thumbs up with solar panel

Solar energy has become a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Particularly in Canberra, and across most of Australia, where the sun often shines, solar power is now used by both homeowners and business proprietors.

The question remains, is solar power a good investment?

In this article, we aim to answer this question. We take into account the economic factors, environmental implications, and financial incentives involved with solar power.

The question remains, is solar power a good investment?

In this article, we aim to answer this question. We take into account the economic factors, environmental implications, and financial incentives involved with solar power.

Economic Appeal

house with solar panel

The financial appeal of solar power can be substantial. Here are some of the ways an investment in solar power can benefit your finances:

  • Cost-savings on electricity bills
    One of the most immediate benefits of installing solar panels is the reduction in electricity bills. By generating your own electricity, your dependency on the grid diminishes, which directly translates to lower energy costs.Over time, the savings accrued can be substantial, making solar power a sound investment. Plus, as electricity prices continue to escalate, the cost-saving aspect of solar energy becomes even more pronounced.
  • Increased property value
    Properties equipped with solar systems generally have a higher market value and tend to sell faster compared to those without. Prospective buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar installations due to the future energy cost savings. Plus, solar panels are a modern amenity enhancing a property’s appeal to eco-conscious buyers. By investing in solar power, property owners can enjoy an appreciable increase in property value, making it a smart long-term investment.
  • Fixed energy costs
    Solar energy provides a level of financial predictability often hard to come by with other forms of energy. Once installed, the cost of generating solar power remains fixed, providing a buffer against rising electricity prices. Having fixed energy costs makes budgeting and financial forecasting simple, both for homeowners and business proprietors.
  • Return on investment (ROI)
    The return on investment (ROI) for solar installations is often favourable when compared to more traditional investments such as stocks or bonds. The initial investment in solar panels can be recovered through electricity bill savings and other financial incentives over a relatively short period, post which, the savings continue while the cost of electricity from the grid rises. Additionally, the long lifespan of solar panels, often 25 years or more, ensures a long-term return, making solar power a good investment.

Environmental Impact

When you Invest in solar energy you are making a green choice. Solar panels generate clean, green energy from the sun, significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Carbon footprint reduction
    One of the primary advantages of solar energy is its role in reducing your carbon footprint. Unlike traditional fossil fuels, solar power generates electricity with little to no greenhouse gas emissions. This leads to a notable decrease in carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.
  • Contribution to reducing air pollution
    Traditional electricity generation can lead to air pollution, which is a pressing concern for many urban areas. Solar power, on the other hand, operates silently and has no moving parts, thereby producing no emissions or pollutants.
  • Water conservation
    Traditional power generation methods can use huge amounts of water for cooling. Solar power generation needs minimal to no water, thereby contributing to water conservation, particularly relevant in regions experiencing water scarcity.
  • Energy independence
    Solar energy reduces your reliance on foreign or distant energy sources. This also reduces the associated transportation emissions and potential spills or accidents linked with transporting fossil fuels.
  • Reduction in the need for finite resources
    Solar energy uses the sun, an infinite source of power, removing the need for exhaustible resources such as coal and natural gas.
    By moving away from finite resources, we can preserve these materials for essential uses and decrease the environmental degradation associated with their extraction and transportation.
  • Ecosystem protection
    The production and burning of fossil fuels can have detrimental effects on ecosystems. Solar energy, on the other hand, presents a cleaner alternative with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. Once installed, solar panels have a small footprint and can also be placed on existing structures like rooftops, reducing the need for additional land space.

Solar energy is a great choice for individuals and businesses aiming for a greener future. By investing in solar power, one can enjoy the dual benefits of financial savings and positive environmental stewardship.

Financial Incentives

solar maintenance with client

The Australian government, as well as the local administration in Canberra, have been proactive in promoting the transition to solar energy. These financial incentives not only lessen the initial investment burden but also accelerate the return on investment over time. Here’s a more detailed look into some of the financial incentives available for solar energy adoption:

  • Rebates and incentives
    • Upfront Incentives:
      The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) allows solar panel owners to receive a rebate for the energy the system is expected to generate over a span of 15 years. The incentive comes in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) which can be sold to recoup a portion of the installation costs.
    • Low Interest Loans:
      Some local government bodies offer low-interest loans for solar installations, making the upfront costs more manageable for both homeowners and businesses.
    • Tax Credits:
      Businesses may be eligible to claim depreciation on solar assets. The Instant Asset Write-Off is an example of a tax incentive which allows businesses to claim immediate deductions for new or second-hand assets.
  • Feed-in tariffs
    • Earn from Excess Energy:
      Feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are rates paid for electricity, in this case, power generated by your solar power system is fed back into the main electricity grid. This way, not only are you saving on your electricity bill, but earning from the excess energy your system generates.
    • Rate Variability:
      The rates for feed-in tariffs can vary, and it’s advisable to be well-versed with the prevailing rates and the contractual terms. Engaging with a knowledgeable solar provider can provide insights into maximising returns from feed-in tariffs.
  • Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
    • Fixed Energy Rates:
      Under a PPA, a solar provider installs solar panels on a customer’s property at no cost. The customer then purchases the electricity generated by the system at a predetermined rate which is often lower than the retail electricity rate. This arrangement offers a hedge against rising energy costs and provides fixed, predictable electricity rates for the term of the agreement.
    • Zero Upfront Costs:
      PPAs allow homeowners and businesses to benefit from solar energy with no upfront investment. This can be an attractive option for those looking to minimise initial outlays while still enjoying the benefits of solar energy.

The financial incentives associated with solar power installations are a significant driver for its adoption among homeowners and business proprietors in Canberra.

Reliability and Maintenance

solar panel contructor with client

Investing in solar power gives you a reliable energy source and ease of maintenance:

  • Long-term reliability
    Solar panel systems are synonymous with long-term reliability. Unlike other forms of power generation, they have no moving parts, which significantly minimises the risk of malfunction. Once installed, solar panels provide a steady and dependable source of energy for many years. The typical lifespan of a solar panel system ranges between 25 to 30 years, providing an extended period of energy security.
    As a bonus, most manufacturers offer long-term warranties, some spanning 25 years, which cover performance and product quality, ensuring the system’s output remains optimal.
  • Minimal maintenance
    One of the major advantages of solar power systems is their minimal maintenance requirements. Here are the typical maintenance activities associated with solar panels:

    • Regular Cleaning:
      A clean solar panel is an efficient solar panel. Over time, dust, bird droppings, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of the panels, potentially obstructing sunlight and reducing efficiency. Regular cleaning, especially in drier climates where rain is scarce, ensures the solar panels operate at peak efficiency.
    • Annual Inspections:
      It’s advisable to have a qualified technician inspect your solar panel system annually. These inspections can identify any potential issues early on, ensuring the system continues to operate efficiently. During these inspections, technicians can check the wiring and connections and look for any signs of wear and tear.
    • System Monitoring:
      Many solar panel systems come with digital monitoring software allowing homeowners and business owners to track the performance of their solar systems in real time. This software can alert you to any issues with the system’s performance, allowing for proactive maintenance and ensuring the system operates efficiently.
  • Cost-effective repairs
    In the rare event a solar panel system requires repairs, the costs are usually quite manageable. Due to the simplicity and modularity of solar panel systems, identifying and fixing problems is relatively straightforward. Plus, with the growing solar industry, finding qualified technicians for repairs and maintenance has become easier and more affordable.
  • Predictable energy production
    Solar power systems provide a level of predictability when it comes to energy production. By using solar irradiance data, it’s possible to accurately estimate the amount of energy a solar panel system will produce over time. This predictable energy output aids in stable energy cost planning, making solar power a reliable investment for both homeowners and business owners.

This combination of long-term reliability, minimal maintenance, cost-effective repairs, and predictable energy production demonstrates the benefits of an investment in solar power.

Select Electrical for Solar Power in Canberra

For those living in Canberra, making the switch to solar energy is not merely an eco-conscious decision, but a financially prudent one as well. Select Electrical is poised to assist you in navigating this transition smoothly. With a team of experienced professionals, they ensure your solar installation is tailored to your needs, making solar power not simply a good investment, but an excellent one.