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A guide to solar power in Tasmania

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More than just the motherland of Cascade Brewery, Cadbury and delicious salmon, Tasmania is also a renewable energy goldmine. With its cold, grey climate, it seems an unlikely place for solar to run rampant, but with more than 40,000 solar systems powering heaters around the state, Tasmania is a budding solar power hotspot.

To a Tasmanian household considering installing solar, questions of price, rebates and feed-in tariffs may spring to mind. At Canstar Blue, we endeavour to answer these questions and more in our guide to solar power in Tasmania.

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Cost of Solar Panels in Tasmania

In Tasmania, you can expect to pay between $4,500 and $10,900 for residential solar panels up to 10kw, according to Solar Choice averages. As a broad estimate, smaller systems (3-4kW) will cost you around $5,000, medium systems (5-6kW) about $6,500 and large systems (7-10kw) closer to $10,000.

The cost of solar in Tasmania is actually higher than the national average as a result of fewer rebates and a less competitive market. The table below shows average solar installation costs in Tasmania as well as nationwide.

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  3kW 4kW 5kW 6kW 7kW 10kW
Tasmania $4,560 $5,270 $6,160 $7,220 $7,670 $10,940
National Average $4,020 $4,660 $5,180 $5,820 $6,750 $9,460

Source: Solar Choice – May 2022 solar price index. Prices are after applied STC discounts and GST.

Please note that the figures above are estimates and that the cost of a solar system and installation can vary greatly based on several factors such as your location, the system you choose and even your installer. For a more accurate quote, contact a local solar installer.

How many people have solar in Tasmania?

According to the most recent clean energy report, 44,270 homes and businesses in Tasmania have solar systems, which is about 18 per cent of the state’s households.

Tasmania Solar Rebates and Incentives

In Tasmania, the only incentive available for solar is the federal government’s STC program. Under this scheme, eligible applicants will receive a subsidy on solar panels, solar hot water and even solar batteries. In order to be eligible for a rebate, the tradesperson taking care of your installation needs to have Clean Energy Council accreditation.

STCs in Tasmania

tech-certificates-in-qld

The STC (Small-scale Technology Certificate) program is a federal scheme working to reduce the cost of solar panels, solar batteries and solar hot water systems in Tasmania. It’s a solar rebate that works by rewarding those who install solar panels with renewable energy certificates that your solar installer can use to discount installation and system costs.

Tasmania is a Zone 4 qualifier, meaning it receives fewer STCs than those living in Zones 1, 2 and 3, where solar radiation levels are higher. Typically, sunnier areas receive more STC certificates, as determined by your postcode. STC prices can fluctuate, capping at $40. The number you receive not only depends on your location but also the size of your system.

Tasmania Solar Companies

Once solar is installed, the next step is to find an electricity plan offering a good feed-in tariff. While it can be tempting to simply go with the highest feed-in tariff available, keep in mind that high feed-in tariffs may be disguising higher electricity rates.

Choosing the right plan for you will require figuring out how much solar power your household uses versus how often you’re using power from the grid. Homes with large systems could probably benefit from a higher feed-in tariff, but households with 3kW panel-only systems may see better savings in the form of lower rates.

Tasmania Solar Feed-In Tariffs

Depending on the retailer, solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in Tasmania range from around 6.5c/kWh to 10c/kWh. The table below reveals the minimum and maximum feed-in tariffs offered by electricity retailers in the state of Tasmania.

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Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
Aurora Energy 6.501c 6.501c
CovaU Energy 0c 6.501c
Elysian Energy 7c 9c
Energy Locals 6.5c 6.6c
Future X Power 0c 0c
Glow Power 7c 7c
1st Energy 6.501c 10c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, May 2022.

Which energy provider has the best solar feed-in tariff in Tasmania?

When 1st Energy entered the Tasmanian electricity space in 2019, it also shook up the solar market, offering the highest feed-in tariff in the state. 1st Energy offers a solar feed-in tariff of up to 10c/kWh on its dedicated solar plan, 1st Solar Bonus. Keep in mind that to be eligible for 1st Energy’s and other retailers’ higher FiT, certain conditions may need to be met.

Find out how Tasmania’s solar feed-in tariffs stack up to other states and territories in this guide to the best solar feed-in tariffs around Australia.

Solar Panel Installers in Hobart & the rest of Tasmania

Hand with drill installing solar panels on roof

Tasmania has a good selection of solar installers; the following alphabetical order list includes some of the installers located within and around the main towns of the state.

  • Affordable Solar Tasmania
  • Contact Group
  • Degree C
  • Grounded Electrical Tasmania
  • Launceston Electrical Solutions
  • Lifestyle Electrical Services
  • NGSS
  • NSX Electrical
  • Polcom
  • Powercom Electrical
  • RSE Electrical
  • Solahart Hobart
  • Sunface Solar
  • Tas Solar Clean Energy
  • Whitney Electrical & Solar

Do I need council approval for solar panels in Tasmania?

Yes and no. Yes, there are some circumstances in which the council will need to authorise your installation, but you probably won’t have to deal with them directly. In most cases, your chosen installer will contact the local council to determine whether planning permission is required. You may be required to seek approval if you reside at a heritage-listed property or if your solar panels will impact neighbours. After approval, the installer will request a new connection with Tasmania’s electricity distributor, TasNetworks.

In the event that planning or building approval was not in place before the solar panels were installed, the council may either remove the solar panels or give the option of applying for retrospective approval.

Is it worth having solar panels in Tasmania?

With lower solar output and higher installation costs, it makes sense to question whether solar panels are worth it in Tasmania. On one hand, you’ve got the best solar inspection regime in the country, but on the other, your system might take longer than expected to break even on.

At the end of the day, there are many factors that will determine whether or not solar will be a good investment for you. The exposure of your roof to sunlight, where you live, the size of your system and your average energy usage will collectively resolve whether solar panels will be a good addition to your roof. 

Our advice? Talk to a trusted local installer about your circumstances, budget and expectations. Once you’ve done that, talk to another one. And another one. To find the best deal, it’s crucial that you shop around before jumping the gun.

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Picture credit: trabantos/shutterstock.com, myphotobank.com.au/shutterstock.com

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