Solar on the Sunshine Coast – is it worth it?

We are often asked if it is worth installing solar panels on Sunshine Coast homes and the answer is a resounding YES! Let’s ignore the sales rhetoric and focus instead on the facts:

How much energy will solar power produce per day? This is a simple question but a tricky one to answer as there are a lot of variables to consider including roof pitch, roof orientation, shading and so on. The rule of thumb as published by the CEC (Clean Energy Council) is that a solar power system will generate an average of 4.4kWh per day per kW of solar installed. However, this assumes the roof faces due north and is entirely unshaded so a more realistic figure is around 4.2kWh, but this could be less if your roof is heavily shaded.

A 6kW solar system will generate an average of 25.2kWh per day, however it will generate more power on sunny days and less on rainy days, and more energy in summer compared to winter (as the days are longer in the summer).

With regards to shading, did you know Sunworks is one of the only solar panels Sunshine Coast companies to invest in a Solmetric SunEye which takes the guesswork out of shade analysis – if your Sunshine Coast home is somewhat shaded and you are considering solar than you should have a professional solar company do a shade analysis as part of the buying process.

Now that we know roughly how much your solar power system will generate on a daily basis we can move onto discussing the cost savings to be made.

How much will a solar power system save Sunshine Coast homeowners? Again, this is a simple question but a tricky one to answer. The energy profile of your home is different to your friends, neighbours and work colleagues so there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this one – how much you will save will depend on how much of the energy produced you self-consume in the home and how much is exported to the grid.

Sunworks Solar Sunshine Coast actively monitors hundreds of Sunshine Coast solar power systems all across the region and beyond. We know that the average family home with a swimming pool will self-consume around 35% of the total energy produced. If you work from home, use the air-conditioning often, or have energy hungry appliances such as a heat pump for your swimming pool then your self-consumption will be higher than 35%. Conversely if you are not at home during the day and don’t have a pool then your self-consumption will be less than 35%.

So how do we calculate the savings from a quality solar power system? Firstly, take a look at your power bill and see how much you are paying for your tariff 11 electricity – most Sunshine Coast solar powered homes will be around 26 cents per kWh, if you are paying more than this please read my blog on negotiating a better deal from your retailer.

The other part of the equation is the amount your retailer will pay you for power exported to the grid (feed in tariff). This varies between 10.4 and 14 cents per kWh.

So, for the average home with a pool we can calculate that installing solar panels on your Sunshine Coast home will save you $1,492 per year calculated as follows:

  • Self-consumption: 25.2kWh x 35% = 8.8kWh x $0.26 = $2.29 per day
  • Exported power: 25.2kWh x 65% = 16.40kWh x  $0.11 = $1.80 per day
  • Total savings per day = $4.09
  • Total savings per year = $1,492


  • Average daily solar power production = 25.2kWh per day
  • Tariff 11 electricity cost = 26 cents per kWh
  • Feed-in tariff = 11 cents per kWh

The best possible return for a solar powered Sunshine Coast home would be $2,390 per year, but that home would need to self-consume 100% of the solar power generated. However, as yet, we here at SunWorks have not seen any home which self-consumes so much energy, therefore this figure is entirely unrealistic no matter what another company’s salesperson claims.

The worst possible return would be if 100% of the solar power generated was exported to the grid. In this instance the return expected would be $1,011 per annum, however, sending 100% to the grid is impossible.

In summary a quality solar power system for a Sunshine Coast home will save you between $1,011 and $2,390 per year with the average saving being around $1,500.

The average electricity bill for Sunshine Coast homes (before installing solar) is around $600 per quarter or $2,400 per year, so solar power will not cover your entire bill not matter what you may be told by other companies.

If your goal is to completely wipe out your power bill and maybe receive a credit you will need to install a much larger solar power system than 6kW – SunWorks Solar have helped a number of Sunshine Coast customers achieve this target.

Take note of the graph below, this 19.72kW system installed by SunWorks on a residential home now gives the homeowner quarterly bills which are in credit.


Bill changes from solar system

Solar is proven to save you money so isn’t it time you made the switch? Contact SunWorks Solar Sunshine Coast to find out how solar can save you.