What other expenses do I have to consider when installing a solar system?

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Investing in a solar system for your home comes with various expenses to consider. The initial quote typically includes the solar panels, installation costs, mounts, and the inverter. However, additional costs may arise, such as switchboard upgrades, meter changes, connection fees, maintenance and repairs, solar battery storage, and monitoring platforms.

While these costs vary depending on factors like system size and location, the long-term financial benefits of solar outweigh the expenses. It is advisable to consult qualified local suppliers or installers for comprehensive advice and assistance. Choosing a reputable partner ensures reliability and trustworthiness.

Does a solar system come with additional costs?

Investing in a solar system is a great decision for all homeowners. However, we find that the biggest obstacle is the initial purchase price. People can be surprised by the price and become even more concerned about additional costs on top of the original quote. Before you get overwhelmed, read this article to find out what expenses you must consider when installing a solar system.

What is included in a solar system quote?

Before explaining additional costs, you may come across a solar system. It is essential to understand what is included in the original quote itself. You are not just paying for the solar panels itself. A quote from an installer usually includes the panels, installation costs, balance of systems (such as mounts), and the inverter. 

After receiving the quote, you should ask your installer if it includes all these factors to ensure.

What are the additional costs?

Switchboard upgrades and Meter changes

One of the additional costs that is usually not included in the quote is switchboard upgrades. A switchboard is what distributes electricity throughout your home. If your current switchboard does not have a solar isolator switch, it will need an upgrade. You may also need to replace some circuit breakers with RCBOs, which can cost $150. If you need a new sub-board, it can cost around $450 if you need a full switchboard upgrade. You may come across a cost of $1,000.

The best way to manage this is to ask the installer if your switchboard is suitable for the solar system before the installation. This allows you to upgrade the switchboard before the system is installed instead of having the system on your roof and not having an appropriate switchboard.

Your meter may need to be upgraded to a solar meter to make it compatible with the solar system. In most areas, the energy retailer will do this for free. But some networks charge for the electricity meter to be upgraded. Request your installer to check your electricity meter before beginning the installation.

electricity meter
Electricity meters are a necessity

Connection costs

Another additional cost is connection costs. Connection costs include the additional costs from third-party electricity providers. For example, you may need to pay a Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS) administration fee. This fee will allow you to sell back then the excess electricity your system generates.

With most electricity suppliers, you will also have to pay a fee to upgrade to a digital meter if your current meter is analogue.

Maintenance and repairs

To prolong your solar system’s benefits, you will need to look after it. This means routine maintenance and repairing any damages that occur to the system. Usually, when purchasing a solar system. It will come with a product warranty of around 25 years. Within this period, your manufacturer will cover any repairs needed.

However, after the first 25 years or however long your warranty is, you must pay for maintenance and repairs. Thankfully, damage or other issues with your solar system is not common due to how advanced and technically thought out they are. However, in turn, this means when something does occur. It is likely not going to be a quick, cheap fix.

While these costs may sound like a lot, it is not. If you are to consider the long-term financial benefits of a solar system. The initial price will appear cheap.

Solar Battery

Solar battery storage is a great investment to add to your solar system. The battery will store additional electricity your panels produce for you to use when needed- usually at night. While being the most expensive additional cost, solar batteries definitely give you the most return.

tesla battery for solar system
Are solar batteries the future?

Monitoring Platform

The ability to be able to monitor your solar system’s performance and consumption patterns is important to get the best value from your investment. Advanced monitoring systems can provide customised feedback on how to increase savings, find the best energy retail plans, and when to add a battery. Standard monitoring systems provide statistics that you can then use to find the previously mentioned information. Monitoring platforms like Solar Analytics charge small subscription fees but are worth the investment.

It is important to know that the actual price of these additional costs can vary depending on the size of your system, type of installation, location and other factors. However, the money you save by having a solar system cancels out all of these costs. You will save a lot more than you have to spend.

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