Pay off solar sooner than you think

There’s little doubt that solar power is the way of the future. And with the cost of power steadily increasing – 63 per cent over the last decade – solar panels are becoming more prevalent atop many Australian houses.

The average cost of installing a solar system, including inverters, panels and batteries, can be between $4400 and up to $10,000 for a larger system and, over 25 years, could cost up to $20,000 to run. This leaves many to wonder whether they’ll ever pay it off in time to enjoy the savings.

However, recent analysis has revealed that solar panels can pay for themselves within six to 10 years, and that the average savings over 25 years could be as much as $94,273.

In Adelaide, residents could save up to $3771 per year on electricity over 25 years. In Sydney, you can look for annual savings of up to $3150; in Brisbane, it’s around $2683; and in Melbourne, around $1988. 

So, in Adelaide, a solar system could be paid off in six years. It would take seven years in Sydney, eight in Brisbane and nine in Melbourne.

While electricity prices soar, increased demand for solar systems is coming down. However, Australians are still reluctant to consider the solar option, with cost being the biggest deterrent.

“The overriding impression is that it’s really expensive,” said Finder Editor-in-Chief Angus Kidman.

“The technology is a lot more widespread now, it’s a lot cheaper, but I don’t think that part of it has sunk in for people.

“And while it can be very economically viable, it is a long-term commitment. It’s between six and 10 years, that does rather presume that you’re in a house and you’ll be living there for that long.”

New South Wales is leading the charge (pardon the pun) on solar installations, followed by Queensland and Victoria. Overall, solar installations are up 30 per cent on the previous year.

The price of panels has come down, as too, has storage, meaning those who had previously installed solar only to see the excess power going back to the grid can now store this energy for the long term at a lower cost.

And with peer-to-peer trading becoming an area of potential growth, you could soon sell your excess power to your neighbours at a better rate than selling to electricity retailers.


Do you have a solar system? Does it work well for you? Would you recommend solar power to our members? Can you describe your system’s success or failure? Any other tips?

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