Solar power is often considered one of the better ways to live sustainably, and one of its selling points is that it’s cheaper than buying electricity from the grid. But is that really true?
Before you take the plunge of installing solar panels, take a look at how it compares to the cost of grid energy so that you can make the best choice for your budget.
As we know, solar power has an upfront installation cost when you first choose a system. This can, however, potentially be offset with government initiatives that encourage homeowners to install solar panels to their home. Once the solar panels are installed, however, the ongoing costs are very minimal.
Unlike solar power, grid power has no upfront installation cost, and if a connection fee is applied, it will be much lower than the initial cost of solar. The other thing to consider is that the ongoing bill payments are much higher than when solar is installed, and occur more regularly than any potential expense that solar might incur. Grid power pricing can also be swayed by surge, peak or off peak pricing depending on when you use your electricity. To understand what solar can do for your electricity bill, see figure 1 below, this is the estimated annual electricity bill difference for a 9.25kw recently installed in Adelaide.
Other elements that affect the cost of both solar and grid power are the weather, and how much sunlight is available. As solar panels need the sun to generate power they are clearly the most affected by mother nature. Luckily if you are reading this you live in one of the world’s most sun abundant areas, South Australia. However installing a solar battery would allow you to store power from clear, sunny days to use when it’s cloudy and overcast. Grid power is not exempt from being affected by the weather, however weather events that affect grid power tend to be more extreme, such as large storms & severe flooding.
Potentially the best advantage of a solar system over grid electricity is that a solar system can be customised to your needs, whether it is grid connect solar, a hybrid solar battery system or a complete standalone solar system, there is always a solar solution that can be designed to fit your needs.
With most residential grid connect systems in South Australia we are seeing a 100% return on investment in around 3-4 years. If you factor in the expected system life of 15-40 years, this upfront investment will provide decades of anxiety free electricity bills.
Want to get into solar with no up front cost?
We know what you’re thinking – “no upfront cost? You’re just going to end up paying thousands of dollars more in the long run”. In most cases you would be correct, but when it comes to solar or renewable energy this is not so. That is because you can apply for what is known as a Green Loan. These are government issued loans that are provided with no down-payment, and are offered at a lower interest. This can occur because the loan offered is going to be used to purchase an asset that is A) going to reduce the customers carbon footprint & B) going to save the customer further costs on energy in the future.
These loans are not just for solar panels but anything that is going to reduce the carbon footprint of your home such as energy efficient water heaters and LED lighting. Current interest rates on Green Loans offered through Solar Energy Adelaide’s lending partners are only 3.99%. This means you could have a $5000 solar system fully installed, and your repayments would be less than $4 per day over a 5 year period.
Get A Customised Solar Solution from Solar Energy Adelaide
Solar Energy Adelaide makes custom-designed solar systems for residential and commercial properties and can work with you to design a system that meets your needs and budget. While we’re based in Adelaide, we will travel to clients in the Western, Eastern and Southern suburbs, including Adelaide Hills, Seaford, Moana, Aldinga and more.
If you’re thinking about making the switch from grid power to solar power, call us today to discuss creating a custom solar system to best suit your needs.