Solar Survey 2018

We surveyed households about their solar power usage, here are the results:


Not a good reflection on the industry. What other industry would reasonably believe that they are doing well when one third of installations had problems? What other industry would be allowed to have such a high fault rate?

This reinforces claims that Australia needs more stringent control over the industry. The Clean Energy Council in it’s current form and modus operandi is not enough.


Thanks Brendan, I’ve left some polite suggestions on the main Choice review.
I’d also note that Origin who quoted us dropped off the list very quickly, on factors related to both pricing and salesmanship! Their offers are convenient, but not compelling, and certainly not competitive?


I suspect some sort of selection effect is going on with the percentage of households with battery - maybe more people with batteries thought they should respond? With the supply shortage of batteries, it’s hard to imagine ~200000 Australian households had batteries by last year, although it may happen this year if enough become available.

(Edit: added the missing 0 for 9% of over 2 million)


Yes, good point. The results are certainly shaped by the people we were able to survey and that can produce some interesting results. For example, we found some of the reports on FiT were surprising compared to the currently available rates listed on retail sites. Hopefully the data still offers some useful insights though.


One thing to keep in mind re batteries is that they need to be replaced before they have paid for themselves. We looked at getting such but were advised to wait till they were cheaper and had a better life expectancy.


It does seem an significant overestimate. If one uses the Clean Energy Council figure of 2 million PV households, this would correspond to about 180,000 with batteries. If one believes the Renew Economy figures, it suggests that the battery figure would be in the order of 30,000. The Choice survey percentage is out by a factor of six (6).

It could also be that the household doesn’t know whether or not they have a battery and with the media hype on batteries at the moment, may incorrectly think they they have one.

Or possibly they think the inverter hanging on a wall is a battery as well.


I think you should not take this on face value. I expect that we will have paid off our battery and panels in well under 10 years. Two days ago there were power outages in our area but not at our place because we have a battery.


That is a powerful argument demonstrating everything is not just about economics, even though you seem to have done well by your investment.


I’d say the economics of losing a freezer full of food is well worth consideration! In storms before xmas here, the power was out (although not for me, off-grid) for about 48 hours, and longer in some nearby areas.


Or very approximately up to 100l of unleaded for the rattling old Honda generator.

I’m assuming there I have a 100l capacity can of fresh fuel just in case?

A battery seems a lot simpler. :wink:


And Julie according to the advice we received we would need to replace the battery before that time.

We have a Tesla powerwall 2 with a 10+ year warranty. Guess it depends on where the battery comes from


We recently investigated getting solar. The initial quotes were promising.

22 panel 6.6kwh was quoted via Google Earth.

Reality once an installer looked at the job. 12 panel max, 3.6kwh max at the same price because we have TERRACOTTA tiles.

Ended up not being worth it for the return on investment :frowning:

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We have now had our new solar and battery system operational for the past week thanks to the Qld Solar Bonus Scheme and it is going gangbusters.

It is a 6.6 KW panel system with an LG RESU 10 battery and the with Sungrow backup box option for the inverter so as to power the fridge, lights, fans and some GPO’s if the mains power is off.

I have recorded our daily power consumption for the past 4 years and it was around 21 KW/H including the off-peak tariff for the pool, which we no longer need.

For the last few weeks I have recorded the daytime usage, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and the night time usage, 6:00 PM to 10:00 AM.

The daytime usage has dropped from around 24 KW/H daily (summertime) to around 3.2 KW/H daily and the night time usage has dropped from around 10 KW/H daily to around 1.4 KW/H daily, in addition to exporting around 2.2 KW/H daily.

The night time power is supplied primarily by the battery and we have our Fujitsu 3.5 KW split aircon running 24/7.

This is in spite of the rain and overcast weather we have had since it was commissioned, so as the weather clears and our consumption falls as the temperature drops heading to winter, it should really crank up the export power.

Not just the best thing since sliced bread but even better than dehydrated, desiccated, deep fried ducks’ guts.