More than a quarter of Aussies brag about solar energy savings

More than a quarter of Aussies who recently installed solar love to brag about their lower energy costs to family and friends, new Canstar Blue research found.

South Australians were the biggest boasters, with the research showing that 37 per cent bragged that putting in solar had cut their energy costs. Queenslanders followed at 29 per cent, while New South Wales residents were only slightly more modest about their solar smarts at 27 per cent.

Given the average solar credit reported by customers on their quarterly power bills was $236, the research showed why so many were keen to claim bragging rights.

Baby Boomers were the biggest braggarts, followed by Millennials, and Gen Z-ers. Gen X’ers were the least likely to boast about their solar savings.

South Australians reported the largest average credit on their quarterly bills at $280, with Queenslanders close behind at $271 a quarter. Bill-payers in Victoria and NSW noted savings of $169 and $125, respectively.

Despite these savings, just 35 per cent of Aussie solar customers surveyed were happy with their current solar feed-in tariff (FiT) rate.

Solar feed-in tariffs have declined recently, and new reforms may soon see customers charged for exporting power back into the grid at times of low demand.

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Is solar still worth it in Australia?

The same Canstar Blue research found that the majority of Australians (58%) thought that installing solar was a good financial decision, with those in Queensland and Western Australia the most satisfied with the financial impact at 62 per cent. Just 12 per cent of Aussies thought that given the rise in popularity, the appeal of installing solar had diminished. The popularity of solar installations took off in the mid 2000s when higher feed-in tariffs and larger rebates were awarded to homeowners as an incentive to add panels to their roof. In recent years, however, rebates and feed-in tariffs have taken a cut.

Two-thirds also said that they knew feed-in tariffs were dropping before they installed a rooftop solar system. Despite the recent drop in FiTs and the expectation they will continue to fall, 96 per cent said they installed solar as a long-term commitment to cut the cost of their energy use.

Here are some other reasons Aussies installed a solar system:

  • To increase home value (36%)
  • To be completely off-grid through solar storage (24%)
  • To be less reliant on the grid (23%)

Nearly half of survey respondents (47%) also noted that installing solar made them feel as if they were doing their bit for the environment.

Solar Plans & Prices

Below you’ll find a handful of solar energy deals available in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. These offers are specifically marketed towards customers with solar panels and typically come with a higher feed-in tariff than those on standard power 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. 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.

How much does solar cost to install?

The cost of installing a solar system in Australia is a big commitment for most households. This new Canstar Blue research uncovered the average solar system costs in each state below:

  • NSW: $4,827
  • VIC: $5,144
  • QLD: $5,077
  • SA: $5,848
  • WA: $4,293

Solar systems offering 5.5 kilowatts (kW) are the most popular, according to the research, with 22 per cent of Aussies choosing that type; 15 per cent choose a 6kW or larger system and 14 per cent a 3kW system.

Just over three-quarters (77%) of solar buyers told Canstar Blue that they were more inclined to purchase Australian-made solar products. When it came to choosing a solar installer, survey respondents’ main reasons were:

  • Quality of solar panels and parts: 44%
  • Price (including finance package): 34%
  • Customer service: 15%


Image credit: shurkin_son/Shutterstock.com

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