How much does solar panel maintenance cost?

Fast read

After the initial purchase of a quality solar system, the ongoing costs of running a solar system are relatively low, with the main costs associated with maintenance, battery replacement (if applicable), and some repairs after a decade or so.

Regular inspections and cleaning of the panels are important to ensure the system operates efficiently and identifies potential issues early.

Repairs, if necessary, can vary in cost depending on the extent of the repairs needed. Still, the cost of repairs like for a new inverter after a 12-year lifespan for example is generally lower than for traditional power systems, such as a new gas hot water system.

Proper maintenance every few years by your local solar panel installer and regular inspections can help minimise the need for costly repairs.

The costs of solar panel maintenance

If you’re considering switching to solar, one of the biggest questions might be regarding the solar panel maintenance costs. Ultimately, people don’t want to invest in an expensive system only to incur additional costs down the line. This can be frustrating and financially burdensome.

Carefully considering all potential expenses before making a purchase is important. Fortunately, the good news is that the ongoing costs of running a solar system are relatively low.

Solar panel maintenance costs

A few key things to remember when maintaining a solar system include.

To start, experts recommend regular annual inspections of the solar system, ideally every 1-2 years, to ensure everything functions properly. This means checking the panels for dirt, cracks, or damage.

It also involves ensuring that all connections and wiring are secure and functioning correctly. This is important for maintaining the performance of the solar panels. It should not take long for an experienced installer to do so should be only around $10 to $20 per panel.

Solar panel cleaning regularly is another critical aspect of maintenance. Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the panels over time, reducing their ability to capture and convert sunlight into electricity. You can help ensure your system operates at peak efficiency by regularly cleaning the panels. We do not recommend you do this yourself, except where the panels are easily accessible on a single-story flat roof with sufficient space to safely walk on the roof.

In many cases, this can be done with a garden hose (not high pressure), a bucket of water, and a soft sponge/ cloth. The solar system should be turned off before doing this. If you’re unsure about your roof or have a slanted roof, your solar installer can check it for a small fee. This can be done during their maintenance inspection.

Overall, the solar panel maintenance requirements are low. Still, it is critical to stay on top of them to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently providing clean, renewable energy for years to provide clean, renewable energy for years to come by properly maintaining it.

installer analysing solar system
Although the cost of solar panel maintenance is ongoing, it significantly increases the longevity of your system

Inverter replacement

Quality inverters typically have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 12 years compared to the panels, which generally last for 25 years. So you will likely have to replace the inverter at least once within the system’s lifetime. Depending on system size and quality, you may be looking at under $1k for a small or cheaper model through to $3-4k for a larger, premium quality or hybrid inverter.

We recommend not compromising on quality for the heart of a solar system, which is the inverter. In Australia, enduring brands for string inverters include Fronius, SMA, and Sungrow, while Enphase and Solaredge are known for microinverters and DC Optimisers.

Home storage battery

Another potential cost to consider is the cost of battery storage if you decide to go that route. Batteries are essential to many solar systems, allowing you to store excess energy when the sun isn’t shining. However, batteries have a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced eventually. Again, though, the costs of solar panel maintenance and replacing batteries are typically much lower than those of fossil fuel-based power systems.


When repairing a solar system, the key is to catch any issues as early as possible. Regular inspections and maintenance can help find issues early, preventing them from getting worse and costing more money. In addition, it’s essential to hire a qualified and experienced technician to repair your solar system. Attempting to fix the system yourself, or hiring an unqualified technician, could result in further damage or even injury.

The cost of fixing a solar system can vary depending on the extent of the repairs needed. Sometimes, fixing a small problem like replacing a broken part can be cheap, but bigger repairs might cost more money. In general, though, the cost of repairs for a solar system is usually much lower than that for a traditional fossil fuel-based power system.

Overall, staying on top of regular solar panel inspections and maintenance is the key to minimising the need for repairs to your solar system. In addition, doing so can help ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently and reliably for many years.

installer working on solar panel
Regular inspections can **notice** small problems issues before they cause larger, more expensive ones

In summary

No high ongoing costs are associated with a solar system. Regular inspections are minimal but can also prevent additional charges from wear or unforeseen factors. Keeping your panels clean means more energy output, more electricity for your house and a faster return on your investment.

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