A guide to solar power in Canberra

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The capital city of Australia, Canberra is home to plenty of things. Politicians, lush green gardens and no shortage of historical sites, the city is also home to an increasing number of solar systems, with thousands of households utilising the sun to power their homes and reduce their energy bills.

But when it comes to installing solar in Canberra, what should you be aware of, and what’s available to you? Find out more about solar power in Canberra with this Canstar Blue guide.


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How much does solar cost in Canberra?

You can expect to pay between $3,800 and $8,400 to purchase and install a new solar system in Canberra, with smaller systems (less than 3kW) generally costing under $4,000, while 4kW systems or larger will set you back over $4,200.

While initially that may seem like a tough pill to swallow, on average, installing solar in Canberra is cheaper than most states and territories, with all systems priced below the national average, as seen in the table below.
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  3kW 4kW 5kW 6kW 7kW 10kW
Canberra $3,890 $4,390 $4,670 $5,240 $5,850 $8,310
National Average $4,020 $4,660 $5,180 $5,820 $6,750 $9,460

Source: Solar Choice – May 2022 solar price index. Prices are after applied STC discounts and GST.

However, it’s also important to note that the table above reflects estimated costs, whereas the actual cost of the solar system and installation could vary greatly due to a number of factors, including your location, the system you’re after, and your installer of choice. For a specific quote, it’s best to contact a solar installer directly.

How many households have solar in Canberra?

According to a recent clean energy report, over 30,000 ACT homes and businesses have a solar system installed, with equates to about 15 per cent of the state’s households.

ACT Solar Rebates and Incentives

There are currently multiple rebates and incentives available in the ACT, including the Federal STC rebate, and the ACT Battery Rebate Program.

STCs in ACT

tech-certificates-in-qld

STCs (known as Small-scale Technology Certificates) are part of a federal scheme which rewards customers who install solar panels or a solar hot water system with a rebate. This rebate is in the form of a number of certificates, which can be sold on an open market or given to a solar installer for a discount on your system.

The price per certificate can fluctuate, but generally sits around $40, with the number of STCs you receive dependent on your location and the size of your system. As seen in the image, Australia is split into four STC zones, with Canberra sitting in Zone 3, meaning it receives fewer STCs than those living in Zone 2 and Zone 1.

ACT Battery Rebate Program

Known as the Next Gen Energy Storage Program, the ACT Battery Rebate Program incentivises homes to install a solar battery to help lessen reliance on the grid, with the rebate priced at $3,500 or 50% of the battery price (excluding GST) – whichever is lower. The rebate is only available in certain areas of the ACT and the new battery system needs to be coupled with solar panels and connected to the electricity grid. Households also can’t already have been supported by the rebate program either. To see if you’re eligible for the rebate, talk to your installer.

Canberra Solar Companies & Feed-in Tariffs

Electricity customers in Canberra are able to choose their energy provider, with feed-in tariffs (FiTs) varying from about 6c per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 12c/kW, depending on the retailer. When comparing electricity providers, keep in mind that some solar deals often have higher rates and smaller discounts than standard non-solar offers, meaning that a solar plan with a high feed-in tariff may not necessarily be the cheapest option available. It’s also worthwhile keeping in mind that some feed-in tariffs are only eligible when certain criteria are met, so be sure to read the fine print.

Which energy provider has the best solar feed-in tariff in ACT?

Origin Energy generally offers one of the highest solar feed-in tariffs available to customers in the ACT. In addition to high FiTs, the retailer also offers a range of solar-specific energy deals, tailored to suit households with solar panels installed. Keep in mind however, that there may be some conditions that need to be met in order to be eligible for Origin’s higher FiT.

Check out guide to the best solar feed-in tariffs available around Australia to get a better picture of how the ACT stacks up.

Solar Installers in Canberra

Installing solar panels on roof

There are a number of solar installers in Canberra, with the below listing some of the installers that are available in the wider Canberra area. These are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Capital Solar Maintenance
  • ECG Electrical
  • Fased Solar
  • Innovative Energy
  • Mondiaux Pty Ltd
  • Platinum Solar
  • Select Electrical and Solar Solutions
  • Solahart Goulburn and Southern Highlands
  • SolarHub
  • Solar Panels Canberra
  • Stag Electrical Solar and Refrigeration

Do I need council approval to install solar panels in Canberra?

In any case, it is best to double-check council restrictions in Canberra before installing a solar panel system. Generally only homes that are heritage listed will need council approval before solar can be installed, however if your panels will face the street or sit higher than the closest point of the roof, you may also need approval first.

Households can typically install a solar system up to the size of 10kW in Canberra without council permission. Once you have received council permission, you’ll then need to apply for a new connection with Evoenergy – ACT’s electricity distributor – in order to connect to the grid.

If you are unsure of whether you will need council approval or not to install solar panels, it is best to ask your solar installer for advice.

Tenants looking to get solar should also check with their landlords before doing modifications to the property. Our renter’s guide to solar explores this in more detail.

Is it worth getting solar in Canberra?

For many, getting free energy from the sun sounds like a surefire winner, but it isn’t always as clearcut as that, with plenty needed to transform the sun’s energy into power that you can use in your home, or put back into the grid. Regardless of which state or territory you live in, the decision to install a solar panel system will be entirely dependent on your circumstances, including your household’s location, exposure to sunlight, how much energy you use and what rebates may be available to help lessen the initial financial investment.

That being said, Canberra is generally one of the cheaper cities in Australia for installing solar panel systems and the ACT also offers some incentives and rebates for those who opt for solar, which may sway some people. However, it’s recommended to look into all of your options when it comes to systems and installers before undertaking any work to ensure that you end up with the best system and deal for your needs.

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Picture credit: crystal51/shutterstock.com, Andy Dean Photography/shutterstock.com

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