Sunshiny days ahead, but at what cost?
We live in Australia – sunshine is what we have in abundance! So, with record high electricity prices, why aren’t more people using solar power? Despite being green, smart and renewable, there is still the perception that it’s too costly to install solar panels, turning people away.
Actually, that perception isn’t true at all. Since 2012, costs have fallen around 40%, meaning it is now cheaper than ever to have solar installed. Most homes tend to opt for a 5kW solar system, which costs around $5,000 all up. But if you think of how much energy you are generating and using each day, this can save you in the region of $2,000 a year. Over a three to five-year period you would have at least broken even in savings and from then on begin to save even more!
What does that mean in real terms? What can I do with that energy?
It may sound obvious, but solar energy is only generated when the sun is out. This energy must be used at the time it is being generated to be of benefit to you. Unless you have batteries connected, you will not able to store this energy for a later time. So, if you are generating enough energy to have your dishwasher, washing machine and the air conditioning on, then go for it! Any excess energy you have can be exported back to the grid for you to get a credit on your account.
When it’s a little cloudy or overcast you’ll find that your output is lower than on a hot summer’s day. On these days you may only have enough energy to do regular tasks, but the air conditioning may have to wait for another day. And at night, you clearly won’t generate any power from the sun at all! If you don’t have batteries for storage, you will be using electricity from the grid.
Can I use any energy provider?
It is well worth shopping around to get the best deal on solar energy providers. They all offer varying tariffs meaning that the price can fluctuate depending on a range of variables.
At the end of the day, when the sun has set and you’re not generating any energy, you can relax knowing that you have contributed to reducing your carbon footprint. Whilst the initial outlay can be an expense, as long as you are in your home for several years, you will be able to reap the financial benefits of the installation.
There are plenty of ways to find the best gas and electricity provider. Using an online comparison site like Cheap Bills can help you find a better deal on all your utilities services. Simply visit www.cheapbills.com.au or call our friendly staff on 1300 786 045 to start saving money.