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 Aussies 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.
Average Solar Bill in Australia
Research conducted by Canstar Blue in 2021 found that the average credit received on the most recent electricity bill for households with solar panels was $236 a quarter. The largest solar rebates on quarterly bills were found in South Australia ($280) and Queensland ($271), while residents in Victoria and New South Wales settled for $169 and $125, respectively.
With these results in mind, majority of Australians (58%) believe that installing solar was a good financial decision. In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Are solar panels worth it?
- Average solar bills across the states
- Average solar bills in NSW
- Average solar bills in VIC
- Average solar bills in QLD
- Average solar bills in SA
- Average solar bills by household income
- Average solar bills by age
- Bill frequency for solar households
- How can I lower my solar bill?
- Should I switch solar plans?
Are solar panels worth it?
The upfront costs of solar can be frightening, even if there’s a rebate or discount thrown in. With such a big investment, it pays to know how much you can save on electricity bills by installing a rooftop solar system. That’s why we’ve listed some yearly savings below across each state to see if solar really is worth it.
How much can you really save with solar?
The table below shows how much customers can save each year by purchasing a 5kW solar system. Keep in mind this is a general guide only.
|State||Electricity Usage & Supply Rate||Estimated Yearly Savings*||Estimated Payback Period|
Source: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/solar-calculator/ – accurate as of January 2022. *Estimated yearly savings based on a 5kW solar system costing $5,000 (incl. installation & rebates). Yearly electricity costs used for calculations are $1,420 (NSW), $1,392 (VIC), $1,172 (QLD), $1,488 (SA), while solar feed-in tariff rates used were 12c/kWh for NSW, QLD, SA, and 7c/kWh for VIC. General guide only.
Average solar bills across the states
The following table shows the average credit on quarterly electricity bills in Australia for households with solar installed, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 2,000 households. The costs reported include households of all sizes.
|State||Average credit on quarterly solar bill|
Source: Canstar Blue research, November 2021.
Average Solar Bills in NSW
In New South Wales, we found that the average credit on electricity bills for solar customers was $125. While less than a third (32%) of solar panel owners said they are happy with their feed-in tariff, 55% agreed that installing solar was a good financial decision. The average cost for a solar system in NSW was $4,827.
NSW Solar Plans
Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These are products from referral partners†. 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. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, please check retailer websites for up to date information.
Average Solar Bills in VIC
Solar households in Victoria receive an average of $169 a quarter for exporting electricity, our survey found. Almost two fifths (39%) of Victorians said they were happy with their solar feed-in tariff, while 55% believed installing solar was a sound investment. Victorians paid an average of $5,144 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 receive an average credit of $271 on their electricity bills per quarter, our survey found. Queensland residents are less content than most with their feed-in tariff, with only 42% reporting they are happy with the rate they receive. That being said, almost two thirds of Queensland survey respondents (62%) agreed that installing solar has been a good financial decision. For context, Queenslanders on average paid $5,077 for their solar system.
QLD Solar Plans
Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These are products from referral partners†. 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. 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 credit on their electricity bill of $280, our survey found. Only one in five SA residents said they aspire to be off the grid, with 60% thinking their solar investment was a good decision financially. South Australians paid on average $5,848 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 Income
The table below reveals how much customers with solar panels are receiving in credits for exporting electricity by household income.
|Household income||Average credit on quarterly solar bill|
|Less than $30,000||$203|
|$30,000 to $49,999||$244|
|$50,000 to $79,999||$192|
|$80,000 to $119,999||$218|
|$120,000 and over||$199|
Source: Canstar Blue research, November 2021.
It seems the findings are a mixed bag for solar credits on electricity bills according to household income.
Average Solar Bills by Age Group
Here are the average credits on electricity bills for solar customers by age group of the survey respondent.
|Age||Average credit on quarterly solar bill|
|18 to 29 years||$71|
|30 to 39 years||$100|
|40 to 49 years||$294|
|50 to 59 years||$412|
|60 to 69 years||$250|
|70 years and over||$162|
Source: Canstar Blue research, November 2021.
There is quite a difference between how much customers of different age groups pay on their energy bills, with those aged in their 50s getting the most in credits for their solar exports.
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 two thirds (63%) of households pay their bills quarterly. 23% 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 42%.
How can I lower my solar bill?
If you’ve taken a look at the average amounts Australians receive for exporting electricity back into the grid 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 our 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.
Should I switch solar plans?
If you’re realising that what you receive in credits for exporting solar is lower 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.
How much do solar panels reduce electricity bills?
One of the main reasons for Aussies to invest in solar is to reduce their electricity bills, but the amount of savings will depend on a variety of factors. As evident in our latest research, solar panels can reduce quarterly power bills by up to $280, depending on location.
How much electricity do solar panels save?
Electricity from solar panels is exported back into the grid and is measured per kilowatt hour (kWh). Let’s say your household uses 18kWh of electricity a day and you export 5kWh of power back into the grid each day, you’ll only be paying for 13kWh of energy use. This can be a substantial saving for many households.
How much do solar panels cost?
The price you’ll pay for solar panels will depend on the type, installer, size of system, as well as factors like the positioning of your roof. That being said, expect to pay around $4,500 to $6,000 for a fully-installed 5kW solar system.
What are the pros and cons of solar?
Like any financial investment, there are pros and cons of solar to weigh up before making a purchase decision. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of solar:
|Helps reduce your energy bill||High upfront cost|
|Less reliant on grid electricity||Maximum output reliant on weather|
|Lowers your carbon footprint||Less efficient over time|
|Low maintenance||Won’t suit certain climates|
Are solar panels a good investment in 2022?
With upfront prices of solar falling in recent years, installing a PV system can be a solid investment, especially if it’s coupled with a competitive feed-in tariff. You’ll just need to do your homework and ring around for a few quotes to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your back. Most solar installers will be able to information according to your circumstances, like average payback periods and the appropriate size of system.