electricity bills are one of the most serious concerns for many Brisbane
homeowners. In fact, in a recent survey by CHOICE, electricity topped the list
of household expense concerns, with 84% people reporting that they are
concerned about it. Thus, there is no surprise that solar energy is receiving
tremendous popularity by many. After all, what’s not to love about cheaper
energy made naturally by the sun?
The major dilemma is, while solar panels in Brisbane helps lighten at least some of the stress by reducing energy bills and eventually paying for itself; the up-front installation expenditure can be a hurdle.
For people who aren’t
capable to afford thousands of dollars in a go, there are several other
financial options available in the market which includes – Solar lease and PPA
(Power Purchasing Agreement). So, how do they work and which is the right
option for you? Let’s take a look:
offered for residential and commercial facilities in Brisbane, a solar lease is
essentially a month-to-month payment plan for a solar system.
An installer will install a solar system on your property and you are supposed to do the monthly repayments for a period of time, commonly for 15 to 20 years. You can either choose to pay a flat monthly rate or increase fractionally during the lease period.
While you are in your
leasing period, the supplier/installer is usually responsible for the
maintenance of the solar systems. This allows you to outspread the solar
installation cost. But unfortunately, it binds you into repayments with interest
that eventually will make your complete solar PV system more expensive than the
price you might have paid for it up front.
Usually, there are
two models for solar leasing contracts. They are:
At the end of the lease, some companies transfer ownership of the system
While on the other hand, the ownership of the PV system will revert to
the lessor. You have the option to either buy your system by paying off a
residual or to extend the lease.
The first and foremost advantage of a solar lease is that you don’t have
to pay the large upfront cost to but a solar system.
Usually, the lessor is responsible for the maintenance of the solar
panels in Brisbane. This also means that as the homeowner you don’t have to be
concerned about the equipment failure.
They are long-term contracts. Thereby, you are entitled to pay a monthly
payment to the lessor for next the 15-25 years.
If you are planning to sell your property during this time, a solar
lease can make it difficult for you. Usually, if you plan to sell your property
during the lease term, the new buyer should take over the contract. However, if
by that time there are better and cheaper products available in the market and
the buyer deny taking over the lease, you might be entitled to pay a break fee
to the lessor.
PPA – Power
In Solar PPA, you
sign an agreement with a solar company where the company pays for the solar
system installation and then sells you the generated energy at a much cheaper
rate than what you would pay your energy retailer.
effectively lease your roof space for a set tenure, so that they preserve the
system ownership and the responsibility for any maintenance expenditure.
PPAs are new to the Brisbane
market and the regulatory structure has only been settled on in the past few
months. PPA agreement comes with some usual conditions, such as:
Agreement to buy the minimum amount of power/month
This means, that even
if you are on a vacation, you’ll have to pay for the definite amount of
electricity produced by solar panels.
The major difference
between PPAs and solar lease is that with PPA you are committed to purchasing a
definite amount of kWh energy/month, whereas, with a solar leasing, you are
committed to paying a definite amount per month for using the system.
You neither have to face an upfront cost nor worry about the maintenance
Unlike a solar lease, there are no fixed monthly payments. In case, if
your solar panels in Brisbane are not working for a particular period or is
generating less energy than quoted, your payment falls down accordingly.
If you decide to sell your house, the contract needs to be assigned to a
With every passing year, there is uplift in the pricing. This means that
the price goes up in price over time.
Buying or financing
solar panels in Brisbane is the best option for the people interested in solar.
With government incentives, tax credit, rebates and low interest financing
options available, it makes more sense for the homeowners to buy their own system.
The lifetime savings
are huge when you own the system. This can alleviate your monthly electricity
bills. The best part is that with several financing options, it allows you to pay
nothing out of your pocket and start getting returns from year one. Moreover, solar panels are maintenance free.
Usually with 20-25 years shelf-life and warranty, you can enjoy the electricity
without any concerns or stress.
Studies have revealed
that installing a solar system is the best value addition for your property. You
can ask more and even your home sells faster.
You aren’t tied up with the monthly repayments for the long tenure.
With more incentives and finance option available, it’s a better
You’ll get the complete energy production without paying the higher cost
It gives you more freedom and flexibility in terms of system size, brand
of the solar system, kind of the solar systems, type of batteries, solar
You don’t have to deal with the solar transfer issue while selling home.
Moreover, installing solar panels terrifically increases your home’s value.
The major drawback is the up-front cost you need to pay. You need to pay
it from your savings or a loan type.
You are responsible for the maintenance of the system.
$15000 – $30,000 up-front cost Cash rebates reduce the total cost by up to 50%
Solar system for little or no money downYou don’t qualify for rebates, incentives or tax credit
You are responsible for the maintenanceYou need to purchase a tracking app
Lessor is responsible for the maintenanceIncludes FREE apps that track down the system performance
You can save 40%-70% on electricity cost. You receive free electricity for the life of the solar system (approx
You can save 10%-30% on electricity cost.
Before you come to
any final decision, explore all the financing options available to you. Every
situation is different and what’s the perfect option for you and your energy
needs depends on numerous factors including preferences and financial goals. If
you need any information about the expenditure and benefits of leasing, PPA or
buying solar panels, contact Aussie Sun Solar today!
If you are a resident
of Brisbane, you might be aware of the ample amount of sunshine received year
around. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane receives approx 5.2 hours
of peak sun per m2 every day. This has attracted many
homeowners in Brisbane to install solar panels on their roof. You’ll be
surprised to know that over 30% of the homes in Brisbane have solar systems.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are a Brisbane
resident planning to install solar systems, this article is all for you.
With the tremendous rise in the demand of the solar
systems and advent in technology, solar power in Brisbane has never been more affordable.
A solar system basically converts the sunlight into DC electricity by using an
array of Solar Photovoltaic Panels. By using a solar inverter, this DC power is
then converted into the AC power which later can be used to run the appliances.
Depending on the system and metering, excess solar generated electricity can be
stored in batteries for later use or fed into the grid.
So, now when you have
decided to install solar systems in Brisbane, you might be wondering what kind
of solar system to choose. Don’t worry. Each system has its own pros and cons,
and here we’ll break down the important thing you need to know to determine the
best option for you.
Three Main Types of Solar Systems in Brisbane
Also known as
grid-tie or grid-feed solar system, this is by far the most commonly used solar
systems by homes and businesses. This system is dependent upon the municipality’s
electrical grid. While purchasing or leasing an on-grid system, you need to
sign a net metering contract with your utility company. This basically determines
the price of electricity fed into the grid and of installing a power meter that
supports net metering.
usually occur when the grid is damaged, grid-feed solar systems cannot function
or produce electricity during a power outage or blackout; due to safety
reasons. If the solar inverter still feeds electricity into a damaged grid, it
can risk the safety of the workers repairing the fault.
Equipment for the On-Grid Solar Systems
There are a few main differences between the equipment used in the three kinds of solar systems. On-grid solar systems depend on the below components:
Grid-Tie Inverter or
Grid-tie inverter is
used to regulate the voltage and current received from solar panels. They also
synchronise the frequency and phase of the current to fit the utility grid. In
order for excess electricity to flow outwards to the grid, the output voltage
is adjusted slightly higher than the grid voltage.
inverter, micro-inverters go on the back of each solar panel. Homeowners who
are suspect to shading issues should opt for micro-inverters.
Power Meter/Net Meter
You need to replace
your existing power meter with the one that is compatible with net metering.
Also known as two-way meter, it is capable of measuring power in both
directions, from the grid to your house and vice versa. Consult with your local
utility company to check out the options you have.
Relatively cheaper than off-grid or hybrid systems, as it doesn’t
require any batteries or other stand-alone components.
It offers you a backup of a stand-alone unit.
It allows you to save more money with net metering
Utility grid acts as a virtual battery
You can’t store electricity,
which leaves you with no backup
It offers less incentive to
systems can run independently from the electric grid and thus requires battery
storage. This system needs to be designed properly, so that it produces enough
power throughout the year and should have enough battery capacity to meet the
energy requirements of your home, even during winters when there is less
The high cost of
inverters and batteries makes off-grid solar systems more expensive than
compared to on-grid solar systems. Thus, these systems are usually needed in
the remote areas where the electricity grid doesn’t reach. However, with a
rapid decrease in the battery cost, residents of cities and town have started
considering off-grid solar systems.
Off-Grid Solar Systems:
Solar Charge Controller
Also known as battery regulators, this equipment limit
the rate of current being delivered to the battery bank in order to protect the
batteries from overcharging. Good charge controllers are vital to prolonging
the shelf-life of a battery.
A battery bank is a group of batteries wired together
to deliver electricity, even after sunset.
DC Disconnect (additional)
For off-grid solar systems, an additional DC
disconnect switch is installed between the off-grid inverter and battery bank.
This is utilised to switch off the current flowing between inverter and battery
bank. This is essential for troubleshooting, maintenance and protection against
You’ll need an off-grid inverter to convert DC into AC
for all the electrical appliances. Electrical current flows from the solar
panel through the solar charge controller and battery bank to reach the
off-grid inverter, where it is finally converted into AC.
Backup Generator (optional)
Instead of investing in an oversized battery bank, it
is wise to install a backup generator that runs on diesel or any other fuel
type. These generators usually output AC which can be sent through the inverter
for direct use or can be converted into DC for battery storage.
You become energy independent.
You no longer subject to the policies and terms of the utility company.
Even during the power outage, your home will have full power.
No electricity bills.
It requires a higher installation cost
They require regular maintenance and troubleshooting
Batteries of off-grid systems have a less tangible cost which means
wastage of energy.
Energy efficiency is a must. This means, you need to be careful with
your energy use or you run the risk of not having electricity at your place.
Hybrid Solar Systems
are the perfect combination of off-grid and on-grid solar systems. You can even
describe it as on-grid with extra battery storage or off-grid with utility
backup power. With the decreasing cost of storage batteries, homes that have
already installed on-grid solar can take advantage of battery storage as well. Moreover,
hybrid systems can also charge the batteries during low peak time.
Equipment for Hybrid
The equipment used in hybrid solar systems functions in a similar manner as the one in Off-Grid. This includes:
DC Disconnect (additional)
The only equipment that
Battery-Based Grid-Tie Inverter
Hybrid solar systems
utilise battery-based grid-tie inverters which will not only draw electrical
power to and from battery banks but also synchronise it with the utility grid.
Stores solar generated electricity
Allows the use of solar energy in peak times
Enables energy independence
Reduces electricity consumption from the grid
Higher installation cost
More complex installation
Battery life of 7-15 years
May limit the number of appliances you can run at the same time
The Bottom Line:
Whether you choose to
remain grid-tied or opt for the hybrid solar system, it solely depends on your
energy needs and budget. No matter what you choose, but with several government
incentives and the prices of solar systems in Brisbane reducing drastically,
there’s no better time than now to get started.
consultation and solar system installation, look no further than Aussie Sun
Solar. With years of experience and expertise in designing and installing high-quality
solar systems in Brisbane, you can rest assured to receive top-notch solar
solutions. Get in touch today!