Over the last ten years, I’ve been on a journey to save money on energy. I’ve tried a lot of things along the way. Some things have been great. Other things, not so great. There is one thing that I’ve done, that has made the biggest difference to our household energy costs.
“Adding solar has made the biggest contributionto getting my homes energy costs down to less than $500 a year. It’s been a game changer for me.”
I’m not alone. More than 1.6m households have already installed solar PV technology. In Queensland and South Australia, nearly one in three households have solar. It’s more than one in seven in New South Wales and Victoria. Every week around 3,000 homes are adding solar. For many households, solar has become their biggest weapon to cut their bills down to size.
Solar makes serious savings.
In their 2016 Solar Census, 56% of respondents to Solar Citizen’s survey said that they are cutting their electricity bills by more than half with solar. Of course, how big an impact solar can have for you, depends on how much you install and how you use energy. There is now an opportunity to get a bigger impact than every before because the cost of solar panels has become cheaper so the average solar install size is much larger (around 5-6kWh). The systems installed five years ago were typically half this size or less. Bigger systems allow households to generate a much bigger portion of their own electricity, plus receive payments for any excess energy they may generate and ‘sell’ back into the grid. Which can add up to serious savings.
Enjoy energy independence
Installing solar provides a level of protection against increasing electricity costs. The price increases of around 15% in July 2017 and January 2018 in NSW/SA/QLD and VIC respectively were a shock to many people. But the impact was a lot smaller for solar owners who also gained an increase in the retailer feed-in tariffs to better reflect the value of electricity. Having a large PV system on my roof meant my electricity bills were slightly lower than before! Investing in solar has been a good decision for me. I feel like I’m putting something back by sharing electricity with my neighbours and treading a little more lightly on the planet. All without any compromises to using the energy I need. With another 20 years life span in my system, it’s a payoff I’ll be enjoying well into the future.
Is solar for you?
If you think you might have the potential to install solar, it’s worth investigating. You’ll want to explore the benefits and the potential savings on your energy costs. To help with that we’ve included an “Add solar panels” calculator to our electricity price comparison to give you an instant estimate of what this might mean for you. There are a number of factors to consider including system size, orientation and shading – that will determine the impact installing solar can make for you. There are some good independent resources that can help provide you with information – like Solar Citizens and the Alternate Technologies Association who provide a good lead in to form a view of what to ask if you’re thinking of going solar.
The future is bright
OK, I’m a bit an evangelist when it comes to solar. My inner accountant is very satisfied with the 15% return on investment that’s tax-free. Plus, it’s almost risk-free when you do your homework to find the right installer and warranted products. I know the difference that solar has made for our family. Many other Australians can benefit in a big way from harnessing the sun when it turns up at their place to create cheap (and clean) energy to power their lives.
Over the years we’ve done lots of things at home to take charge of our energy use. Here’s the rest of the story of how my family reduced our energy bills by 90%.