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How much can you save with solar panels?

15 July 2022

Installing solar panels is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and move away from fossil fuels. Potential savings might be a possibility too. There could be a reduction in energy purchased from a retailer but savings can’t be guratanteed given the number of variables.

The amount you could save will depend on a number of factors like the amount of sun you get, the quality of your panels, whether you have solar battery storage in place, the size of your roof and other things like feed-in-tariffs.

Are solar panels worth the cost of installing them?

It will take time to recover the cost of installing solar panels on your roof. But the savings are potentially there long-term. The current lifespan for solar panels runs at 25-30 years.

Example: Possible savings with solar panels

Let’s assume you purchase a new solar panel system. Your expenses here may include:

  • the cost of buying a new unit
  • installation costs for a tradesperson or technician
  • ongoing interest costs if you’re borrowing money to help finance your solar panel system

To claw back some money on costs, see if you’re eligible for a solar panel rebate or other incentives. Rebates for solar panels are currently provided by the Federal Government and some states across Australia.

Once installed, you can start drawing energy from your panels, rather than the electricity grid. That’s where potential savings lie. Of course, how much electricity you can draw from your panels and how much you can save long-term will depend on a number of factors.

Following are some issues to consider:

Factors affecting how much you save with solar panels

Changes to how much energy you consume over time

Electricity usage fluctuates long-term as your circumstances change. It may go up or down as your household changes and technologies shift. For example, there’s a good chance we’ll all be driving electric cars in the not-too-distant future. Electric cars require electricity when charging so your electricity consumption may rise in that case. Families grow in size too, along with electricity demand. Of course, teenagers turn into adults and leave the nest at which point your electricity usage may fall significantly. There are more actionable ways to decrease your electricity usage over time including:

  • making your home more energy efficient with better insulation
  • purchasing new energy efficient appliances or
  • by making a more conscious choice to reduce your energy consumption.

With solar panels, you can run appliances like the washing machine or dishwasher during the day when your panels are pumping energy instead drawing from the grid at night.

Feed-in tariff rates for solar energy in your state

Feed-in tariffs are small credits you might get from your electricity provider for putting electricity back into the grid.. It’s hard to assume feed in tariffs will continue long-term given the changes to government policy that can happen from time to time.

Rates are subject to change and vary by state too. Check with your solar system provider for more information on tariff rates in your state.

Staying in the same home long-term

It’s assumed you’ll continue to live at your property for the life of a solar system. Of course, if you move, you will not realise all of the savings.

Need help financing your new solar panels?

If you’re thinking about making some green home upgrades like the installation of solar panels, then now is a good time to be a Suncorp Bank customer.

Eligible Suncorp Bank home loan customers could finance eligible eco-friendly home improvements with a special reduced variable equity home loan rate. Want to know more? 

Talk to a Suncorp Bank home loan specialist


Read more:

Banking products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document, Lending Fees and Charges and Home Package Plus Terms and Conditions before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on our Product Information Documents and Forms page.

The Green Upgrades Equity Home Loan Offer is an equity loan available for loan amounts between $10,000 - $25,000 to assist eligible Suncorp Bank Home Loan customers with installing or upgrading an Acceptable Green Upgrade to their home where Suncorp Bank currently holds security over the residential property. Available only on owner occupied loans applied for from 30 June 2022 until 31 January 2022 unless withdrawn earlier. Further terms and conditions apply. For further details about this offer go to the Green Upgrades offer page online.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.