Another year has shifted to the rearview mirror and your home or business is still without solar. There are many reasons why Australians choose to stay solar-free. For some, it’s the cost and, for others, it’s the lack of trust in the technology or the return on investment.
Let’s explore the reasons why 2024 should be the year that you invest in solar and your energy independence.
The case for solar
Drive down any street in any suburb across Australia and you’ll spy solar on roofs old and new. Over one-third of all Australian homes have adopted solar in some capacity. In 2022, Sunwiz reported that almost 50,000 homes had adopted solar battery storage in that year alone, with exponentially more expected to have been installed in 2023. From the first grid-connected system installation in 1994 to the rapid installations in 2009, Australia has taken out the top spot for the fastest uptake of solar for decades.
It is well known that solar panels will save homeowners an average of $400 per year per kW installed. The current average-sized solar system installed is 9.5kW. A home with this system installed can expect electricity savings of around $3,800 per year. All other reasons aside, the savings you can expect from your solar panel system are usually reason enough to make the switch.
Environmentally, solar has an incredible carbon payback period. This period is the time in which the carbon footprint created by the manufacturing and installation of the system is neutralised by its solar output. With a carbon payback period generally ranging from one to three years, solar energy is widely considered to have an exceptionally low environmental impact. Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 plus years with the inverter having a 10-15 year span. If you maintain your system for 10 years, you can expect 7-9 years of carbon positivity. This means that your carbon footprint would be partially offset by the production of solar on your roof.
Why you should install solar in 2024
Here are a few reasons why you should make 2024 the year you install solar on your home or business:
Financial savings and incentives
- Reduced energy bills: Installing solar panels allows you to generate your own electricity, thereby reducing your reliance on grid power. This can lead to significant savings on your monthly energy bills. Over time, the initial investment in solar panels can pay off through lower electricity costs.
- Government incentives: The Australian federal government has provided fantastic incentives for home and business owners to adopt solar. Many states, and even local councils, offer rebates and incentives to make the switch and often extend to other renewable energy technologies to complement your solar panel system.
- Increased property value: Homes and businesses equipped with solar energy systems often have higher property values. Potential buyers and tenants are attracted to properties with lower ongoing utility costs and a commitment to sustainability. Installing solar panels can be a wise financial investment that enhances the overall value of your property.
- Reduced carbon emissions: Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of power that produces electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or other air pollutants. By harnessing energy from the sun, you contribute to mitigating climate change and reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional fossil fuels.
- Conservation of resources: Solar power helps conserve valuable natural resources by decreasing reliance on finite fossil fuels. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels lead to environmental degradation, air and water pollution, and habitat destruction. By choosing solar, you support a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solution.
- Biodiversity protection: The extraction and use of fossil fuels can harm ecosystems and biodiversity. Solar energy systems have a minimal impact on local ecosystems, contributing to the protection of wildlife and biodiversity. Choosing solar power supports a cleaner and more ecologically sustainable energy model.
Energy independence and security
- Reduced dependence on grid power: Solar power allows you to generate your own electricity, reducing your dependence on the traditional grid. This can be particularly beneficial during periods of high demand, power outages (with battery storage), or when grid electricity prices are at their peak. Solar panels provide a degree of energy independence and resilience.
- Stable energy prices: Solar power systems provide a stable and predictable source of energy. Unlike traditional energy sources, solar power is not subject to the price volatility associated with fossil fuels. By investing in solar energy, you can shield yourself from fluctuations in energy prices and secure a more stable and predictable long-term energy source.
- Grid support and energy storage: Many solar installations are equipped with energy storage solutions, such as batteries. This allows excess energy generated during sunny periods to be stored for use during cloudy days, at night, or during blackout events. This not only enhances the reliability of your energy supply but also contributes to grid stability during peak demand times.
You can also benefit from Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). VPPs allow to generate additional income by selling your stored electricity when the grid requires it. Origin Loop has partnered with Energy Matters to offer homes with compatible batteries fantastic incentives. Find out more about Origin Loop’s VPP and eligibility by clicking here.
What can I do if solar costs too much to install?
Cost is the number one barrier for home and business owners wishing to go solar. Thankfully, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits of solar without breaking the bank.
- Solar financing: The most popular way to enter the solar market is to utilise financing. Solar installers will usually have one or two financing options available for their customers. The financing is usually $0 upfront and zero interest. You pay back the solar in affordable weekly or monthly payments over a fixed term that are often offset by the savings from your solar. This can mean that you are cash-flow positive from the say your solar is installed!
- Solar leasing and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA): Another option available to home and business owners is a solar lease or a PPA. Solar can be installed on your home or business with no or minimal upfront costs. You lease the system from the company that installed it and enjoy a fixed or flexible return on the investment. This usually means that you receive a financial return every month and you do not have to worry about the cost to install or maintain the system.
- Green loans: Most financial institutions offer green loans. These loans are specifically available for renewable energy products, such as solar panels. They offer a reduced interest rate and are more attractive, generally, than a personal loan.
Is the technology used in solar and batteries trustworthy?
All technology comes with its drawbacks. Safety and efficiency are at the fore of many people’s minds and rightly so. Solar technology has improved in leaps and bounds. Almost all issues that arise from solar come down to poor installation and not the unit itself. Solar batteries have received a bad rap due to noted home fires as a result of poor installation or incorrect use.
Solar and battery technology has never been safer or more efficient. Billions of dollars have been invested across the board into research and development of safe and efficient technology. Australia has stringent regulations that monitor the sale and application of solar and battery products. In order to receive the federal government STC and LGC incentives, the components installed must be Clean Energy Council approved.
Energy Matters works with reputable solar installers to bring you FREE solar quotes to install the system your home or business requires. From solar to batteries, electric vehicle chargers to heat pumps, Energy Matters can pair you with trusted local installers to install products you need. These installers will design systems to your needs and offer you financing if required. Click the button below to start your solar journey today!