Our guide to solar panels for first time home buyers
As a first time home buyer, solar panels might be something further down on your ‘Things for the new house’ list. Your furniture, fixtures, fittings and other things you might need to buy are all important, but solar panels for your home could be worth considering initially for a number of reasons.
If you’ve ever asked “Do solar panels reduce your electricity costs?” or wondered “Does solar power save money in the long term?”, buying your first home could be a great time to start researching solar.
Reasons to invest in solar panels as a first home buyer
While a solar PV system isn’t right for every home, there are many reasons you might install solar panels as a first home buyer.
Here’s our guide to weighing up the potential benefits of rooftop solar as a new home owner. We’ll take a look at some of the reasons you might want to consider taking advantage of solar energy with your first home and also some things to look out for to help determine if rooftop solar isn’t right for your new home.
You might reduce your electricity costs
How much could you save with solar panels? It depends. It’s a myth that you’ll have no more electricity bills with solar – but there are many ways that you could find potential savings on your electricity costs:
- If you install solar panels, your solar PV system will generate electricity during the day while the sun is shining.
- If you use or can switch some of your home electricity use to during this time, and the amount of electricity you use stays the same, you will use less electricity from the grid, which could lead to electricity bill savings.
- As an example, you could shift some of your electricity use by setting a timer to run your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher during the middle of the day when your solar PV system is generally generating the most electricity – and there are plenty of other ways you could become a solar super user.
Whether you’re moving out from your family home, or you’ve been renting and now want a place to call your own, buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest investments you’ll make. It could be the first time you are responsible for your own electricity bills, so anything which could lead to cost savings in the longer term, such as a solar PV system, could be worth considering.
Of course, taking advantage of solar energy isn’t the only way you could try to reduce your electricity costs. You could consider choosing energy efficient appliances, or get involved in your energy management at home to take more control of your energy costs.
Making the most of your solar panel investment
If you avoid cheap panels and focus on quality solar panels for your home, based on the average life expectancy of solar PV systems you can expect your rooftop solar to generate solar power for your home for about 25 years.
While it can be tempting to cut costs with so many first home buyer expenses at once, a cheaper system may mean you need to replace or upgrade some of the components sooner.
When you take into account the cost of rooftop solar, which will usually include a in-built or upfront discount on the purchase price based on the small sale technology certificates your system installation creates on allocation to your solar company, any feed-in tariff for any excess solar power you export to the grid and potentially reduced electricity costs, over time a solar PV system will generally pay for itself over the system’s lifetime.
Step into WA’s renewable energy future
Renewable energy – including rooftop solar and wind power – is playing an even more important role in WA as the State moves towards the WA Government's target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Here in WA, more than 450,000 homes and businesses have rooftop solar. By investing in solar infrastructure for your home, you can join the renewable energy revolution happening across WA and potentially enjoy a more sustainable way of living.
Rooftop solar isn’t right for every home
While the potential benefits of solar power are well worth considering, here are some reasons solar might not be right for your first home.
Upfront costsWhen you’re facing a lot of first home expenses at once, and with the current uncertainty around interest rates, the cost of solar infrastructure and installation might be a barrier for you. Depending on a range of factors, including the purchase and installation costs, an average size household solar PV system costs around $5,000. Look into any government solar rebates or subsidies that may apply to you, including incentives your local council might offer, which could help towards those upfront costs.
Your roof space and designIf your roof space isn’t big enough to install solar panels, or it’s not oriented towards the sun, solar power might not be right for you. The best way to find out if your roof is suitable is to arrange a professional inspection at your property with a solar installer.
Your home’s locationUnfortunately, not all locations are well suited for solar PV systems. If your roof gets shade from nearby buildings, trees or other structures, this can impact the efficiency of the solar PV system and its solar power generation.
Solar might not make sense for everyone – but there are other ways you could find potential savings on your electricity costs. For example, you might be eligible to change your electricity plan to a time of use tariff, such as Midday Saver.*
If investing in solar is still something you are considering for your first home, you might like to explore our ultimate guide to buying solar to help you get started on your solar journey.
* Synergy’s Midday Saver is available for residential customers only, and to be eligible a compatible meter or reprogramming of an existing meter is required. Meter installation or reprogramming charges may apply. The Synergy Standard Electricity Agreement Terms and Conditions apply to the Synergy Midday Saver product.