There are large variations between advertised payback times for panels. Some are much cheaper than others, but tend to ignore plenty of potential costs and changes. For example, no allowance is made for the decline in panels’ output over time, or the likely need to replace the system’s inverter later on.
“Some in the PV industry are far too simplistic about these calculations – they’re being misleading,” says Damien Moyse, the Alternative Technology Association’s Energy Projects and Policy Manager. “They’re experts in solar energy, but not in the calculations around feed-in tariffs, STCs or the variable export rates over time.”
Earlier this year, we asked the ATA to include a much more comprehensive set of costs to calculate payback times for a small solar panel system in each state and territory. The table includes recent changes to the schemes nation-wide. We also encourage you to do your own sums - results from such exercises depend entirely on your inputs and assumptions, which are detailed in the table below.
1.5kW PV System ACT, NSW and NT
1.5kW PV System Qld, SA, and Tas.
1.5kW PV System WA and Vic.
3kW PV System ACT, NSW and NT
3kW PV System Qld, SA and Tas.
3kW PV System WA and Vic.