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Considered solar 5 years ago? How things have changed and why it could stack up for you.

If you’re a savvy business owner looking to cut costs and better your bottom line, you will no doubt have looked into solar energy. But like so many tech-driven, high demand industries, solar has continued to change and adapt at a record pace. As a result, what you may have considered only five years ago may be a relic in comparison to what options you have today.

A wider market separates the wheat from the chaff

As a market grows, so do your options. As a result of commercial solar energy’s growing popularity, we have seen more manufacturers come to the party, offering you a range of budget to premium options.

But like all machinery and appliances, you truly do get what you pay for. While cheaper components are available, and may knock a few hundred dollars off your panels and system, the past five years has proven to us where the real quality lies. Your commercial solar system is designed to last 20 - 25 years, making it a long game investment when it comes to saving significant money on your energy bills. So if your system is failing within a few years, like we have seen from low quality manufacturers, it’s worth knowing you are investing in the right brands for a positive return on investment.

According to the Sunny Side Up report from the Consumer Action Law Centre, close to 700 solar companies have gone out of business since 2011. This leaves around 650,000 Australians with no assistance or recourse if their systems fail, or they need to reach out with a question about their output. The last decade has laid challenge to the longevity of ‘cheap as chips’ companies, revealing firms like Choice Energy as those invested and available when it comes to the long-term run of your solar system.

The technology solutions to maximum output

Like all burgeoning tech, solar panel output met some tricky snafus in the past which have been resolved with clever and increasingly affordable options. One critical advancement? Optimisers.

Optimisers allow your solar panel system to overcome previously common issues with underperforming cells or panels. Once, a panel in a semi-shaded spot would compromise the output of the entire system, whereas now a range of Panel Level Optimisers (PLO) effectively reduces this block. Modern Solar Panel Optimisation means your new system can work harder and more effectively, pushing up that output and potentially cutting your costs even further.

Solar Panel Optimisers 1

Government support is at hand

Investing in green, clean solar energy has gained support from the government for some time, but recent circumstances have made solar even more affordable. At present, the Australian government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) offers two types of Technology Certificates, which act as a rebate on a solar system, giving you an immediate discount.

With this is the Instant Asset Tax Write Off (IATWO) scheme, a further layer added to offer further affordability to solar not seen five years before. This tax write-off revision opens up numerous options for businesses, including the investment in your renewable energy solution. The IATWO allows businesses to write-off the full cost of a commercial solar system installed and operating by June 2022.

Affordability in the face of rising electricity costs

As solar prices have dropped, electricity costs have climbed - and at an alarming rate. Even if the price of solar panels and systems was to remain consistent, electricity prices are on their way up year on year. Like most volatile markets, there are moments of relief - most evident was the recent drop in the price of wholesale electricity during the initial stages of the covid-19 pandemic - but the trend shows an unrelenting mark upwards, especially in comparison to the inflation of other markets.

ABS Consumer Price Index

But thanks to a range of causes, the cost of commercial solar has lowered in the last five years. A more competitive market, technology updates and innovation in how they are built has seen a reduction in cost, especially when coupled with the government incentives previously touched on.

In summary

  • If it’s been awhile since you’ve considered solar, you could be missing out.

  • Solar has continued to innovate, making modern solutions more effective and cost less

  • As Australia sees a continued rise in grid energy costs, solar is a proactive step in protecting yourself from a further pinch

Choice Energy is an Australian owned and operated energy management firm, specialising in solutions that help you use less and pay less for energy. Our energy expertise for business has seen us reduce energy costs for almost 4,000 happy customers across Australia and New Zealand. Learn more about how high quality commercial solar could save you here.

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