Average Solar System Size & Costs

The road to solar can be bumpy with many moving parts in the installation process. A good solar installer will give you an objective opinion on what panels and system will best suit your needs, but it’s still always good to have a benchmark from which to judge the value of your installation quotes.

We’ve surveyed folks from all over Australia to find out how much they’re paying, on average, for their initial solar installation. Not only that, but we’ll also take a look at the average size system across the states.

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Average solar system cost in Australia

Canstar Blue conducted a survey in December 2020 that found the average amount Australians initially pay for their solar installation to be $5,361. The highest average solar system cost was recorded in sunny Queensland at $6,349, while those in Western Australia reported the lowest average at $4,203. All across Australia, 90% of survey respondents said they were happy with their choice, agreeing that installing solar power was a good financial decision.

Average solar system costs across the states

The following table shows average solar installation costs across Australia, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,600 households. The costs reported include households of all sizes.

State/Territory Average Solar System Costs
Tasmania $5,648
Queensland $6,349
South Australia $5,942
New South Wales $4,787
Victoria $5,221
Western Australia $4,203
ACT $5,971

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2020.

As you can see above, Queenslanders reported the highest average solar installation bill. Residents in the ACT and South Australia came next, with the lowest solar installation costs recorded in NSW and WA.

Average solar system cost in NSW

In New South Wales, Canstar Blue found the average solar system cost to be $4,787. 88% of NSW households believed installing solar to be a good financial decision, with around three quarters of survey respondents in the state comparing quotes from several different installers before purchasing.

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 system cost in VIC

Victorian households reported their average solar system cost to be $5,221. 90% of Victorian respondents said that they thought installing solar was a good financial decision. Furthermore, 80% of people shopped around for quotes before committing to an installer.

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 system cost in QLD

We found customers in Queensland had an average solar system cost of $6,349. Almost one in ten QLD survey respondents (89%) said they thought installing solar has been a good decision for them financially, and 75% compared quotes before agreeing to a particular installer.

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 system cost in SA

South Australian solar customers were found to pay, on average, $5,942 for their solar system. 91% of survey respondents in this state said they thought installing solar was a good financial choice, although only three quarters said they shopped around and compared quotes from a range of installers.

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 system size in Australia

The table below shows the popularity of solar system sizes across each state. This information comes from a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,000 households. In bold, you’ll find the system size most respondents in the relevant state have installed at their property.

System Size QLD NSW VIC SA WA TAS
1.5KW 3% 4% 3% 3% 3% 7%
2KW 4% 8% 5% 4% 9% 7%
3KW 10% 15% 21% 18% 18% 7%
4KW 13% 16% 13% 13% 9% 20%
5KW 24% 18% 30% 21% 28% 23%
6KW 16% 14% 13% 16% 12% 20%
Bigger than 6KW 15% 11% 6% 17% 10% 3%
Unsure 14% 14% 8% 8% 11% 13%

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2020.

Average solar system size in Queensland

24% of Queenslanders installed solar panels that had a 5kW capacity, followed by 16% with 6kW and 15% with a system bigger than 6kW.

Average solar system size in New South Wales

In NSW, 18% of respondents said they had 5kW solar systems, 16% had 4kW and another 15% had 3kW.

Average solar system size in Victoria

Victorian respondents had the largest portion of people with a 5kW system size at 30%, followed by 21% that had 3kW systems and 13% a piece with 4kW and 6kW.

Average solar system size in South Australia

South Australians preferred 5kW (21% of respondents) and 3kW (18% of respondents) solar systems. 17% of this population reported systems larger than 6kW.

Average solar system size in WA/TAS

  • WA: 28% of respondents living in Western Australia said they had installed 5kW solar systems. Another 18% had 3kW and an additional 12% had 6kW.
  • TAS: 23% of Tassie survey respondents said they installed a 5kW system, with another 20% each installing 4kW and 6kW systems.

installing solar roof

What impacts how much you’ll pay for solar?

Much like with any other trades-based work, how much you pay for solar can vary significantly. Here are some of the major factors that affect the overall cost of installation:

  • The size of your solar system: Solar panels come in different sizes, with different capacities, and a 10kW system will cost far more than a 2kW one.
  • Battery storage systems: It’s an unfortunate fact that battery storage systems cost an arm and a leg, and your choice to include one as part of a system will drive your initial costs way up.
  • Inverter type: The type of inverter you end up with, whether it’s string or micro, as well as the brand, will have an impact on your solar system cost and effectiveness.
  • Your solar installer: It’s up to your installer to set their own rates, so it’s best to shop around and get a few quotes before committing to anything.
  • The difficulty of the installation: The accessibility of your roof, as well as your roof materials all impact how difficult the job will be, and therefore the cost.
  • Government rebates: If you’re eligible for a solar rebate in your state, it could substantially reduce the initial cost of installing solar.

Can I pay less than average?

When it comes to solar, how much you pay can be somewhat out of your hands. Your budget will heavily dictate what size system you can get, and who will install it for you. That being said, with knowledge of what others are paying, knowing the difference between a good deal and being ripped off becomes much easier.

Once you’ve installed your system, maximise your savings by picking an energy plan with low rates and a generous feed in tariff. See our average solar bill guide for more info.

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Image credit: Svineyard/shutterstock.com, anatoliy_gleb/shutterstock.com
Original author: Monika Gudova

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