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Choosing the right number of solar panels for your home

Tips to shed a little light on solar


About to make the switch to solar? It’s a great way to help lessen your impact on the environment and your wallet! With plenty of sunlight on offer in Australia, it makes perfect sense to get into renewable energy and start living greener.

But where to start? Here’s a few tips to shed a little light on solar.

Understanding how solar panels work

Let’s focus on Solar PV (that’s Photovoltaic) panels, the kind that are designed to generate clean green energy for your household. Traditionally these are installed on the roof of your home.

The system itself generates direct current electricity, which needs to be transformed into alternating current electricity so it can be used in your home, and by the electricity grid. Your solar panels are likely to be connected to your energy network, meaning that you can use the clean energy in the day and send any excess back to the grid – in return for your service to the community you’ll get yourself some money back from your bill via a Feed-in-Tariff or FIT.

If your panels aren’t producing enough, you can utilise the grid for your needs. Alternatively, if you have a battery storage system in your home you can use that to house your unused solar power until you need it.

Choosing the right solar panel size

When it comes to picking the size of your panels there’s really 5 things you need to remember to consider: 

  1. The size of your roof
  2. Your energy consumption
  3. Your budget - remember you’re likely to get future money off your electricity bills so it’s a long-term investment
  4. The direction and angle of the panels will also have a big impact on the efficiency of the system
  5. Location the amount of sunlight you get and the number of panels offered by your local distributor will be entirely based on where you are

How much do solar panels cost to install?

According to the average initial cost of installing a popular 5kwh solar system is a little over $5,000. 

This figure is approximate and is based on the average, quoted, out-of-pocket costs for standard installations (i.e., no special equipment or circumstances), including GST and the Australian Government STC rebates.

Under the Australian Government's Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, eligible households receive money for small-scale technology certificates (STCs). You may receive either an upfront discount off the cost of your solar PV system, or a quantity of STCs that can be created and sold following installation to recoup some of the cost.

So, how many solar panels do you need?

The average amount of panels being installed is a 5kW system, which could produce a daily average of around 19.5 kWh in Sydney and 18 kWh in Melbourne.*

ENGIE can put you in touch with a reputable solar installer and it’s easy to get started. Further information can be found here.

It really comes down to your personal circumstances, and your location is of utmost importance. We recommend chatting to the experts, starting with a reputable solar installer in your area to get a fully comprehensive quote, based on your needs.



*An Interactive Australian Solar PV Mapping Resource

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