Know This Before You Go Solar
When solar electricity is generated by your system, it will first be used by appliances in your home, then any surplus solar energy will be sent to the grid. Your electricity retailer will pay you a small amount (around 7-20c) for each kWh that your solar system exports to the grid.
What this means that its better to use the solar power generated by your system than export it to the grid. Self-consumed electricity saves about 28-32c per kWh as you don’t have to buy that energy from the grid. Exported electricity earns a ‘feed in tariff’ of about 7-20c per kWh.
So self-consumed solar energy is about 2-3x more valuable than exported solar electricity. *we have found with a little bit of shopping around you can find the best rates for both feed in and energy usage. you want a high feed in with a low usage rate.
The Most ideal households for solar are ones that use a lot of electricity during the day, or can set their appliances to run on timers, are a natural fit for solar panels and can see very short paybacks of 3-5 years (20-25% returns).
If you are at home during the day or have pool pumps which run all day, your self-consumption can be up to 65% (with exports only 35%) and a solar power system installation is likely to be a very good investment.
If you are not at home during the day, you will typically self-consume about 20% of a well sized solar power system installation, pushing the simple payback out to 6-8 years.
Bear in mind that this is still a 12-15% return on your investment.
Avoid any solar energy company that calculates your payback based on 100% self-consumption. Practically no-one has 100% self-consumption. The company is being dishonest in order to get your business.