Whether you’re looking to install solar, or you simply want to upgrade your current system, finding the right solar provider for your place can be tricky. Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to solar, and while competition is usually good, it can make finding the right provider even harder. That’s why we’ve put together this guide that focuses on what’s being offered by one of the country’s biggest energy retailers – EnergyAustralia.
EnergyAustralia is one of Australia’s largest energy companies and solar providers. In recent years, it has emphasised its commitment to the environment, claiming ‘sustainability is part of who we are and how we operate’. As part of this, EnergyAustralia sells and installs solar panels across most of Australia. It also provides ongoing support and feed-in tariffs to help customers earn a good return on their solar investment.
EnergyAustralia Solar Systems
EnergyAustralia has five solar systems on offer that vary in price and perceived quality. The five panels are categorised into three groups: the Premium System, Smart System and Saver System. As the names suggest, the Saver System is the most affordable, the Smart System includes intelligent features, and the Premium Range offers greater performance for a higher price.
|LG NeON 2 panels||Enphase micro-inverter||Premium|
|Trina Honey M Plus Panels||Enphase micro-inverter||Smart|
|JinkoSolar panels||Enphase micro-inverter||Smart|
|Trina Honey M Plus Panels||Zeversolar string inverter||Saver|
|JinkoSolar panels||Zeversolar string inverter||Saver|
Source: EnergyAustralia website, December 2018.
If you’re not sure what to look for when shopping for a solar system, then check out our buying guide here. You can also get in touch with EnergyAustralia to help you find the best system for your household, energy requirements and budget.
EnergyAustralia Solar Deals
Unlike some other retailers – such as AGL and Origin – EnergyAustralia does not have any special electricity retail offers for solar customers. But it does offer competitive feed-in tariffs (FiTs) on most of its products. FiTs are essentially a rebate for unused solar power generated by your panels and exported to the grid. Most solar customers receive a flat-rate of between 9.9c and 16.1c per kWh with EnergyAustralia, depending on the state.
EnergyAustralia Feed-in Tariffs
|Solar Panels||Feed-in Tariff|
Source: EnergyAustralia website, December 2018.
Victorian solar customers with EnergyAustralia also have access to the Time of Use (TOU) FiT. This is a new type of FiT whereby customers are paid varying FiT rates that reflect the demand for power. Customers that export during evening peak demand times will earn the highest FiT, while customers that export during off-peak times will receive a lower rate.
Feed-in tariffs are a great way to save even more on your power bill, however it’s important that you don’t take a tunnel-visioned approach. When comparing deals across different retailers, be sure to consider a variety of factors, including usage rates, supply rates, discounts and contract terms.
What about battery storage?
Battery storage allows you to capture and store the excess power generated by your solar panels to use later. By preventing the excess solar from exporting to the grid and using it yourself, you reduce the amount of electricity you’ll need to buy from the grid, helping to lower your bill even more. EnergyAustralia has two popular solar batteries on offer – the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Redback Smart Hybrid System.
- Tesla Powerwall 2: The Tesla Powerwall 2 needs little introduction. The successor of the popular Tesla Powerwall, the Powerwall 2 comes with an in-built inverter, 14kWh nominal capacity and is suitable for indoor and outdoor conditions. Prices vary and you will need a quote from EnergyAustralia to confirm, however typical prices are around $9,000 to $11,000, including installation. Check out our full Tesla Powerwall 2 review here.
- Redback Smart Hybrid System: The Redback Smart Hybrid system combines Redback Technologies hybrid inverter with the popular LG Chem Resu storage battery. The Redback Smart Hybid Inverter is designed for Australian conditions and features a slew of technologies that allow for easy management and monitoring of your storage system. This system should cost in the vicinity of $10,000, however this may vary and you will need to contact EnergyAustralia for a personalised quote.
EnergyAustralia solar prices and financing
EnergyAustralia’s website does not detail the price of its solar systems and storage batteries. Generally speaking however, a relatively standard 4kW solar system will cost between $4,000 and $6,500 after accounting for rebates. A solar battery installed separately will often cost in the range of $8,000 to $12,000. The price you pay depends on your state and the difficulty of your installation among other things. For these reasons, you will need to contact EnergyAustralia (or another preferred provider) for a more exact quote of expected costs.
If you’re concerned about whether you can afford a solar system, then EnergyAustralia offers a 5-year interest free payment plan to make the cost a little more manageable. Customers on this plan pay $0 upfront and won’t need to pay interest, provided they pay within 5 years and meet the other payment conditions. Be wary of extra fees however and be sure to make your own enquiries with EnergyAustralia before signing up.
Maintenance and Warranties
EnergyAustralia sells leading solar brands that are backed by some impressive manufacture warranties:
- LG NeOn 2 Panels (Premium System): 25-year product warranty, 25-year performance warranty
- Trina Honey M Plus Panels (Smart/Saver System): 10-year product warranty, 25-year performance guarantee
- JinkoSolar Panels (Smart/Saver System): 10-year product warranty, 25-year performance guarantee
While the panels list some impressive warranties, the EnergyAustralia website does not appear to provide warranty information on its inverters. There’s also no indication that the systems are covered by an installation warranty to protect you from faulty workmanship. These are some more things you should check with EnergyAustralia if you get a quote.
Should I get solar with EnergyAustralia?
As one of Australia’s largest solar providers, there’s little question about EnergyAustralia’s experience and expertise. The systems sold by EnergyAustralia are also well-known for their quality and there are a range of options to suit a variety of customer needs. EnergyAustralia does, however, lose points for its lack of specific retail offers for solar customers.
While EnergyAustralia’s standard feed-in tariffs are reasonably competitive, other retailers such as AGL and Origin have solar offers with feed-in tariffs ranging from 15c to 25c/kWh. That said, a higher feed-in tariff doesn’t necessarily result in a better deal. When comparing retailers and electricity deals, customers should also factor in usage rates, supply rates, discounts, fees and contract terms to make a fully-informed decision. You can start comparing solar companies by using Canstar Blue’s price comparison tool and customer satisfaction ratings via the link below.