What is the average solar bill?

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While there are many good reasons for installing solar, it’s safe to say that most people look forward to saving money on their power bills. With so many factors coming into play, from the size of the panels, whether or not you install storage, and even the shape of your roof, it’s hard to know what savings you should expect from your investment. Installing solar should certainly mean reduced electricity costs, but by how much? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see what households who already have solar pay on their energy costs? We got you.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what Australians with solar panels are paying for electricity, broken down by factors such as age, household size and the state where they live. With this information, we hope you’ll better understand what lies ahead on your solar installation journey, or what your current setup should be doing for you.

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Average Solar Bill in Australia

Research conducted by Canstar Blue in 2020 found that the average electricity bill for households with solar panels is $317 a quarter. This compares to an average of $404 for households that do not have solar installed. The survey of almost 1,500 households with solar panels found that those in Queensland have the cheapest bills at $260 a quarter, with those in New South Wales paying the most at $372.

With these results in mind, it was found that 94% of Australians believe that installing solar was a good financial decision.

Average solar bills across the states

The following table shows average quarterly electricity bills in Australia for households with solar installed, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,500 households. The costs reported include households of all sizes.

State Average Quarterly Solar Bill
Queensland $260
South Australia $308
Victoria $309
New South Wales $372

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

The survey revealed that Queenslanders had the cheapest quarterly electricity bill, followed closely by South Australians and Victorians. Households in NSW reported the highest energy costs at $372 a quarter.

Average Solar Bills in NSW

In New South Wales, we found that the average electricity bill for solar customers is $372.  While less than half (48%) of solar panel owners said they are happy with their feed-in tariff, 92% agreed that installing solar was a good financial decision. The average cost for a solar system in NSW was $5,893.

NSW Solar Plans

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. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Solar Bills in VIC

Solar households in Victoria pay an average of $309 a quarter for electricity, our survey found. More than half (59%) of Victorians said they are happy with the solar feed-in tariff, although only 18% were attracted to their solar plan by the payback rate. Regardless, most Victorians (92%) are happy with their choice to install solar. Victorians paid an average of $5,657 for their solar installation.

VIC Solar Plans

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 own 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. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Solar Bills in QLD

Households with solar in Queensland pay an average of $260 for electricity per quarter, our survey found. Queensland residents are more content than most with their feed-in tariff, with 68% reporting they are happy with the rate they receive. This has led to almost all Queensland survey respondents (95%) agreeing that installing solar has been a good financial decision. For context, Queenslanders on average paid $6,358 for their solar system.

QLD Solar Plans

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 own 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. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Solar Bills in SA

Households in South Australia with solar panels receive an average quarterly electricity bill of $308, our survey found. Only around half (54%) of SA residents said they aspire to be off the grid, with 95% thinking their solar investment was a good decision financially. South Australians paid on average $6,273 for their solar system.

SA Solar Plans

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power energy 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. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Solar Bills by Household Size

The table below reveals how much households with solar panels are paying for electricity by household size.

Household size Average quarterly solar bill
1 $344
2 $294
3 $319
4 $320
More than 4 $385

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

As a rule of thumb, it seems the bigger the home, the more a solar household’s power bill will be. That being said, it seems that one person homes are paying a disproportionately high amount, which could be due to the fact that most small households will install lesser capacity solar panels. This rings true when looking at bills that were in credit, which appeared to increase as the household size, and potentially the solar panel capacity, got bigger.

Average Solar Bills by Age Group

Here are the average electricity bills for solar customers by age group of the survey respondent.

Age Average quarterly solar bill
18 to 29 years $299
30 to 39 years $319
40 to 49 years $267
50 to 59 years $253
60 to 69 years $300
70 years and over $348

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

There isn’t a large difference between how much customers of different age groups pay on their energy bills, although those aged in their 50s seem to be doing something right.

Bill Frequency for Solar Households

It may be news to some that many households will receive a choice in how they pay their power bill. In Australia, almost three quarters (73%) of solar households pay their bills quarterly. 19% said that they are receiving monthly bills. In Victoria, where households are required to have a smart meter, the proportion of the population to receive monthly bills jumps to 38%.

How can I lower my solar bill?

If you’ve taken a look at the average amounts Australians pay for solar on this page and realise you’re lagging behind the pack, it may be time to change up your energy habits. Here are some handy tips:

  • Make sure your plan has low rates: Whilst there are a good handful of deals on the market targeted towards solar households, it has been the case that companies have hidden high rates behind a large feed-in tariff. Remember that you’ll still be paying for your power when your panels aren’t working, so look for a low-rate plan.
  • Take a look at your feed-in tariff: If you’re in a position where your solar panels are generating energy to be put back into the grid, it’s a great idea to make sure you’re getting a good feed-in tariff. Visit out feed-in tariff guide to see what’s considered generous where you live.
  • Consider installing solar storage: Solar storage works by using power generated by your panels during the day, at night. This means that you’re less reliant on the grid, and therefore should pay less on your power bill. Be mindful that solar batteries are a hefty upfront cost, so only install them if you’re sure you’ll eventually earn back what you paid.
  • Maintain your solar panels: This should be made clear by your solar installer, but solar panels require maintenance in order to remain efficient. Have a chat to your specialist about how regularly you should be conducting this work.
  • Be energy smart: The world’s best solar panels will be no use to a household that isn’t energy smart. Use energy efficient appliances, keep cooling and heating to a minimum and turn off lights when you leave the room to use up as little solar energy as possible.

solar bill infographic

Should I switch solar plans?

If you’re realising that your power bill is much higher than the numbers on this page despite the fact that you have solar, it could be time to re-evaluate your current plan. Whilst it’s not certainly your solar deal that’s doing most of the damage, it really can’t hurt to leverage yourself into the best position possible for savings. You can visit any one of our solar pages or have a look at deals in our comparison tool offering feed-in tariffs to get started.

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