Buckscoop > Deals > Everything Else > 1.52kW fully installed system Solar power system from $2500 (or possibly free)

1.52kW fully installed system Solar power system from $2500 (or possibly free)

Posted By: ninkasi, posted 2010/03/02 23:00
Includes pretty much everything, but there may be some extra costs depending on your house. In my case I have a double storey (+$200) plus flat steel roof (+$415) so it cost me a little more. Depending on supplier, you may also have to pay for a "smart meter". Even so I calculate that with the Solar feedback rebates (I will be credited back about three times the market rate for any energy I generate and feed back into the grid) in Melbourne I'll pay for this installation within four years. So that's a 25% tax free return on investment. If you combine this with the interest free loan noted at http://www.buckscoop.com.au/forums/freebies/17923-free-sustainability-assessment-interest-free-loan.html then you effectively will get the solar system for free (in fact you could possibly install a larger system), and after it has paid itself off, you will continue to get credit for years to come - these systems have a lifespan of +20 years....

I ordered my system in mid Dec, and it was installed mid Jan.

Basically - after four years, cost neutral. From then on I should be saving around $800 per year - and that's at current (pun intended) power prices.
118°-+
  • Donkey2010/03/02 23:58:22
    Smart deal ninkasi - hot from me.
  • ninkasi2010/03/03 00:16:16
    As technology improves and the cost of power increases, solar panels on houses will become far more common. For now, the rebates mean that the "sweet spot" is 1.5kW, but even a larger system has a fairly fast payback. Really, to get a similar or better return I suspect you have to deal with people called "snake" who break kneecaps. For me, it's a no-brainer. If you rent, plan to move soon, or live in - say - Hobart where the payback would take longer well then it would be a harder call.
  • wfdTamar2010/03/03 10:27:54
    The green loans program finishes on the 22nd March.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/greenloans/
  • ninkasi2010/03/03 11:04:10
    wfdTamar


    Good find! Must warn my brother as I think he wanted to take advantage of it. I didn't bother with the green loan mainly because I have rebuilt my house so didn't qualify until mid this year. I should also note that the rebate scheme in Victoria that provides $0.60 or more for power fed back into the grid is also limited and will eventually run out - and significantly increase the payback period.

    By the way, nuenergy aren't the only ones providing a reasonably priced entry level Solar power system. When I was checking out suppliers, eco-kinetics for example were another group who can provide a similar system for around the same price. Most other suppliers charge around the $4k to $5k mark for a 1 to 1.5kW system.

    By my reckoning (again this is specific to my house in Melbourne, with the panels pointed at ideal angle and direction):
    [LIST]
    [*] My panels should generate on average 5 to 6kWh per day (sometimes more, sometimes less)
    [*] As the majority of power will be generated during the middle of the day when power usage is low, I figure pumping back around 45% of the power generated. Probably more.
    [*] My cost of power is $0.18 per kWh, but I will get back $0.66 (from Origin) for every kWh fed back into the grid.
    [*] At that rate I would get credit of $650 for power fed back into the grid each year
    [*] I would also have a saving of $216 for the power I use that I've generated myself
    [/LIST]

    So total per year, at market rate now, saving of $866.

    My total install cost was $3,115 - so I will pay off that in 3.6 years. Let's round that up to 4 years. From then on I save $866 for up to 25 years. Let's say that the efficiency of the cells go down over time - but to counter that the price of energy is going to go up. You do have to allow for technology improving and perhaps the inverter dying so perhaps you might replace it after after ten years. But at that point I might add on some extra panels (which will probably be more efficient/cheaper, as no doubt will be the inverters). Even so, $866 tax free saving for ten years is nothing to sneeze at.... it will pay for a holiday each year, or kids clothing.... and that's all without considering the "green" impact (over a tonne of Co2 saved etc etc - although of course that argument is countered by the energy and other environmental impact to manufacture the cells etc etc so let's not go there!).

    Cheers
  • Rebekah762010/03/03 13:50:58
    also - once you have your smart meter installed - look at your energy retailer. It dependson your state, but some retailers pay as much as 66c per kwh - which is a lot more than others who are paying only 44.. will knock a year off your repayment time.

    and if you need any other incentive.. the govt is forecasting that electricity will increase by up to 25% in cost over the next ten years.

    To maximise your feedback tarriff. remember to run high energy items at night... sounds silly, I know - BUT if you run your washing maching during the night you pay 19/22 c p kw - if you run it during they day and your system might have been exporting - the true opportunity cost is the feedback tarriff (say 44c) - you have jsut doubled the cost of electricity for your washing machine by running it during the day!
  • wfdTamar2010/03/04 08:37:15
    Sodding Tasmania will only pay the going rates for power you send back.

    I'd be a bit concerned about the comparatively short warranty on the inverter. I wonder if going for one of the more expensive ones would give better odds on extending its life (though the more expensive ones only have 5 year warranties!).

    Huge discussions of these on Whirlpool if you want more opinion (and solar does bring out the opinionated). :-)
  • ninkasi2010/03/04 09:35:43
    Rebekah76
    also - once you have your smart meter installed - look at your energy retailer. It dependson your state, but some retailers pay as much as 66c per kwh - which is a lot more than others who are paying only 44.. will knock a year off your repayment time.


    In Victoria the minimum amount of credit is $0.60 but some retailers will add on extra credit. Need to balance all that with other factors such as what their normal rates are, if they force you onto a special (higher) plan, if they support off peak (if you currently take advantage of that) prices, if they only pay credit back to offset power bills or if they will actually refund cash if you are in the black (unlikely of course unless you have a larger system)

    As an example, (last I looked - may have changed by now) Energy Australia pay $0.60, Origin $0.66, and AGL $0.68.
  • ninkasi2010/03/04 09:53:22
    wfdTamar
    Sodding Tasmania will only pay the going rates for power you send back.

    I'd be a bit concerned about the comparatively short warranty on the inverter. I wonder if going for one of the more expensive ones would give better odds on extending its life (though the more expensive ones only have 5 year warranties!).

    Huge discussions of these on Whirlpool if you want more opinion (and solar does bring out the opinionated). :-)


    Yep. The one that NuEnergy supplied was a Sharp JH-1600E - quite compact, and a five year warranty. I would expect it to last at least double that (think of it like a TV or fridge - they may only have a one or two year warranty, but in all likelihood if they don't break in the first 3 months then they'll probably last for 10 years or more. Mine is also in the garage so is fairly well protected) but I figure that even if it does die in year six, the system would have paid for itself and the savings in year five would pay for a new inverter. With the longer payback in Tassie (double whammy of less sun and no extra credit), it's definitely harder. I know you can get extended warranties with some inverters - but then again I would expect that in 5 years time they will be a lot cheaper so probably better off keeping that money in the bank (you have to pay for the warranty AND have the unit regularly serviced/checked) and using it to get a new, better featured, more efficient, and probably cheaper inverter when/if it dies.

    Heck, in five years time I might get a fuel cell generator that uses natural gas and go completely off the grid... who knows!

    Cheers
  • ninkasi2010/03/04 10:24:16
    wfdTamar
    Sodding Tasmania




    Update - apparently providing extra credit is "under consideration" in the apple isle. Some further info is here:

    Solar Panels - Solar Power Systems - Solar Energy Systems | Solar Choice Rewards
    and
    Feed-in tariffs in Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Cheers
  • Rebekah762010/03/04 10:31:14
    ninkasi
    In Victoria the minimum amount of credit is $0.60...


    Yes - when the govt made the suppliers pay a minimum amount, most retailers just paid that minimum amount - meaning the govt paid it all and the retailers got the green energy for effectively nothing.. so the Vic govt closed the loophole and now retailers pay the minimum plus a fair rate.

    the SA govt is yet to do this...

    fyi - if you're in SA and have solar energy.. send an email to: Solar Neighbourhood [solar@malpage.com] and they will subscribe you to their mailing list. The Solar neighbourhood is campaigning to get better feedback tarrifs, so if you are subscribed to this mailing list, you will get an email when they negotiate a great rate with any retailers.
  • Donkey2010/03/04 11:04:38
    Slightly off topic but in the general vein - The Bloom Box: a power plant for the home (video) -- Engadget
  • ninkasi2010/03/04 11:49:53
    Donkey
    Slightly off topic but in the general vein - The Bloom Box: a power plant for the home (video) -- Engadget


    Not so off topic. Fuel cells are quite a distinct option - in particular in places like Melbourne where natural gas is available to many houses. The technology is improving, and the costs are going down. Generating the power at the home avoids a lot of energy loss that otherwise happens as the power is transferred from the remote power stations - so the effective efficiency is pretty good. As power costs go up, and usage increases (through things such as electric cars) then this will definitely become a viable option for many.

    You can get them now (eg http://www.neco.com.au/solar/fuel-cells/efoy-1600-fuel-cell-rv) and http://www.neco.com.au/bluegen), but it's still early days yet. Another five years - well who knows.
  • deborah722011/01/19 17:18:21
    Solar power works well for most items except large electric appliances that use an electric heat element such as a water heater, clothes dryer and electric stove - for example - or total electric home heating systems. It is not cost effective to use solar power for these items. Conversion to natural gas, propane or other alternatives is usually recommended. Good thing it was now established mostly in some other countries. We really need to find out good ways to conserve energy not before it's too late.

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