Solar panels collect sunlight throughout the day and convert it into energy, which then powers household appliances.
The average Sydney household can save up to $900 a year by installing a 4-kilowatt solar system on their roof (Energy saver). Larger savings are possible when both a solar panel and battery system are installed.
How much do solar panels cost?
The cost of your system will be relative to the system size, the brand you have chosen and the included warranty. For quotes on a solar panel system, check out the Brighte Marketplace.
Which solar panels are the best?
To determine the best solar panels, look at the efficiencies of the solar panels, pricing and the warranty offered by each brand.
Types of solar panels
- Have the highest efficiency rates, so fewer solar panels are required
- Typically the most expensive solar panel type due to their complex manufacturing process
- Efficiency can suffer in extremely high temperatures
- More affordable than monocrystalline panels as polycrystalline silicon is relatively simple to manufacture
- Less efficient than monocrystalline panels, so you need more panels to get the same output
- Efficiency can suffer from extremely high temperatures
Benefits of solar panels
- May lower your energy bills
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Monitor and improve your energy consumption
Tiering of solar panels
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) created three tiers as a way to distinguish between manufacturers in the renewable energy space: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. Bloomberg’s tiered system is based on the 'bankability' of solar manufacturers around the world.
What size solar panel system do I need?
Firstly, you need to work out how much energy you use. As a guide, a typical home uses 20kWh of energy a day. A 5kW solar system would meet most of the daytime power needs of such a home (Choice 2020).
Key factors to understanding your system requirements include:
- Your available roof space
- Your roof orientation
- How much energy you require
- If you will be using a solar battery
- Your budget
Small-scale technology certificates (STC’s): Tip: To calculate how many STCs your system will generate, use the government's calculator.
Feed-in Tariffs differ between states and territories. For the most up-to-date and accurate information, check with your energy provider and your state government.
- NSW: Service NSW
Solar panel buying guide checklist
- Orientation and output: Check your roof direction and the amount of space available for solar panels. From there, determine how much energy would be provided and determine if this would offset your energy bill to the desired amount.
- Product vs performance warranty: Ask your solar installer about both options.
- Smart meter connection: You may need to upgrade your meter to a smart meter. A smart meter is capable of calculating the energy you export and import from the grid, impacting your electricity bill.
Already have solar panels? Read our tips for optimising your solar system to reduce your energy bills
- Install a solar battery: A battery stores excess energy generated during the day, allowing you to use this energy at night.
- Organise a clean of your solar panels to remove dust and dirt from your panels.
- Time your appliances: Use your appliances during the off-peak electricity times, which are typically at night or on the weekend.
- Reduce shadows: Shadows from trees or fallen leaves on your solar panels can reduce your energy output.
The information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute advice. Please consider your own personal circumstances prior to making any decisions.