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Solar Panel Prices

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Solar panel prices can vary significantly based on a number of factors including the city you live in, the brand, the efficiency of the system and your installer’s margins. Therefore it’s important to get an idea of what a reasonable price range looks like before you get a solar panel quote.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide on average solar prices for different system sizes in each of our capital cities over the 6 months to October 2017, using data provided by Solar Choice. We also ran these prices through our Solar Panel Savings Calculator to give you a guide on which sizes make sense economically.*

Pick your city

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Perth
  • Adelaide
  • Canberra
  • Hobart
  • Darwin
  • Sydney

    Solar panel prices in Sydney are generally around 15% cheaper than the national average. Our figures in Table 1 below show the average Sydney price by size over the last 6 months to October 2017. Prices fell substantially in June and have largely remained at these levels ever since, so now is a good time to get into the market.

    System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
    1.5kW $2,763 7 years Maybe
    2kW $3,363 6 years 4 months Yes
    3kW $4,119 5 years 2 months Yes
    4kW $4,776 4 years 6 months Yes
    5kW $5,498 4 years 2 months Yes
    Table 1: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 24.9c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 12.5c per kw/h.

    Melbourne

    Solar panels in Melbourne are around the national average price, making Melbourne a more costly market than Sydney. Unlike Sydney where prices dropped in June and have remained at these levels, Melbourne prices have risen by almost 15% since June, and are actually at their highest levels this year.

    Rising panel prices isn’t the only thing going against solar in Melbourne. There are three other reasons why solar is not as financially attractive in Melbourne as it is in other parts of Australia:

    • Cheaper power costs: Melbourne has some of the cheapest power in Australia (after retailer discounts are included), so the amount you save by using solar is less than in other cities.
    • Less sunlight: solar panels in Melbourne produce an estimated 10% less power than those in Sydney, and approximately 15-20% less than those in Brisbane and Perth.
    • Lower rebates: solar panels installed in Melbourne get smaller subsidies under the Federal Government’s “Small-Scale Technology Certificate” (“STC”) scheme than those in most other capital cities.
    System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
    1.5kW $3,387 12 years 2 months No
    2kW $3,884 10 years 5 months No
    3kW $4,641 8 years 4 months No
    4kW $5,246 7 years 1 month Maybe
    5kW $6,175 6 years 8 months Yes
    Table 2: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 17.1c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 11.3c per kw/h

    Brisbane

    Solar panel prices in Brisbane are generally around 10% cheaper than the national average. However unlike Sydney, where prices have fallen significantly since June 2017, prices in Brisbane have slowly been creeping up throughout the year, hitting their peak in October. Despite these rises solar remains a financially attractive investment in Brisbane as Table 3 below shows.

    System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
    1.5kW $3,043 7 years 6 months Maybe
    2kW $3,462 6 years 5 months Yes
    3kW $4,095 5 years 1 month Yes
    4kW $4,976 4 years 8 months Yes
    5kW $5,884 4 years 5 months Yes
    Table 3: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 24.3c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 11c per kw/h.

    Perth

    Perth currently has Australia’s cheapest solar panel prices, with prices sitting around 25-30% less than the national average. A big reason for this is the fact that Perth has one of the highest levels of sunlight in the country, making solar a highly attractive investment. Prices have steadily dropped during the year, hitting new lows in October, so now is a great time to get into the market.

    System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
    1.5kW $2,391 5 years 11 months Yes
    2kW $2,744 5 years 1 month Yes
    3kW $3,529 4 years 5 months Yes
    4kW $4,117 3 years 10 months Yes
    5kW $4,715 3 years 6 months Yes
    Table 4: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 26.5c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 7.14c per kw/h.

    Adelaide

    Alongside Perth, Adelaide is one of Australia’s most financially attractive places to install solar panels, but for very different reasons. Adelaide has Australia’s highest power prices – almost 50% higher than the national average. This makes the savings you get from solar very lucrative.

    After dropping sharply during the middle of the year, Adelaide solar prices have risen again sharply in the last two months. Despite this, Adelaide remains one of the cheapest places for solar, with prices sitting around 15-20% cheaper than the national average.

    System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
    1.5kW $2,674 4 years 7 months Yes
    2kW $3,035 3 years 11 months Yes
    3kW $3,940 3 years 5 months Yes
    4kW $4,785 3 years 1 month Yes
    5kW $5,556 2 years 10 months Yes
    Table 5: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 34.9c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 16.3c per kw/h.

    Canberra

    Canberra’s solar panel prices have recorded massive drops in 2017. They started the year sitting about 5-10% above the national average, but now sit about 5% below the national average. Prices fell significantly in June, and although they’ve risen slightly since then, they’re still far lower than they were at the start of the year.

    Before you think of installing solar panels in Canberra however, it’s important to understand that solar in Canberra may not be as financially attractive as it is in other parts of Australia for two main reasons:

    • Cheaper power costs: Canberra has some of the cheapest power in Australia (after retailer discounts are included), so the amount you save by using solar is less than in other cities.
    • Higher solar panel prices: solar panels in Canberra are cheaper than the national average, but are not as cheap as bigger markets such as Sydney and Brisbane, most likely due to the smaller market size and reduced competition amongst installers.
    • System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
      1.5kW $3,023 8 years 7 months No
      2kW $3,596 7 years 8 months Maybe
      3kW $4,540 6 years 5 months Yes
      4kW $5,355 5 years 9 months Yes
      5kW $6,391 5 years 5 months Yes
      Table 6: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 19.1c per kw/h (after discounts), and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 11c per kw/h.

      Hobart

      Hobart’s solar panel prices are at the national average, or slightly above it in some cases. After falling significantly in June 2017, prices have started to rise again slightly. Despite that, solar in Hobart is still 10-15% cheaper than it was at the start of the year.

      Before you think of installing solar panels in Hobart however, it’s important to understand that solar in Hobart is not always going to work for you financially. There are three main reasons for this:

      • Less sunlight: solar panels in Hobart produce an estimated 10% less power than those in Sydney, and approximately 15-20% less than those in Brisbane and Perth.
      • Lower rebates: solar panels installed in Hobart get smaller subsidies under the Federal Government’s “Small-Scale Technology Certificate” (“STC”) scheme than those in most other capital cities.
      • Low Feed-in-Tariffs: feed-in-tariffs in Hobart are amongst the lowest in Australia, at just 8.93c per kw/h, compared to the 11c to 15c available in most other parts of Australia. This means Hobart residents get very little income for the excess solar power that they send back to the grid.
      • System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
        1.5kW $3,293 9 years 11 months No
        2kW $3,800 8 years 7 months No
        3kW $4,898 7 years 5 months Maybe
        4kW $5,894 6 years 8 months Yes
        5kW $6,752 6 years 1 month Yes
        Table 7: Payback period based on a household using 50% of its solar generation, with no battery storage, paying a flat electricity price of 25.9c per kw/h, and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 8.93c per kw/h.

        Darwin

        Darwin has the highest solar prices in the country – around 50% more expensive than the national average. This is mainly due to extra requirements for installing solar such as planning approval and cyclone protection, as well as increased prices due to the small market size.^ Prices have come down a little since June 2017, but not by as much as in some other markets.

        Despite the high price of installing solar panels, solar remains financially attractive in Darwin for one reason – it has the highest feed-in-tariff in the country, at 25.67 cents per kw/h, which is actually the same as the price you pay to buy power from the grid. This is more than double the feed-in-tariff paid in many other states.

        System Size Average Price Payback Period Worth It?
        1.5kW $4,986 8 years 1 month No
        2kW $5,647 6 years 11 months Yes
        3kW $6,844 5 years 7 months Yes
        4kW $8,185 5 years Yes
        5kW $12,485 6 years 1 month Yes
        Table 8: Payback period based on a paying a flat electricity price of 25.67c per kw/h, and receiving a net feed-in-tariff of 25.67c per kw/h.

         
        *Our payback calculations are based on you using 50% of your solar power during the day, and sending the remainder back to the grid. Although larger size systems look more financially attractive, that won’t be the case if you’ve oversized your panels, as you won’t end up using 50% of the power generated. Therefore it’s important to make sure you match the size of your panels to your electricity use.

        ^Source: GEM Energy Australia



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