VIC$4,080$4,300$4,720$5,210$5,920$8,340
Sydney, NSW$4,040$4,470$5,070$5,470$6,510$8,630
Perth, WA$3,320$3,600$4,700$5,920$6,670$11,380

The cost of a solar system includes all necessary components, labor, and equipment rental, as well as the government’s Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) rebate and Goods and Services Tax (GST). Over time, the cost of solar has gone down due to the increased scale of manufacturing and improved product efficiency.

Beware of cheap solar!

As you research solar options, you may come across seemingly low prices for systems that seem too good to be true. Be cautious of these offers, as they often result from a company making compromises on customer service, product quality, and installation procedures. Despite their long warranty periods, these warranties may be worthless if the company is no longer in business or if there is a complex warranty claim process in Australia.

In these cases, a seemingly cheap solution may end up costing you more in the long run compared to a well-priced system. To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly research the solar installation company and the products they offer.

What extra costs should I prepare for?

There are potential additional expenses that may arise in a residential solar project. To help you prepare, we have incorporated a feature in our online quote comparison service where we ask solar installers to provide an estimate for common extras. Check the table below to see if any of these common items are applicable to your home.


Extra Cost Range based on our price database Reason
2 Story Building $200 to $800 Need to use edge protection and hire a scissor lift
Tile Roof $10-$50 per panel Extra work required for installers as they need to remove many tiles to fasten mounting structure to roof battens
Kliplok Roof Sheeting $10-$50 per panel Specialised non-penetrative clamps required which are not required for other roof materials
Tilt Frames $25 to $50 per panel Usually only required if your roof is south-facing or completely flat to correct tilt or prevent dirt build up
Switchboard upgrade $1000+ No electrical contractor can install solar on a switchboard that isn’t to code without replacing it first
3-phase properties $500+ Properties with a 3-phase power supply require compatible solar inverters that are more expensive than single-phase inverters

What about batteries?

At present, batteries are priced at around $1,000 per kilowatt-hour of capacity that is installed. This means the average cost of a home battery system is around $10,000. While the benefits of solar batteries have yet to be fully established, it is estimated that in 2 to 5 years, they will become a practical option for homeowners, as long as manufacturers continue to expand their production.

Understanding Australia’s solar rebate

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) was established in 2011 to encourage the adoption of renewable energy in Australia. It operates by providing Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) to households and businesses that install renewable energy systems with a capacity of less than 100 kilowatts (kW) in terms of DC Solar Panel. These certificates are generated once the system has been commissioned by a Clean Energy Council accredited Solar Installer. The installer can either sell the STCs themselves or through a broker or aggregator, allowing the end-customer to only pay the remaining amount.

How are STCs calculated?

The value of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) is determined by the amount of renewable energy that a system is expected to generate prior to 2030. The calculation of STCs is based on the location (postcode), capacity of the solar panel system, and the time remaining until 2030. On January 1st of each year, the length of time before 2030 changes, which can result in slight variations in the rebate value. On average, the rebate amounts to approximately 30-35% of the total cost of the system.

Solar Payback Periods

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to figure out your return on investment. This includes the initial cost of your solar system, the amount of money you can save on your electricity bill, and any income you can earn by selling excess solar electricity back to the grid.


Average price for 5kW solar system (after rebate) Price of electricity
Solar feed-in tariff 
Payback period
Internal rate of return 
Adelaide $3,730 $0.34 $0.11 3.4 30%
Brisbane $5,120 $0.23 $0.15 4.2 23%
Canberra $4,540 $0.21 $0.08 6.0 15%
Darwin $9,510 $0.26 $0.24 4.7 21%
Hobart $5,600 $0.26 $0.09 7.2 13%
Melbourne $4,870 $0.25 $0.12 5.3 18%
Perth $3,120 $0.27 $0.07 3.7 27%
Sydney $4,510 $0.25 $0.11 4.9 20%
Average $6,523 $0.25 $0.12 5.8 18%

Selecting good quality solar equipment

Making a choice for solar panels for your home can be confusing. With a variety of options available, it’s important to choose high-quality products that offer benefits and not cause problems in the long run. After all, solar is a long-term investment, and you don’t want to end up with equipment that requires frequent fixing. To make it easier, here are three easy steps to determine if a solar panel brand is “good”.

  1. Check the Bloomberg NEF Tier 1 ranking. This ranking showcases the most financially secure solar panel manufacturers, which is a good indicator of their longevity and ability to provide warranty support.

  2. Look for top performers in PV Evolution Labs’ annual independent testing. These test results can give you a good idea of the panel’s performance and efficiency.

  3. Make sure the manufacturer has an Australian office and contact number. Having an easily accessible contact can be crucial if you need to claim warranty support directly in the future.

By following these simple steps, you can increase your chances of making a smart, long-lasting investment in solar panels.


Process Minimum Requirements
1.      Verify company trading history via ABN Lookup


1 year trading history (ideally 5 years +)
2.      Check publicly listed reviews (Google reviews, Product Review, Trust pilot etc.) Minimum of 20 five-star reviews and over four-star average
3.      Check Clean Energy Council accreditation, Energy Contractors Licence and Masters Electrician membership Clean Energy Council accredited for design and install of grid-connected Solar PV systems
4.      Check products they are putting as their standard offers on the Solar Choice comparison portal No ‘cheap and nasty’ products
5.      Request feedback from each customer 6 months after install is completed Customer reported issues are very rare. Any identified customer issues are resolved promptly and fairly.

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