The benefits of solar panels
There are many financial and environmental benefits that an investment in solar power can bring to you and society as a whole.
Environmentally, solar panels will help reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Financially, solar panels typically deliver good savings and help to reduce your electricity bills.
Advantages of solar energy
Solar panel benefits include:
- Better for the environment
- Produce clean, renewable energy
- Save money
- Reduce your electricity bills
- Secure a rebate
- Low maintenance
- Increase the value of your property
- Energy independence
Environmental benefits of solar panels
There are numerous environmental benefits of solar panels. Once manufactured, your solar panels will generate clean, renewable energy for your home. The installation of a 6.6kW solar system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 250 tonnes in its lifetime (Victoria, Australia).
Solar panels reduce air pollution, as there are no pollutants associated with the generation of solar power.
Save money and reduce your electricity bills
Our analysis concludes that solar panels are financially worth it in almost every instance. A 6.6kW solar power system can save you as much as $1,200 – $2,000 per year, and will significantly reduce your electricity bills. Payback periods for solar panel systems can be as low as four years, and are typically not longer than 7 years.
If you buy quality components, your solar panels can deliver savings for 25 years or more. Lifetime savings of solar panels can be greater than $50,000. Our solar savings calculator will help you estimate your financial benefits.
You get a rebate on your purchase
When you buy a new solar system in Australia, you will receive a solar panel rebate that will reduce the cost of your purchase. Rebates can typically save you around $3,700 off the cost of a new solar system.
*To receive your rebate, you must buy Clean Energy Council approved components, and have your system installed by an accredited installer.
You get paid for your excess solar energy
You will get paid whenever you export energy from your solar panels back to the electricity grid. For every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy you export, you will receive a feed-in tariff from your electricity retailer.
Solar panels require little maintenance
Once your solar system is installed, it will likely require very little maintenance. Typically, solar panels do not even need to be cleaned. The inverter may need replacing after 10 – 15 years, but this is the only additional cost you may incur throughout your system’s life.
Add value to your home
All things being equal, solar panels will add to the value of your home.
Solar batteries and energy independence
A solar battery can allow you to become energy independent. Batteries work by storing your excess solar energy for later use, thus reducing your reliance on the electricity grid. It is possible to get a storage system that has backup power functionality too, providing you with peace of mind and electricity when the grid goes down.
Are there disadvantages to solar energy?
There are some perceived disadvantages to solar energy, these include:
- Upfront cost
- Weather dependent
- Do not generate energy at night
- High cost of battery storage
High upfront cost
The upfront cost of solar panels is relatively high, a 5kW system can cost between $5,000 – $8,000 after rebates. However, the payback period and lifetime savings must be considered when evaluating the cost.
Most system will payback within 4 – 7 years, while lifetime savings can amount to 10 times the original purchase cost.
Solar panels are susceptible to inclement weather. While solar panels do work when it is cloudy, their output is significantly reduced, depending on the type of cloud cover.
Solar panels do not generate energy at night
Solar panels do not generate solar energy at night. However, it is possible to use solar energy that your system has generated, at night. If you buy a panel and battery system, you can store your energy during the day and use it at night.
High cost of battery storage
Though battery storage has many advantages, it is not cheap. A 10 kWh solar battery can cost in excess of $10,000. However, unlike solar panels, the payback period on batteries is usually longer than their useful life.