Australian commercial solar installs soar

Australian businesses are in a mad rush to invest in commercial solar, thanks to the favorable conditions. As it stands, Australia is installing more than 10,000 solar PV panels each day, a staggering figure that smashes the 2012 record, with the current growth strongly associated with the high commercial solar installs.

The latest statistics reveal that installations in the Australian commercial sector increased by over 60 per cent last year as compared to 2016, with the upswing expected to continue into the future.

So, why the sudden shift in commercial solar?

According to solar analysts, the declining solar panel prices have brought a significant shift in the way the commercial sector does business. On average, a solar system price has halved when compared to what it was in 2012.

Another factor is the soaring electricity prices. The increasing cost of electricity is much higher in the commercial sector since they fall more closely to the wholesale energy prices which have shot up in recent times.

This year alone, the average price of electricity has increased by a whole 12 per cent, as noted in a SMH study. The remarkable rise has captured the attention of company CFOs and directors.

Today, installing commercial solar panel(s) is the smartest way to safeguard your business against skyrocketing energy prices now and into the future.

Are there solar rebates for commercial installations?

The answer is yes! Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is a solar rebate available for eligible businesses willing to install solar PV panels. They qualify for $10,000 in funding from the Federal Government.

The SRES is a subsidy on the initial cost of a solar system installation and is applicable to both residential and commercial solar PV installations of up to 100kW. Also, larger capacity solar installations enjoy financial incentives provided through a LRET program.

The location of your business and the size of your new solar panel determine the amount of rebate your business qualifies for. For instance, as it is now, installing a 50kW solar PV in Queensland attracts a whopping $32,490 in subsidy.

In addition, ATO immediately offers a $20,000 tax break to any business that installs commercial solar before the 1st of July 2018. So hurry while the offer lasts!

How much can my business save by installing solar?

The return on investment on any commercial solar panel is determined by various factors including your electricity usage, the solar system size and your current power rates.

Ideally, your company will require 20kW per 30,000kWh per each year it plans to offset through solar or about 20kW for every $1,000 of the monthly electricity expense incurred.

Assuming the cost of solar panel and its installation is $1/watt, the approximated payback periods listed below may apply:

Electricity Price Payback Period ROI
<10c/kWh 7 years 12%
10c/kWh – 20c/kWh 5 years 20%
20c/kWh – 30c/kWh 4 years 25%
>30c/kWh 3 years 30%


The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.