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Solar savings 101

Decoding how switching to solar energy helps you save energy and money.

The first thing people will tell you about solar power, apart from it being good for the environment, is that it will help you save money. How? Well unlike fossil fuels, the energy of the sun is unlimited and apart from paying for your solar system then power you harness from it is absolutely free. However, it’s not that simple. So let’s take a closer look at how solar savings works.

Solar energy is cheaper

Over the past few years, the overall cost of solar power has fallen by nearly 58%. Utility companies rely on coal, oil, and natural gas to provide power. However, they are vulnerable to fluctuating markets, which has led to rising electricity costs over the years. With solar power, your dependency on these reduces as you will only be charged for the power you use, when a solar system cannot produce enough energy. This is the case for a grid-tied system. You also have the option to go completely off-grid and use batteries to store power for similar instances.
Additionally, once installed, solar panels rarely have issues that require repairs, so it is a one-time investment that lasts at least 25-30 years. And most solar manufacturers and installers offer warranties or service contracts to handle any issues that may arise at little to no cost.

Feed-in tariff

If your solar system is tied to the grid and produces more energy than you consume, the excess is fed back into the grid, in exchange for credits. These credits are then adjusted against your power bills further reducing them.
Feed-in tariffs vary across states, so make sure to get the best deal to increase your savings.

Size matters

The amount you save on your electricity bills directly depends on the size of your solar system. An ideal solar system should be large enough to cater your daily usage, reduce your payback period, and maximize Return on Investment (ROI).
However, bigger isn’t always better. Too large a system could mean an unnecessary expense, especially since a majority of power will be fed into the grid. If the feed-in tariff is lower, you will be selling power back to your energy provider at a cost lower than your standard energy rate. An experienced solar retailer can help you assess your energy usage and help you find the right solar system for your needs.

Solar incentives

Governments also offer incentives to help promote the shift to renewable energy. The Australian federal government provides a nationwide incentive scheme, the Small-Scale Technology Certificate Program (STCs) to help reduce the upfront cost of installing solar power. Some states also provide incentives over and above federal incentives that further contribute to containing energy expenses.

It’s time to go solar

There are several factors including location and quality of the solar panels that will determine how much you will actually save. Some surveys show that you can recover the cost of your solar system within 3-5 years and others about 15 years. However, one thing is clear, a solar system can create real, tangible savings that makes a difference.

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