Buckscoop > Deals > Everything Else > Origin Energy - 1.5Kw Solar panel system for $1.5k installed [with luck! ;-) ]

Origin Energy - 1.5Kw Solar panel system for $1.5k installed [with luck! ;-) ]

Posted By: ninkasi, posted 2010/09/13 22:40
Some conditions apply - might have to pay a little extra if, for example, you live outside the metro area or have a flat roof.... if interested, give them a shout and find out if any of the fine print means you might be up for some extra costs.

The big carrot is that you only pay $299 initially, then three months after it's installed you pay $112.12 per month for 24 months. So that's basically an interest free loan for two years.

Now the total cost therefore is $2,990 and you can get similar deals around, but generally not with the interest free payments. I'm taking a small liberty with the whole "1.5Kw for $1.5k" thing, but bear with me - by my reckoning my 1.5Kw system is going to pay itself off in about 4 years (in Melbourne with a bit of luck/string of sunny days) due to the feed in tarrif here & my usage patterns. Assuming that's the case, then if I'd got mine via this deal then in two years it would have generated about $1,500 in savings (by generating power for me to use, and by feeding power back into the grid that then gets credited back to me at a premium) and paid $2,990 for the system so all up the system would have cost me $1,500. In another two years it would have paid that back and from then on the savings would go straight to my bottom line.

Obviously you would need to check out your usage patterns yourself, and the return on investment will vary on your location, feed in tarrifs, which way you house faces, and other factors. Your ROI might be quicker in some locations, or much worse (eg in Tassie or if your roof is in shadow from trees).
193°-+
  • Keeys2010/09/13 23:39:15
    We have been looking into this. We are currently waiting for them to come fit our solar hot water service also on a payment plan. If we got ahead with the above solar system we'd get another 10% off because we've already made a purchse.

    Our problem is we seem to use ALOT of power but no idea what one really given we are a family of 5 with no one at home for school hours. We are going to really start keeping an eye our useage according to our last bill we were using 50 a day OMG!!!

    So the system above is going to make a very small difference to our bill. The thing is thelarger systems are so much more expencive and we really don't have suitable roof for a huge system. So do we just go with this system and between solar hot water and a 1.5 system we are still going to be better off or do we wait and see what they come up with over the next few years that might be better??

    So confusing :(
  • ninkasi2010/09/14 00:38:22
    Keeys
    We have been looking into this. We are currently waiting for them to come fit our solar hot water service also on a payment plan. If we got ahead with the above solar system we'd get another 10% off because we've already made a purchse.

    Our problem is we seem to use ALOT of power but no idea what one really given we are a family of 5 with no one at home for school hours. We are going to really start keeping an eye our useage according to our last bill we were using 50 a day OMG!!!

    So the system above is going to make a very small difference to our bill. The thing is thelarger systems are so much more expencive and we really don't have suitable roof for a huge system. So do we just go with this system and between solar hot water and a 1.5 system we are still going to be better off or do we wait and see what they come up with over the next few years that might be better??

    So confusing :(


    I have a large family as well, and we use a fair bit of power. Even so, most of our power is used at night and in the mornings when solar isn't pulling in that much. When the most power is being generated, the house is frequently only supporting the fridges (yep - two fridges and one freezer - did I mention the large family?) and then even the 1.5Kw system is feeding power back into the grid. Yes a bigger system would have been nice, but the bonuses stop at 1.5Kw so you have to pay a lot to go bigger.

    With hot water, we went gas - we felt the solar boosted electric was good but an instant gas system was just more flexible for us as well as efficient.

    What would I do in your situation? Well, if you're not sure perhaps get something like a Wattson and measure your household power usage over time so you can see how much power you use when the house is empty. Definitely systems are improving, so if you wait I'm sure something better will come along.... if you're going to make the jump, then this is one of the better deals around at the moment....

    To give you a real life example to help you work out if it might be worthwhile for you - 1.5Kw means it can generate that amount per hour (in ideal conditions). My house "idles" at around he 500W mark so in ideal conditions it generates 1Kw per hour. At $0.66 per Kw feedback that means $0.66 per hour. Let's say it does that an average of 3 hours per day (more in summer, less in winter, plus taking into account weekends when the house is occupied and power being used during the day rather than being fed back) that's around $2 per day. So roughly $700 per year off our bill. We'll never see a cheque from Origin, but we will see a net saving off our power bill that is going to pay for our system over the next four years....

    Cheers
  • ninkasi2010/09/14 00:45:17
    Oh I should note that if you're using a lot of power, then the main culprits tend to be fridges (old, or faulty seals) or clothes dryers (always use a lot of power, but can use even more if they aren't vented properly so are taking longer to dry). Older computers that are left on all the time, or older TVs that are left on or in standby mode can also suck a fair amount of juice.

    A Wattson is useful for measuring entire household power usage, but a cheap power meter can be had for under $15 that you plug into the power point of key appliances so you can measure what the power drain might be and detect those things that might have issues.
  • wfdTamar2010/09/14 08:27:05
    Those cheapo meters are good. Discovered my split system AC was using 50 watts when turned off! I mean completely off - just waiting for a remote control signal.

    My tip for heating - get electric throws and turn the heating down.
  • Rebekah762010/09/14 09:30:24
    in SA, some libraries have an electricty audit pack you can borrow for two weeks (for free) and you get all you need to check power usage of your appliances - very useful

    we have solar (1.5kW) - a thin film system rather than the ones that are usually on sale (mono-crystalline)

    We have found ours generates an average of 9.5kw per day (over one year of use so far). We have received roughly $750 back off our power bill, with our power bill in Summer/Spring being offset completely by the $ paid for by feed-in tarrif (44c per kW in SA) In Winter our bill is drastically reduced. As most panels have a 20-25 year guarantee to still be producing at 80% of original capacity, we worked out that our system will provide roughly 10% investment return over the life of the panels.

    One thing we were told by the Solar Shop when we signed up - it's important to remember what your power is costing you - during the day when our panels are going nuts we are being paid 44c - so any power we use during the day is 44c we are not getting from the govt... if we use that same power at night, then it is only costing us 20c that we pay the supplier... SO you can double your cost if you do your high energy things at the wrong time of day - you can't impact when your fridge runs, and your kettle is only for a very short time - BUT - if you run your washing machine, dishwasher, iron etc at night - then you will be paying less each time you turn the switch on.

    By the way - I would recommend doing the 3 quote thing for solar. We found that the knowledge base was VERY different depending on whether you got a good one or a bad one. (Price was too). We had Solar Shop, Modern and a local guy - Modern guy was just a salesman and my elec savvy hubby knew more than him. Local guy was great and knew what he was talking about, but expensive. At the time, Solar Shop was the best deal for us and they were very very informative. I would include Solar Shop in your quote list just based on their knowledge - you still can go with the cheapest person on the day, but they really gave us a lot of extra info that we didn't know we needed and can provide great advice on the best system for your home and location.
  • ninkasi2010/09/14 09:59:34
    Rebekah76
    feed-in tarrif (44c per kW in SA) In Winter our bill is drastically reducedit's important to remember what your power is costing you - during the day when our panels are going nuts we are being paid 44c


    Definitely - you'll find that in SA your panels will generate more than ours in Melb, but then again we get $0.66 per kWh. The SA scheme also lasts for 20 years, whilst it only goes for 15 years here.... it can also be worthwhile looking around for the best feedback tarrif (eg in SA AGL pays back $0.52. For example that $750 at $0.44 would become $886 at $0.52 - although you also need to balance that with what their normal rates are (you might get more for the power you feed back, but end up paying more because the cost of power is higher). :D
  • Rebekah762010/09/14 14:04:06
    Thanks ninkasi, we are with AGL cos they had the best deal - SA govt just announced an extra 10c per kW too (but failed to make the companies pay a decent amount on top of that like Vic did a few years back) - I just used the 44c as the base number to show people.

    For those in SA, the govt feed-in tarriff will be limited to those who get in first, so if you are interested, go sooner rather than later as if you are too late, you won't be eligible for feedin tarriff. (those already on it, will continue to get it for the 20 years)
  • ntowill2010/09/14 14:27:26
    I got a 1.5kW system installed in April with a 2.0kW inverter. It cost me $1,990 for the system then another $450 to get it connected to the electricity grid, so $2,440 total. (I'm in Sydney). The connection to the electricity grid seems to be an extra for a lot of companies so best to check this if going ahead. The Origin Energy seems to include everything though (on face value). I was one of the lucky few that got it in time for a green loan, so I have an interest free loan with it as well. Supposed to generate around $1,300 pa in feed-in-tarriffs (@$0.60) which I should get pretty close to as I have the perfect roof slope and orientation with no shading. Means my system would be paid for itself within 2 years, but my interest free loan is for 4 years, so I'm pretty much in front as soon as I get paid my first feed in tarriff :w00t:

    Gotta luv the sun - keeps you warm and makes you money! :cool:
  • Keeys2010/09/14 16:50:23
    Thanks guys ...we have people coming tomorrow to look at the place for the solar water hubby will check with them when they come about roof positition etc and if all good might as well go ahead with the deal. I know waiting on one handfor a better system to come makes sense but on the other hand we are missing out on savings in the mean time. My other thought it while we might not save alot it will help cover the cost of how much power is going up ;)
  • ninkasi2010/09/14 18:32:11
    The special conditions are here.... eg extra costs should a frame be required for mounting on a flat roof, etc
  • ninkasi2010/09/14 18:42:47
    Keeys
    Thanks guys ...we have people coming tomorrow to look at the place for the solar water hubby will check with them when they come about roof positition etc and if all good might as well go ahead with the deal. I know waiting on one handfor a better system to come makes sense but on the other hand we are missing out on savings in the mean time. My other thought it while we might not save alot it will help cover the cost of how much power is going up ;)


    Good luck! The other thing to be aware of is the feedback schemes don't exist in some states (eg Tassie) or are limited in others - eg in Vic they have a set amount of funding (100MW) so although they may run for 15 years for those who manage to join in time, once the number of grid connected systems on the scheme hit 100MW then that's it (unless they get more funding).... so that's another reason (at least for Victorians) for connecting sooner rather than later....

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