When’s a good time to go solar?

Certain life changes make switching to solar an attractive option. Perhaps you’re working from home, recently retired or spending time at home with your newborn.

But the truth is anyone who uses electricity during the day can benefit from solar; the key is understanding how energy fits into your life now, and in the future.

In Australia we enjoy an abundance of sunlight, with Queensland and South Australia averaging eight hours, and New South Wales and Victoria seven hours per day in summer. Making use of these solar energy producing hours could make a dramatic impact on your total energy costs and your contribution to climate change.

Louise McSweeney, AGL Head of Solar Technology says solar power gives homeowners unprecedented control over energy production and consumption. “Getting these two as closely aligned as possible will have a positive effect on your electricity bill.”

But how do you know if solar is right for you, right now?

“Solar is a good idea when it coincides with your daytime energy requirements,” says Louise. “But it’s also useful to think about whether your needs will change in the future. Are you planning a family or looking to retire? Will you be changing careers or buying smarter appliances? These are all lifestyle factors that contribute to your daily electricity usage and make solar a more appealing proposition.”

Another compelling reason to switch to solar sooner rather than later is that Small-scale Technology Certificates are still available. There is uncertainty about whether this Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme will continue, but for now STCs provide significant savings on installation costs.

In some states, solar-producing homes are also eligible for feed-in tariffs. Feed-in tariffs are where your energy retailer may pay you a set amount for each kilowatt hour of surplus energy you export to the grid.

How does solar affect my lifestyle?

Aside from enjoying the benefits of lower electricity bills, switching to solar won’t impact on your lifestyle. “You shouldn’t need to change anything you do in your life just because you have solar,” says Louise. “Once your solar system is on your roof you can immediately start benefitting from free electricity during the day.”