Rooftop solar surges as more Aussies install bigger systems

Latest data from the Australian Energy Council (AEC) revealed that consumer affection for solar is rising, as Aussies choose bigger and more advanced rooftop solar systems.

According to the AEC’s quarterly Solar Report, the average solar system installed for residential and small business customers grew from 2.65 kilowatts (kW) in January 2012 to a height of 8.86kW in December 2020.

AEC Chief Executive Sarah McNamara said tens of thousands of Aussies continue to reap the benefits of solar as the data showed a steady uplift of installations in each state.

“The report tells the story of solar installation across the country and shows the number of new monthly installations are likely to exceed 85,000 for the January to March 2021 quarter,” she said.

“New South Wales continues to lead the states with more than 24,400 new installations and 194MW of total installed solar capacity added in the first quarter of 2021.”

The Australian Energy Council is an industry body which represents 21 electricity and natural gas businesses in the retail and wholesale markets.

Average solar system size

Below is a graph of the average size of solar systems in kilowatts from January 2012 to January 2021.

AEC solar graph

Source: Clean Energy Regulator data, Australian Energy Council analysis, April 2021.

Solar battery popularity increases

Australia has also seen a rapid increase in solar storage solutions, with solar battery installations skyrocketing since 2014. The AEC Report mentions state government incentives and schemes for adopting storage technology to solar systems has helped make batteries more accessible and affordable for consumers.

Here’s a snapshot of how quickly solar battery numbers have soared in Australia since 2014, according to the AEC:

  • 2014: 693
  • 2015: 537
  • 2016: 1,568
  • 2017: 4,650
  • 2018: 5,689
  • 2019: 8,562
  • 2020: 9,270
  • 2021: 1,397 (as of 31 March 2021)

“The adoption of battery storage is also growing with almost 1,400 units installed in 2021 so far. When comparing the uptake of battery installations with rooftop solar by state, South Australia and New South Wales lead, accounting for around 25 and 23 per cent of total installations,” said Sarah McNamara.

Solar Energy Plans

Most energy plans on the market will provide a feed-in tariff for solar panel owners, even if it’s just the state minimum. In addition to this, there are plans that are specifically marketed towards customers with solar, often coming with higher feed-in tariffs than what’s available with the provider’s other offers.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Image credits: Adam Calaitzis/Shutterstock.com, Australian Energy Council

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