This month we celebrate 7 years of solar PV on our house! I was an early-ish adopter of grid-tied solar PV. It was installed in September 2007, and has generated a whopping 26,001 kWh over those 7 years. All without a glitch.
That is an average of 10 kWh a day, which considering the system size of 2.8 kW, is fairly good. During winter on a cloudy day it generates about 2 to 4 kWh, and in summer on sunny day we can generate up to 24 kWh.
We use between 10 – 12 kWh a day in our home, and the rest is exported to the grid. I get paid 66 cents feed-in tariff per kWh that I export and now pay about 25 cents for every kilowatt-hour that I import from our retailer.
And the benefits? Well, lower electricity bills for one and a big grin on my face every time I look at the car port roof!
We also are very precious with electricity in our home because everyone is aware that we generate our most of our own. We use it sparingly because we know that if we can live within our means – consumption wise – we don’t pay anything for it.
Even though the rebates have change since I first bought our system, and the feed-in tariff has been scaled back by all state governments, it is still worth getting solar on your roof. Just as the million other residential solar owners around Australia! Even without these government incentives, you still lower your power bill, and therefore your greenhouse gas emissions if you haven’t paid a little extra for GreenPower.
Obviously, the bigger the system, the more electricity you will generate. If I had the money at the time for a larger system, I would have filled the entire roof space. They are just so cheap now. Unfortunately, because of the rebate at the time, I cannot add any more generating capacity to this system legally. If I did, I would have to pay back the $8000 government rebate I received, and forfeit the premium feed-in tariff. It is not worth my while, plus we don’t use that much electricity anyway.
There you have it. 7 years old, and many more solar birthdays to come. If you want to read the post that I wrote all those years ago after it was installed, click-through to “The Solar Revolution – Photovoltaic“.
So chime in via comment if you have solar PV on your house. Share with us when it was installed and how big is your system. I am sure those sitting on the fence would love the encouragement! Also let me know if you are pleased with your system or you have had issues with the installer. Call them out. Happy for a name and shame as well!
Owning solar makes every sunny day even more wonderful!
Lynda D says
Congratulations on your anniversary of solar power Gav. Your feed in tariff is the stuff of dreams. Feel free to tell everyone who didn’t listen then “I told you so. I’m still working on my guys and i think im getting closer.
Gavin Webber says
Cheers Lynda. Keep at them. They will give in eventually, and kick themselves that they didn’t do it earlier! x
Really enjoyed your article. We are building a new home on Orcas Island in Washington, USA. Solar is definitely in our plans. Your energy usage closely matches ours and hope we can enjoy the same or better results considering the newer technologies.
Gavin Webber says
Go for it Linda. You will not regret your decision.
That “join my email list” dropdown that keeps popping in and out of view at the top of the screen while I am trying to read your post is so distracting that I’ve given up on trying.
Gavin Webber says
Sorry about that. I have locked it in place. There is a close (X) button on the right hand side if you dislike it that much.
Our solar anniversary is 3 years in November, we haven’t had to pay a cent to the power company in that time and get a cheque from them each year for $1300-$1500 so we are smiling 🙂
Gavin Webber says
That is great news Pam, and quite a bonus! Sounds like you made a very sound investment. x
I’ve had mine 10 months, so coming up to the 1st anniversary. Haven’t paid a bill yet and don’t look like going to. Getting 33 cents FIT and if this keeps up, the system will pay for itself in 5-6 years. No guarantee that it will stay that way, of course. System is 3.9 kW and great installers (MSJ Solar..no problems). Import from the grid is down is down to 3-4 kWh per day…BS (Before Solar) it was 10-12 kWh per day. Loving it and good to see so many panels appearing on roofs around me. People are getting sick of ever-increasing bills and are doing something positive about it.
Allotment adventures with Jean says
This is really impassive Gavin. You are a bit of a trail blazer. We should all be doing it.
I live in a unit block so I’m not sure how it would work under the body corporate.
But well done, for showing us how.
Wow, 88 cents! I earn 44 cents per kWh here in Brisbane and we use (3 of us) 7.46 kWh daily in total, and haven’t paid an electricity bill since it was installed (such a goood feeling)! But I will lose that when I sell and buy a new place up the Sunshine Coast shortly and apparently will have to negotiate a new price with the supplier for solar tariff.
We installed ours 8 days ago! At the moment it’s been turned off as turns out we have the wrong meter but that should be rectified within the next week and I look forward to losing the leccy bill too. I thought we had a 3.5kw system but it’s a 3.25kw. I reckon that’s better as it means we need even less juice than I thought. 😀 Our FIT is not even worth mentioning but the finances are only 2nd priority for why we installed them. The environmental impact of coal fired electricity plants is not good. Although solar does use fossil fuels and rare earth minerals in its construction I still feel it is worth it, with some reduced consumption too, from an environmental point of view. It’s one more step for us in getting away from reliance on fossil fuels and the system.
Just signed up today for a 3kw system. Yahoo!! FIT is stupidly low, but still – looking forward to generating some clean green energy. Whilst a reduction in our bills will be welcome (we use about 6 to 7kWh per day on average), it also feels good to be contributing to stepping away from our reliance on fossil fuels.
Hi, We have recently moved into a small house west of Brisbane and it came with a 3.5kv solar set up. We negoiated (not sure of spelling) and we receive 12 cents a kw. But as we intend to still travel quite a bit our electricity bill should be very minimal because while we are away and not using power it will all go back into the grid. In our van we mainly run off solar direct to batteries and run a 230L 12 volt fridge, lighting, and small amount of time watching television, some computer time, charging and using one mobile phone and the odd electricial appliance. We are like you and also use minimal amount of electricity. We have trickle fed water but it is switched off and have several water tanks that supply us. Infrastructure costs are a lot less than town water in capitial cities (eg Brisbane ). So when buying this property, we looked at these as assets to our way or life and our cost of life.,The last few days I think just over 11kWh going in and the weather has been perfect with daylight now earlier and the temperatures around the late twenties.