If you’ve been saving up for a number of years to buy your first solar power installation, you may have seen some changes to your government rebate offers, as well as to your potential feed-in tariffs. Many state governments started off with generous incentives and these have been great for the households that have already gone solar, but if you’re still saving, are the new deals worth the effort?
In a word, yes; solar is still worth it
Despite falling tariffs and rebates, the actual costs of solar panels have fallen and their efficiency and capacity has risen, making an installation worth it from the get-go and going forward.
After most rebates, the average cost of a 6-7kW system is anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000, which means that a small, medium or larger array is within the reach of most households.
Of course, the quality of the system is important, with Tier 1 panels costing more but lasting longer. It’s important to shop around and look for longer warranties on the panels and the inverter. If this means that you need to save a few more dollars in order to buy a reliable system, then the wait is worth it.
What about discounts and rebates?
Previously, the different states have offered their own rebates, but all but Victoria have cut back on these rebates. Victoria still offers rebates of up to $2,225 for households earning under $180,000.
Some states are trying out schemes for low-income households, though, so check out the Department of Energy website to see if you qualify.
Regardless of your state, you can probably still get a federal government rebate from the small-scale renewable energy scheme.
How long does solar take to pay for itself?
Each household will very, of course, but on average, it takes between six and 10 years, depending on the size of the installation, how much power you actually use and how much you generate and sell back to the grid. Where you live also makes a difference, with areas like NSW and QLD getting more output that Tasmania, for example.