So, you’ve been thinking about solar for a while now. Your electricity bills are creeping up and up, and it's looking like a pretty reasonable way to reduce your bills. If you're someone questioning whether or not the solar leap is right for you, consider that the price of solar only continues to drop.
But how do you know now’s the best time to go solar? Should you wait to see whether solar panel prices drop even more? It's a big decision, so make sure to consider the points below:
You must first consider that solar’s not a new thing anymore. At the end of 2015, there were over 1.15 million small scale solar power systems installed in Australia (Clean Energy Council) and thousands will get solar panels for their home over the summer. As solar adoption has risen, the cost of solar has continued to drop (see graph).
The cost and adoption of solar over time (via Bloomberg Markets).
With the trajectory of these figures in mind, it's easy to see that each year your delay investing in solar, is a day you miss out on the economical and eco-friendly benefits of solar panels.
The sooner you act, the more you save! And with the current energy climate, you don't want to be waiting around as prices continue to shoot upwards. Which bring us to our second important fact…
Solar panels will put you in a good position for some serious savings. More and more solar owners have been able to go completely off the grid, thus removing their reliance on rising energy costs. The majority of solar users experience dramatic bill drops, with some even wiping their energy bills entirely after paying back the system.In some cases, solar power could eradicate your electric bill entirely.
The Alternative Technology Association with Choice has put this table together so you can get an idea of how long it might take (note that the table is from 2013 and payback periods should be seen as estimates).
Payback times by state/ territory (via Choice).
Technology can shorten this payback time even more. carbonTRACK users have found that with carbonTRACK they can save even more on their electricity bills, and their payback time on their solar panels is even shorter.
Solar panels used to be just something you had on your roof that helped your bills a little and made you feel good about doing your bit for the environment.
Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since then, and now if you have solar you can use systems like carbonTRACK to monitor how much solar you are producing and when.
With this information you can use more of the solar power you generate throughout the day (for e.g. washing clothes and powering your hot water system).
You can lower the amount of solar you export for a few cents, and reduce the amount of energy you use in the evenings when your solar panels aren’t producing power. This way, you reduce your bills by maximising your solar.
Moreover, technologies like carbonTRACK give solar home owners the security of knowing that your panels are working well.
There have been some horror stories come out of the solar industry. One springs to mind where someone with solar had the panels for 6 months and didn’t realise that they weren’t connected.
There’s no time like the present…
In 1931, Thomas Edison said, “I’d put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we can tackle that.” Edison was a pretty smart guy, and we think he’s on the mark.
(Thomas Edison Quote, Via Political Memes)
Does solar make sense for you? We don't have all the answers, but it's definitely a great time to at least do some serious research!