Our Solar Installation

Jan 20, 2022 | Renewable, Residential, Solar

We moved into our new home in late 2018 and, after 6 months of research, we had our solar system installed by Replenishable Energy in mid-2019.

In choosing our panels, we stuck with our usual mantra when buying something new and went for quality and longevity. This led us to install 24 330W LG Neon panels to give us a total of 7.92kW on the roof. With a 6kW Fronius inverter, on a nice sunny day, we will top out at just over 50kW generation per day. This system is somewhat oversized for our needs despite the fact that we have a larger home, a PHEV and a pool. We did this intentionally with a view to hopefully installing a battery at some stage in the future. Our uptake of solar was also driven more by a desire to reduce emissions than for financial reasons so we were happy to be feeding renewable energy back into the grid, even at the current rate of 6.583c per kWh. We chose to go with LG because they offer a 25 year warranty and guarantee 86% capacity at that 25 year mark. This is important to us because we, of course, need to consider the embodied emissions within the panels. The cost of LG panels is higher than some of the other brands and our system set us back almost $10,000 in total.

Like many people I’ve spoken to, when we first had our panels installed, we were obsessed by watching how much electricity we were using and producing on the App. This was an excellent tool which facilitated some decisions and actions, including installing LED light fittings, to reduce our overall electricity usage. We would get so excited when we cracked the 50kW mark and it would remind us to turn those fans off in rooms that we were not using.

According to our beloved App, our system has generated 29.7MWh since it’s installation which has saved 15.7 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of driving approximately 105,000km.

Our solar system certainly has worked for us in reducing our electricity bill. Prior to Solar, with the clean energy subscription, our electricity bill would sometimes be over $800 per quarter. Since installing Solar (and before purchasing our PHEV, taking up baking sourdough and installing an induction cooktop), our electricity grid usage dropped by almost half and our bill was more in the vicinity of $380 per quarter with more than half of this amount attributable to Ergon’s service fee and our Clean Energy Program subscription. So with top end panels and continuing our clean energy subscription, it would take just under 6 years for us to recoup the cost of installing our panels. The new car and cooktop will likely increase that slightly but we are really happy overall.

We see our Solar Panels as a great investment on our household’s journey to net zero emissions and importantly, an investment in the future for our children.

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