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Should we get solar power by 30 June 2013?

By FarrerGirl - 14 June 2013 24

Hi Canberra,

I have a basic understanding of the changes occurring to the solar power tariff system in the ACT on 1 July 2013, however it would be good to get some advice. Is it worth jumping in now and buying a 4kW system (approx $7000), or should we wait?  We have until 17 June to decide..

Thanks in advance.

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Should we get solar power by 30 June 2013?
milkman 12:15 pm 16 Jun 13

shauno said :

I’ve got a 6KW system and I think what this will do is encourage more people to go off the grid entirely we just need the battery prices to come down a bit.

Has any one found out why power prices in the ACT are so cheap anyway? Or should I say less expensive then every other state or territory. Queanbeyan has to pay 32c kw/hr we pay 19c or whatever it is.

Queanbeyan pays NSW prices, which includes costs of infrastructure to remote parts of the state. Canberra doesn’t, and so enjoys some of the cheapest power in the country.

gazket 11:41 am 16 Jun 13

why not get solar now. I still have a little savings left I could throw towards a larger electricity bill. One of the most stupid government policy yet.

It’s up there with lets build another Arboretum that cost $70m a year to run.

shauno 11:41 am 16 Jun 13

I’ve got a 6KW system and I think what this will do is encourage more people to go off the grid entirely we just need the battery prices to come down a bit.

Has any one found out why power prices in the ACT are so cheap anyway? Or should I say less expensive then every other state or territory. Queanbeyan has to pay 32c kw/hr we pay 19c or whatever it is.

Chip 10:38 am 16 Jun 13

Will the change to feed in price cause some people to be tempted to install unapproved systems that simply turn the older style meter backwards when generation exceeds demand on that property?

drewbytes 7:25 am 16 Jun 13

The feed in tariff isn’t much chop now, but the systems have reduced in price considerably. The systems appear to be half the price of what I paid a couple of years ago, but I’m getting 42.5c per Kw which in my case means it’s generating about $3500 in solar credits a year, or about $55,000 over it’s lifespan after paying for itself.

Kayem 8:31 pm 15 Jun 13

switch said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Bank = $7k deposit @5%, return after 15 years = $14796. Didn’t have to lift a finger.
I’d feel a bit smug with this.

No argument, but where can you get 5% atm?

I currently get 5.15% on the account I use to set aside money each week to cover a casual worker in my household for sick leave, annual leave and public holidays. Admittedly, the base rate is 0.75%, but if I deposit at least $200 a month and make no more than one withdrawal a month, I get a bonus 4.4%. I’m sure I could get better if I shopped around and put some effort into managing the money, but I’m lazy and this is easy.

54-11 8:07 pm 15 Jun 13

switch said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Bank = $7k deposit @5%, return after 15 years = $14796. Didn’t have to lift a finger.
I’d feel a bit smug with this.

No argument, but where can you get 5% atm?

And, of course, then there is tax at the marginal tax rate on bank interest. So, solar panels maybe are not a particularly great return, but not necessarily a dud investment either.

switch 6:48 pm 15 Jun 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

Bank = $7k deposit @5%, return after 15 years = $14796. Didn’t have to lift a finger.
I’d feel a bit smug with this.

No argument, but where can you get 5% atm?

wildturkeycanoe 2:54 pm 15 Jun 13

Looking at one of the calculators from the net, it appears it will take over 7 years to pay off the system you describe, with the Actewagl 1-1 buy back system. If you only get the 7.5c/kWh that the feed in tariff provides, it looks like more than 8 years. That’s an awful long time to see a return on an investment by which time will only have another 7 years tops before the inverter is due to pack it in.
Look at it this way:
Solar = $7k outlay, makes $0 profit for first 7 years, $7k profit after another 7 years. System needs upgrading. Have to stay in same house for that long, relies on tariffs staying the same and not declining.
Bank = $7k deposit @5%, return after 15 years = $14796. Didn’t have to lift a finger.
I’d feel a bit smug with this.

Very Busy 1:32 pm 15 Jun 13

Hi FarrerGirl,

It would appear that you have already decided to get solar panels and are now asking “when” to get them. My response is related to your initial decision to get solar panels.

From a pure investment perspective solar panels are probably not the best place to put your money. If a significant part of your reasoning is because you want to feel all warm and fuzzy about protecting the environment then you are on to a good thing in terms of “doing your bit”.

If you put your money into a good blue chip company that pays good dividends such as one of the big banks or Telstra you will almost certainly do much better financially.

Take into account that your initial capital outlay with solar becomes pretty much worthless. Your initial capital outlay with a good blue chip company will more than likely continue to grow as you are also paid your dividends. There are also several tax breaks such as franking credits and deductions on borrowing costs such as interest.

Best option though is to work at paying any personal debt (mortgage) first.

I do have a feed in solar panel system on my roof which I’m happy with but I do concede that it is not the best investment that I had ever made.

MERC600 1:30 pm 15 Jun 13

gp said :

If you have a house, and can afford to buy the panels, do it straight away. We spent the same amount to buy our 3kW system and they have nearly paid for themselves after 3 years. Now they will return an ongoing financial return for the next 17 years.

And the Green Cloud of Smug feels so very nice.

I seem to remember reading that over in Spain the roof dudes financial returns have been cut/demolished, severly diminshing their ‘green cloud of smug’.

gp 10:21 am 15 Jun 13

If you have a house, and can afford to buy the panels, do it straight away. We spent the same amount to buy our 3kW system and they have nearly paid for themselves after 3 years. Now they will return an ongoing financial return for the next 17 years.

And the Green Cloud of Smug feels so very nice.

Masquara 7:50 pm 14 Jun 13

Speaking of solar power – what happened to that “coldest house in Canberra” competition? Has a winner been announced?

howeph 7:01 pm 14 Jun 13

The simple answer is yes – you will get more money for the energy you return to the grid from now until 1 July 2020.

http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/act-solar-feed-in-tariff-apply-by-30-june-2013/

Martlark 3:00 pm 14 Jun 13

No. Don’t make poor people (and me) subsidize your green cloud of smug.

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