It is a question that sparks discussion both within and outside the industry. Why is there such a gap between the bottom ‘deal buster’ specials we see on Facebook and the exorbitant high-pressure door-knocking salesperson price and what should solar really cost?

Our belief is the answer sits right in the middle – but who are we to tell you, to you we are just another sales company wanting you to buy their systems. So we went through 4 popular independent solar lead sites to see what they think the price should be. These sites collect plenty of data both from the companies selling solar but more importantly from the customers who are purchasing the systems. Now it is probably fair to mention at the time of writing this Solaire does use or has used services from the sites we are sourcing.

The 4 sites we have used are SolarQuotes, Solar Choice, 3 Quotes, and Solar Calculator…… Here is what they had to say.

SolarQuotes 

SolarQuotes will probably go down as the more credible website on Solar and has a catalog of information dating back to 2010. The owner of the site has also written a book on solar and has an online show talking about all things renewable.

The red below shows SQ cost range for a 6.6kW (most popular system size) is between $5000 – $9000. Now, this does say ‘good quality solar’ and SQ does a real good job of educating people on what makes up good quality solar and it should be mentioned that most systems sub $4500 would fall out of this category.

Approximate cost of a good quality solar system installation with Tier 1 solar panels (fully installed) as at April 2021 in Australia:

System sizeNumber of panelsCost Range (April 2021)
1.5kW4$2,500 – $4,000
2kW6$3,000 – $4,500
3kW8$3,500 – $5,000
4kW11$4,000 – $6,000
5kW14$4,500 – $8,000
6.6kW18$5,000 – $9,000
7kW19$6,500 – $10,000
8kW22$7,500 – $11,000
10kW27$8,000 – $12,000

*Note that the above assumes the use of 370W solar panels, so the final solar panel capacity may be a bit more or less than the figures mentioned above.

SolarQuotes even go one step further and highlight that premium Microinverter and Optimised (SolarEdge) systems would roughly cost 20% more and systems using more budget type options (Sungrow) could save you up to $700 on the pricing listed.

Solar Choice

How much do Solar Panels cost? (June 2021)

The below table shows average solar panel costs by city & size of solar panels installed (DC). The prices in all the below tables include both the up-front incentive available for small-scale systems through the Renewable Energy Target (i.e. ‘STC discount’) and GST – they represent the total retail price of the system to the customer.

 

 3kW4kW5kW6kW7kW10kW
All$4,000$4,620$5,090$5,740$6,770$9,260
Adelaide, SA$3,710$4,290$4,540$5,100$6,340$8,590
Brisbane, QLD$3,990$4,440$4,990$5,480$6,800$9,360
Canberra, ACT$3,770$4,700$5,040$5,780$6,550$8,990
Darwin, NT$5,610$6,890$7,750$8,950$10,060$12,400
Hobart, TAS$4,770$5,380$5,910$6,600$7,160$10,570
Melbourne, VIC$3,800$4,120$4,540$4,840$5,880$8,240
Sydney, NSW$3,420$3,900$4,360$4,950$5,860$7,680
Perth, WA$2,910$3,250$3,570$4,230$5,520$8,210

Premium solar panel system costs (June 2021)

The below average solar costs are for offers that each installer considers to be their premium offer. Solar installers generally have tiers of offers to cater to consumers on a budget, or consumers willing to pay more for higher quality to products. The premium offers listed on Solar Choice’s quote comparison tool generally feature longer warranty periods, better product technical capabilities and are manufactured by the most reputable and trustworthy brands. As can be expected, these systems come at a 20-30% higher price tag based on the average prices published on this page.

 

 3kW4kW5kW6kW7kW10kW
All$5,060$5,770$6,650$7,450$8,530$11,580
Adelaide, SA$4,620$5,390$5,910$6,780$7,930$10,190
Brisbane, QLD$5,080$5,790$6,500$7,300$8,360$11,380
Canberra, ACT$4,760$5,250$6,570$7,600$8,470$11,590
Darwin, NT$6,520$7,950$9,230$10,950$12,010$15,860
Hobart, TAS$5,830$6,680$7,590$8,170$9,180$12,870
Melbourne, VIC$5,030$5,510$6,020$6,100$7,210$10,000
Sydney, NSW$4,610$5,150$6,180$7,010$8,100$10,420
Perth, WA$4,000$4,470$5,190$5,720$6,960$10,340

This visual gives you a real insight into how the nation stacks up with pricing. It is good to see how they attempt to give us an indicative price of where the market sits as a whole but also where they believe the pricing should be for the premium products and installation. This might lead you to think, What is premium? well, check out our blog on where different products within the market stack up!

3 Quotes 

Now over to 3 quotes and what they believe should be the cost of solar. The text below in red is taken from their FAQ page.

What does it cost to go Solar?

A 6kW solar system is usually made up of 20 panels and an inverter. When buying solar, there is a fairly large price range. A 6kW solar system for example can vary from $3,500 (low quality – not recommended) to $10,000 (high quality). So it’s a really good idea to get 3 Quotes. For a good quality 6kW solar system, expect to pay around $6,000. You can option this up by adding micro-inverters, panel maximisers or by using higher quality panels from well-known brands in the industry

Solar Calculator

Solar Calculator was short and sweet and gave a small but clear idea of what you should be paying for the below systems.

Solar panel prices include the cost of the panels, installation, GST and your rebate.

AVERAGE SOLAR PANEL PRICES

System size:3kW5kW6.6kW10kW
Average prices:$4,265$5,608$6,742$10,216
Let’s put it all together: 

Below is a table showing each site’s idea of pricing for a 6.6kW system, I use this system size as the market has an approach of one size fits all and that size is 6.6kW. Long are the days where customers would call our office asking for a 1,2 or even 3kW system.

Company6.6kW system cost
Solar Quotes $7,000.00
Solar Choice $5,720.00
3 Quotes $6,000.00
Solar Calculator $6,742.00
Average $6,365.50

So why can I see pricing for $3000 on Facebook? Cheap pricing can distract us from the tough questions or the glaring reality that if it sounds too good to be true, then probably it is. Cutting costs on installs, underpricing jobs, not visiting the site before install, inferior products, and doing the sale over the phone are all reasons for companies’ offering these prices and usually the reason for their demise. On the other hand standard 6.6kW no longer cost $10k and any company doing it will be for one reason only and that is to rip you off. I have personally interviewed a salesman who had worked for a door-knocking company in solar who brashly said ‘there is an idiot born every day and I just need to find them’……. this salesman didn’t get the job

Being in Perth you are already a few steps ahead of other states as Perth (not including other state subsidies) is the cheapest state to buy solar. But is this a curse or blessing, only time will tell as the market continues to be saturated with cheap companies and the number of houses requiring solar reduces……. will the high turnover, low-profit business model survive? Judging by the 900+ companies that have gone bust in the last 10 years it seems unlikely……. so when getting solar look beyond the price and even to a degree the products, start asking questions about the company – feel free to use our choosing a provider table. I know our genuine competitors out there all offer respectable products, so by choosing a good company the rest usually falls into place

For us, there is a good fair cost for premium solar and it seems to fall pretty close to the mark judging by the websites above. This cost has always allowed our company to operate to high standards using premium products. At the time this blog was written you will find our pricing or a 6.6kW system is between $4700 – $7500 depending on the level of products you choose.

Feel free to get in touch and we would be happy to discuss our range of systems.

Sources for this blog are below:
https://www.solarquotes.com.au/panels/cost/
https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/solar-power-system-prices
https://solarcalculator.com.au/solar-panel-cost/
https://www.3quotes.com.au/solar-power/is-solar-right-for-me/