I've had many sales people and door knockers recently offering to sell my solar power. I've done extensive research and believe it may not be cost effective considering the upfront cost is $6000 - $7500 for a basic system.
- I am a single person household
- My average daily power usage is only about 5Kw (compared to other people which is around 8Kw per day). This equates to about $300 per quarter.
- I tend to maximise my power usage in the mornings or late at night when it is shoulder/offpeak, therefore avoiding peak times.
- I don't have an aircon, swimming pool, or any other "hungry" appliances.
For me personally, my biggest expense is the daily supply charge which works out to be around $1 per day. To eliminate this cost, I would need to go completely "off the grid" which would require batteries. Battery technology is still exorbitantly expensive and not mainstream yet so that is not an option for me at the present. I would also need to pay for power during nightly consumption or on cloudy days when there is little to no sun.
The salesperson did admit that my power consumption is very low but was trying to sell to me how much "money I could make" by installing solar panels and generating & selling any excess power back to the grid. The main power companies are offering 17c per kilowatt to buy the excess power that I generate but would then sell it back to me at 30c per kilowatt (only when I require it). Furthermore, I don't anticipate that this feed-in tariff will stay nearly as high in the future due to mass production of solar generation by end consumers and surplus supply becoming the norm. Considering the feed-in tarrif was originally around 60c a few years ago, historically speaking it will likely be driven down further.
Some other concerns include wear & tear (cost of repairs after warranty), obsolesce of current technology in the near future, and the fact that if you were going to sell your house after less than 5 years you are probably not going to get your investment in solar back.
I think for bigger families with big power bills it makes sense but not for single person households. Any thoughts or recommendations?