Australia’s capital, Canberra, is home to many things. Politicians, leafy gardens and no shortage of historic sites, the city is also home to a growing number of solar systems, with thousands of homes using the sun to power their homes and lower their energy bills.
How much does solar energy cost in Canberra?
You can expect to pay between $3,800 and $8,400 to buy and install a new solar system in Canberra, with smaller systems (less than 3kW) typically costing less than $4,000, while 4kW systems or more will cost you over $4,200.
Although at first it may seem like a hard pill to swallow, on average installing solar panels in Canberra is cheaper than most states and territories, with all systems priced below the national average, as shown in the table below.
← Mobile/tablet users, scroll sideways to view full table →
Source: Solar Choice – May 2022 Solar Price Index. Prices are after STC and GST rebates applied.
However, it is also important to note that the table above reflects valued costs, while the actual cost of the solar system and installation can vary widely due to a number of factors including your location, the system you are looking for and the installer you choose. For a specific quote, it is best to contact a solar installer directly.
How many homes have solar power in Canberra?
According to a recent Clean Energy Report, more than 30,000 ACT homes and businesses have a solar system installed, which equates to approximately 15% of households in the state.
ACT Solar Rebates and Incentives
There are currently several rebates and incentives available in the ACT, including the Federal STC Rebate and the ACT Battery Rebate Program.
STC in ACT
STCs (known as Small Scale Technology Certificates) are part of a federal system that rewards customers who install solar panels or a solar water heater with discount. This discount comes in the form of a number of certificates, which can be sold on an open market or given to a solar installer for a discount on your system.
The price per certificate can fluctuate, but is usually around $40, with the number of STCs you receive depending on your location and the size of your system. As seen in the image, Australia is divided into four STC zones, with Canberra being located in Zone 3, which means it receives less STC than those living in Zones 2 and 1.
ACT Battery Rebate Program
Known as the Next Generation Energy Storage Program, the ACT Battery Rebate Program incentivizes homes to install a solar battery to help reduce grid dependency, with a discount of $3,500 or 50% of the battery price (excluding GST) – whichever is lower. The discount is only available in certain areas of the ACT and the new battery system must be paired with solar panels and connected to the power grid. Households also cannot have previously been supported by the rebate program. To find out if you qualify for the rebate, talk to your installer.
Canberra solar companies and feed-in tariffs
Electricity customers in Canberra can choose their energy supplier, with feed-in tariffs (FiT) varying from about 6c per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at 12c/kW, depending on the retailer. When comparing electricity providers, keep in mind that some solar plans often have higher tariffs and lower discounts than standard non-solar plans, which means that a solar plan with a high feed-in tariff is not necessarily the cheapest option available. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some feed-in tariffs are only eligible when certain criteria are met, so be sure to read the fine print.
Which energy supplier has the best solar feed-in tariff in ACT?
original energy typically offers one of the highest solar feed-in tariffs available to ACT customers. In addition to high FiTs, the retailer also offers a range of specific solar energy offers, suitable for households with installed solar panels. Keep in mind, however, that certain requirements must be met to be eligible for Origin’s higher FiT.
Consult the guide for best solar feed-in rates available across Australia to get a better idea of how the ACT compares.
Solar installers in Canberra
There are a number of solar installers in Canberra with the list below showing some of the installers available in the greater Canberra area. These are listed in alphabetical order.
- Capital solar maintenance
- electrical ECG
- Faded Solar
- Innovative energy
- Globals Pty Ltd
- Solar Platinum
- Select electric and solar solutions
- Solahart Goulburn and the Southern Uplands
- Canberra Solar Panels
- Solar Electricity and Refrigeration Internship
Do I need council approval to install solar panels in Canberra?
In any case, it is best to check council restrictions in Canberra before installing a solar panel system. Generally only heritage listed homes will need council approval before solar can be installed, but if your panels face the street or sit higher than the nearest point of the roof, you may also need approval first.
Households can generally install a solar system up to the size of 10kW in Canberra without permission from the council. Once you have received permission from the council, you will then need to request a new connection with Evoenergy – ACT’s electricity distributor – in order to connect to the network.
If you are unsure whether or not you will need council approval to install solar panels, it is best to seek advice from your solar installer.
Tenants seeking solar power should also check with their landlords before making changes to the property. Our solar tenant guide explore this in more detail.
Is it worth having solar power in Canberra?
For many, getting free energy from the sun seems like a surefire winner, but it’s not always that clear cut, with a lot of things needed to turn the sun’s energy into energy you can use in your home. or put back into the network. . No matter what state or territory you live in, the decision to install a solar panel system will depend entirely on your circumstances, including the location of your household, sun exposure, amount of power you use and the discounts that may be available to help reduce the initial financial investment.
That being said, Canberra is generally one of the cheapest cities in Australia to install solar panel systems and the ACT also offers incentives and rebates for those who opt for solar power, which can influence some people. However, it is recommended that you consider all your options for systems and installers before undertaking any work to ensure that you end up with the best system and meet your needs.
Compare solar retailers
Photo credit: crystal51/shutterstock.com, Andy Dean Photography/shutterstock.com