solar-crew-installation

How much does solar cost?

Fact Checked Fact Checked

While the cost of solar has come down considerably in recent years, a solar energy system remains a hefty investment for most households. But just how much are solar panels these days? What about solar panel installation cost? This guide explores the cost of buying and installing solar, including solar panel prices, using data from Canstar Blue’s consumer surveys to show the average costs of solar panels, installation, batteries and solar packages in Australia.

Advertisement

How much does solar cost?

How much solar costs will vary greatly depending on your location, the size of solar system you install and the quality of products used in the installation. Solar costs are generally broken out into the solar panel cost, solar inverter cost and the overall solar installation cost. If you add a solar battery to your solar system, this will be an additional cost.

Some solar installers may offer all components of a solar system as an all- inclusive package, whereas others may break out the costs of each component in your quote. Solar installation costs also factor in discounts from the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which offers incentives for households to install eligible renewable energy systems. These incentives are provided in the form of small-scale technology certificates (STCs).

How many STCs your solar system is eligible for depends on your location, date of installation and how many megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity it generates over a predetermined period. You might choose to assign your right to the STCs earned by your solar system over to your installer or system retailer in return for a lower purchase and installation cost.

Generally speaking, STCs can cut the cost of getting solar by a considerable amount. The Clean Energy Regulator has plenty of information on STCs, including on how you can assign your right to them in return for savings on a system.

As you can tell, there are many variables that can impact the cost of solar, from solar panel price to how easy it is to install them on your roof. Canstar Blue’s consumer surveys allow us to calculate the  average costs of solar panels, solar installations, solar packages and solar batteries in Australia. For a solar cost estimate for your home, it’s advisable to get a detailed quote that’s specific to your property and electricity needs from an accredited, licensed solar installer.

Average cost of solar panels

The average cost of solar panels in Australia was $5,796, according to a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,400 adults conducted in December 2023. Respondents came from a variety of household sizes and had purchased a variety of system sizes. The costs reported were from survey respondents who bought their solar panels separately, not as part of a solar package. Only states and territories that received more than 30 survey responses have been included in the table below.

State/Territory Average Solar Panel Costs
New South Wales $5,744
Victoria $5,867
Queensland $6,405
South Australia $5,686
Western Australia $4,000

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2023.

Queenslanders reported the highest average solar panel cost, at $6,405. Residents in Western Australia paid the lowest for their panels, with an average of $4,000.

Keep in mind that your total solar panel price can be impacted by several factors, including the brand and type of solar panels and the size of solar system you choose.

Average solar installation cost

Canstar Blue found the average solar installation cost, as of December 2023, was $1,503. These costs were provided by survey respondents who did not buy an inclusive solar package. Again, the costs reported include a range of household sizes and solar system sizes. We’ve broken these costs down to state and territory level for those areas that received more than 30 responses.

State/Territory Average Solar Installation Cost
New South Wales $1,452
Victoria $1,535
Queensland $1,766
South Australia $1,248
Western Australia $1,352

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2023.

Already got solar? See if you can find a better solar energy plan

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 3911kWh/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 4613kWh/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 4011kWh/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.

Average solar battery cost

According to Canstar Blue’s December 2023 survey, the average cost of a solar battery is $6,118. However, according to Solar Quotes the most popular brands and models can cost between $8,750 and $15,500, including installation. The overall price will depend on the brand of battery you go with, and the complexity of the installation.

For example, a Tesla Powerwall costs about $15,500 to buy and install. Whether this significant additional cost is worthwhile depends on what type of electricity tariff you’re on – single tariff or time-of-use tariff – and whether you can access a battery rebate in your state or territory.

Joining a Virtual Power Plant program can also be a way to get a discount on a battery. SolarQuotes has extensive info on how to get a payback on the cost of a solar battery.

Average solar package cost

The average solar package cost in Australia is now $6,147, according to the same Canstar Blue survey conducted in December 2023. A solar package was defined in this survey as an all-inclusive package that included panels, inverter, battery and installation bundled into a single cost, with the findings comprising a range of household sizes and system sizes. We’ve broken the average cost down to a state and territory level for areas that met the 30-response minimum.

State/Territory Average Solar Package Cost
New South Wales $6,203
Victoria $5,072
Queensland $6,699

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2023

What factors impact solar costs?

How much solar costs varies significantly depending on the choices you make on solar panel, inverter and battery brand and solar system size, as well as the location of your home, type of roof and the local solar installation market. These are some of the biggest factors impacting the cost of buying a solar system and having a solar system installed.

  • Solar system size: Solar panels come in different sizes, with different capacities, so a 10kW solar system will cost  more than a 3kW solar system. The larger your solar system by kilowatt hours (kW) measurement, the more electricity your system will generate – but also the more appropriate roof space you’ll need to accommodate the required size of solar panels.
  • Adding a solar battery: Solar battery storage systems are still relatively expensive in comparison to other elements of a solar system, so including a battery will push your purchase costs up. You might consider how you intend to use the electricity you generate and how long you intend to remain at your current property when deciding whether to add a battery to your system.
  • Inverter type: Whether you choose a string or micro inverter, as well as the brand of inverter, will have an impact on the cost of getting solar. There are arguments for both types of inverter so it’s best to research which option will suit your home and price range.
  • Solar installation costs: It’s up to your installer to set their own rates. These may differ significantly between local or smaller retailers and chain retailers. Paying for installation as part of a package will also impact the final cost, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a minimum of three quotes.
  • Installation challenges: This can include the accessibility of your roof, your roof materials and its condition, the size of your solar system, whether you want to include a more complex monitoring system and any local regulations for solar installers. These are all factors that impact how difficult installation will be, and can potentially drive the cost up significantly.
  • Government solar rebates: If you’re eligible for a solar rebate in your state, it could substantially reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels.
  • Installer demand: Installation costs can depend on supply and demand. In areas or at times where installers have a lot of work in the pipeline, they will tend to charge a higher price. Generally speaking, solar technicians are in lower demand in the early parts of autumn and spring, so you may pay less by scheduling installation during these quieter periods.
  • Solar panel quality: The brand and type of panel you choose also has an impact. For example, efficient solar panels are typically more expensive upfront, but may save you more in the long term because they’re said to produce more electricity for their size.
  • Finance packaging options: Solar financing options may come with interest or additional fees. If you’re buying a solar package from an energy provider, you may also be subject to requirements such as remaining with that provider for your electricity for a minimum number of years. Read the fine print carefully before committing to a solar finance package so you don’t get stung with surprise charges or conditions.
Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

Share this article