Planning your build

Solar Panels: Should I Add Them to My Home?

What if you could power your home with 100% clean energy? Or stop paying expensive power bills once and for all? 

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s the way of the future in Australia. An increasing number of homes throughout the country are installing solar panels. Regardless of whether a home is old, newly renovated or brand-spanking new; solar panels can be easily installed, with life-changing outcomes. 

If you’re still relatively unfamiliar with how a home solar system operates, we’ve explored them in detail below and explained why they should be included in your home build. 

What are solar panels?

Solar panels are devices installed on roofs to convert sunlight into the electricity that powers your home. How do solar panels work? Well, it’s actually quite simple! The panels absorb light and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity then passes through a solar inverter where it’s converted into 240V alternating current (AC) electricity, which is used to power your home. 

Solar panels can greatly reduce the need to use electricity from the grid and you’ll only need to dip into the grid when you’ve used all of the energy supplied by your solar panels. 

How much do solar panels cost?

Solar panels prices vary depending on the size of the system and the number of panels required to power your home efficiently. The system size is measured in kiloWatts (kW) and prices will be based on this, along with installation costs. 

Solar Quotes released a cost table, which displays the current approximate cost of a system, including installation. Prices start from as little as $2,500 for a 1.5kW system and range up to $12,000 for a 10kW system. 

The good news is, solar panel and installation prices have dropped significantly in the last few years and the solar panel Government rebate is still quite generous. There is a long list of ways you can finance your system until you’ve paid it off. 

The best part about solar systems is, they pay themselves off! The average payback period is usually around 6-10 years, however, it could be a lot quicker depending on your power use. 

How much money will I save using solar power?

The money you save on your electricity bill will again depend greatly on the location of your home, the amount of electricity you use, and the size of the system installed. However, you’ll certainly notice a drop to some extent. 

It’s also smart to adapt some of your daily usage habits to compliment your solar system. For example, it’s savvy to run appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during the day when the system is converting the most energy. If you’re still running all your appliances at night when the system isn’t converting, your savings won’t be as significant. 

If you consistently use most of your electricity in the evenings, you can install a solar panel battery, which will store any oversupply and allow you to use it as you need it. While they’re generally quite expensive to install, solar batteries can save you more on your power bill. 

What should I consider before adding solar panels to my home?

  1. Calculate your home’s current energy consumption and determine the size of the system you require. In doing so, you can also determine a rough payback period and what you can comfortably afford. 
  2. Confirm your roof faces the right direction. Roof orientation is a major deciding factor when considering solar panels. A solar installer will assess this for you, however, it could be something to consider if you’re still in the early stages of designing your new home. 
  3. Ensure that no trees, power lines or neighbouring buildings will shade the panels. This will prevent them from operating at their full capacity.  
  4. Contact your local council to find out if approval is needed. Council staff will be able to lend a helping hand. 
  5. Decide on the right solar inverter (which we discussed earlier). Take a look at our guide to buying solar inverters for more details to ensure you make the right choice. 
  6. Think about whether you need a battery. Read our solar storage battery buying guide to understand the pros and cons. 
  7. Make sure that you like the look of solar panels with your home’s style. 
  8. Make sure your solar panels meet the required standards – see more.
  9. If you’ve found a system and installer you’re happy with, check the panels’ product performance and warranties – see more. 

Find out if solar panels are right for you

Are you ready to experience the benefits of solar power and live more sustainably at home? If you’re considering solar panels for your new build, get in touch with your local GJ Gardner Franchise. We can answer all your questions and guide you in the right direction.