Why You Should Install Solar Panels in Spring

For home and business owners across Australia, a spring solar installation is the perfect solution to beating the annual summer rush, helping you make the most of the year’s peak renewable energy—while avoiding those big summer electricity bills.

Combine that with the fact spring is also the best time to make the most of the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) rebate—and the Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC) scheme—getting ahead on your solar PV installation early in the year adds up as the wisest choice.

At Renew Energy, we love helping customers plan ahead through genuine, expert advice. So, drawing on 30 years of knowledge and professionalism in the solar industry, let’s look at why spring is the best time to install a solar system for your home or business.

Turn summer energy into solar energy

Australia enjoys the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world, so as the weather warms, installing solar panels in spring is the best way to take advantage of all that glorious sunshine.

As you say goodbye to the winter gloom—and welcome long daylight hours extending into summertime and fall—your peak energy production months are ahead, offering up to 1,000 watts of power per square meter on your solar panels as the sun sits highest in the sky.

In spring 2020, Perth enjoyed an average temperature of 23.9C—with 12 daylight hours—creating optimal conditions to get as much energy from the sun for when you need it most: during the upcoming summer season.

Make the most of solar battery storage

You can maximise your spring solar gains even further by adding solar battery storage. For home and business owners, it’s the perfect solution to take you further off-grid—giving you access to stored energy at any time.

So, as you build up a storage of energy in spring, you can utilise it in summer as your power demand increases. And this leads to…

Lower your summer energy bills

We talked in a recent article about how hot weather affects power consumption—and why summer means the biggest bills landing in your inbox.

As the temperature rises, our power usage goes through the roof, with more people spending time indoors away from the heat—and that means air conditioners running, appliances working overtime, pools being pumped, and electronics on all day.

In Western Australia alone, heating and cooling account for roughly 40% of household energy consumption. That’s a significant percentage, and the greater the difference between your thermostat setting and the outside temperature, the harder your AC will work to make up that difference.

Because of the high demand, utility companies aren’t averse to bumping up their rates, charging more during the warmer weather as people use up more power while avoiding the summer sun.

So, getting your solar system installed in spring means you’re ahead of the game come summertime, offering a convenient, low-cost solution to combat rising electrical bills—while taking a leap forward in lowering your carbon footprint, and increasing your property value.

Beat the summer installation rush

Like any home improvement, installing solar systems can be slightly complicated—from the steps involved in the permitting and paperwork process to agreements with your electricity retailer, applying for grants, and securing your solar feed-in tariffs.

As more and more home and business owners rush to make the most of the sunny days, waiting until later in summer to get your solar system installed can run you into an extremely busy period. Add to this the potential for extreme weather—like heatwaves or monsoons—and the harsh Australian climate could delay you even further.

Scheduling a solar panel installation in spring not only helps you avoid that packed summer schedule, but it also offers another advantage: giving you enough time to plan and prepare—so you’re not rushed come crunch time.

Give yourself ample time for the installation process

A quality solar company will guide you through the process of choosing the right solar power system for your home or business—from how solar panels work, to the process you need to work through with both industry regulators and your power company.

The journey can take a few months from start to finish, with requirements such as:

  • Ensuring you comply with the Clean Energy Council Code, and that your installer is fully accredited and licenced—as we are at Renew Energy.
  • Ensuring you are in compliance with different safety and structural design standards for PV arrays, such as AS/NZS 5033 and 1170.2, respectively.
  • Compliance with other guidelines, including lightning protection and grid connection. Some inspections may be required, depending on your area and the size of the system.

After the installation, you are required to send a signed document to the Clean Energy Regulator, stating that you have complied with their requirements. A licenced installer should take care of all of this for you, so getting started early is the best way to ensure both you and your solar company are prepared in advance.

Take advantage of Small Scall Technology Credits

What are STCs?

The Australian government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) incentivises home and business owners to install renewable solar systems—such as solar panels, solar water heaters, or wind or hydro systems—by legislating demand for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).

STCs are created at the time of installation, and in accordance with your system’s ‘deeming period’—the estimate of years the system will create clean energy, from installation until 2030.

Think of current STC incentives as a voucher that gives you a discount when you install your solar system—with the available rebate depending on your location and the size of your system. While it’s possible for home or business owners to create and sell the STCs themselves, your solar company will usually offer a discount on the price of installation in return for the STCs.

Make the most of your STCs

Small Scale Technology Credits make spring a great time to install solar panels—giving you a nice financial reward for switching to clean energy.

To give you an example of that reward, let’s take a common installation, say a 6.6kW solar system with a 5kW inverter, for example. If you live in Perth, this may work out at around 109 STCs (depending on your year of installation)—and if every STC is worth between $35 to $38, you will get a rebate of between $3,815 to $4,142.

But, there’s some urgency to this. Each year, the rebate gradually decreases on the 1st of January, and will eventually reach zero in 2032.

This means that for each year you delay getting solar, the rebate entitlement decreases, with less incentive the more time goes on. And, as the date that determines your rebate entitlement is based on when you had your solar system installed—not when you placed the order—it’s better to get set up now, rather than waiting.

Enjoy the benefits come tax time

While tax season is still a little way off, you’ll be thankful for your solar system when it’s time to get your returns ready.

As we mentioned earlier, your tax credit is based on when your solar system was installed—so to get the maximum rebate, an earlier installation will always pay off.

If it’s your first time lodging a tax return for green energy incentives, we suggest speaking to your accountant or tax advisor. Broadly speaking, however, the process is quite straightforward, and looks something like this:

  • Lodge the full amount of your expenses on the appropriate section for renewable energy.
  • Using the value of your STCs compared to your system and inverter size (see example above), calculate your tax return to understand how much you will receive in tax credits.
  • If you are considering solar panels for your businesses, you can get an asset write-off—but the requirements are slightly different compared to homeowners. Again, seek expert advice for this.

We understand solar panels are a long-term investment, which is why Renew Energy offers a convenient financing solution. So, if the installation costs of solar panels have been putting you off—or you need help understanding their tax implications—our partnership with ZipMoney allows you to access simple solar panel financing, with interest-free payments for loan terms up to 36 months.

Enjoy your summer—by switching to solar in spring

Summer is for relaxing, spending time with family and friends, going away, and not having to worry about life admin—or large home improvement projects.

By getting your solar installation in early, you can avoid spending hours researching the best solar installers—or on the phone with your utility company trying to work out your energy rates.

So beat the rush, maximise your STCs, reduce those ever-growing summer electricity bills—and make the most of all that summer energy by getting your solar this spring.

Go solar with Renew Energy today

With thousands of Australians installing solar systems right now, Renew Energy is a name you can trust. We pride ourselves on our expert advice, our fantastic install team, and our ongoing customer care. Not sure what the best solar panels for your home are? Contact us and we’ll help you find the perfect solar system for your needs.