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If you aren’t at home during the day, should you get solar?

solar panels sit on residential home

If you aren’t at home during the day, should you get solar?

Written by SolarKraft energy consultant – Jack Fuller. 

Being in the solar industry, those interested in investing often seek you out at Sunday barbecues. One of the most common questions I hear is this:

“I thought about getting solar, but I’m never home during the day, so it’s not gonna add up.”

This rang true for many, particularly with the savage power bill increases we’re seeing across Australia.

For those who feel the same way, I have a message for you:

The game just changed.

Why? Well, as of July 1, electricity retailers have MASSIVELY increased the feed-in tariff in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland!

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The economics of solar can be confusing, we admit. Taking batteries out of the equation, the basics of a PV system on a sunny day look like this:

  1. Solar panels generate electricity to be used instantaneously. If at that time, you are using less than is being produced, the energy is free.
    What is not used is fed back into the grid. Your retailer will buy this off you – given as a credit on your power bill – offsetting the cost of the energy you use at night.
  2. It’s that second point, the feed-in tariff (FIT), that can dictate just how valuable your solar purchase will be. The average Australian household uses just 30-40% of the energy generated by a solar system. The rest is being snapped up by retailers.

Traditionally, these retailers paid peanuts. A few weeks back, I wrote about why you should change your usage habits in order to squeeze the most out of your system (http://solarkraft.com.au/blog/solar-system-savings/). This was necessary for the many who suffered through the pathetic 6 ¢ per kWh FIT.

But then July 1 happened. Now, retailers are paying 70-140% more for electricity than they were last financial year.

This graph shows how much more you’ll get in your back pocket for every kWh that goes back to the grid:

Feed-In Tariff Increases – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria & South Australia. 

Graph illustrating the increase in feed-in tariff's across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria & South Australia

Of course, you’ll never export 100% of what is generated. You have fridges to run, and other appliances that remain on standby. Besides, you want to use what your system produces. But this is a significant moment for the many who:

  1. Don’t spend a lot of time at home during daylight hours.
  2. Can’t alter your usage habits.
  3. Don’t have a battery.

 

If you tick any or all of the boxes above, some simple sums on a 5kW installation show that you can nearly double your savings. That’s remarkable. For many, solar just became viable.

Note that while these increases are fantastic, SolarKraft goes one step further. Thanks to our partnership with Diamond Energy, we can offer you 20c per kWh, guaranteed for two years. By then, batteries will be commonplace in Australia, and your electricity nightmares will be long forgotten.

 

  1. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/nothomeduringday.html

 

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