As awareness about the benefits of renewable energy sources, especially solar energy, continues to rise, more and more people are considering switching to solar power.

However, not everyone owns their home, and those who live in leased properties may wonder if it is possible to install a solar system on their property. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to do so – and it can actually be a smart move financially too.

Adding solar panels to a leased property can be a win-win situation for both tenants and owners. However, it’s important for both parties to come to a mutual agreement about the installation process, the cost, and the potential benefits.

In this article, we will explore how you can add a solar system to your leased property and the benefits it has for both the tenant and owner.

First and foremost, always check the terms of your lease agreement before planning to install any kind of solar system. Depending on the terms of your agreement, your landlord or property manager may have specific requirements or restrictions concerning solar installations.

Make sure you discuss the matter with your landlord and obtain their approval before making any arrangements for installation. If there are any issues, they should be addressed before moving forward with the installation.

Check the Terms of Your Lease Agreement

As a tenant, you have several solar installation options. One option is to invest in a portable, stand-alone solar panel system that can be easily transported and installed without any damage to the property. This type of solar system is perfect for tenants who move frequently or cannot afford to install a permanent solar system.

Another option is to lease the solar system or enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) or solar lease with a third-party solar company. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of solar power without having to pay for the installation or maintenance of the system. However, these agreements will come with specific terms, so read them carefully.

When it comes to the cost of adding solar to a leased property, it’s important for both the tenant and the owner to come to a mutual agreement.

To reach a mutual agreement, the tenant and owner should negotiate the terms of the solar panel installation, including the cost, the payment plan, and how the benefits will be shared. It’s important to put these details in writing to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings in the future.

There are several agreements that tenants and owners can make when adding solar to a leased property. Here are some examples:

Ultimately, the specific agreement that tenants and owners make will depend on their individual circumstances and goals. It’s important for both parties to have a clear understanding of the costs, benefits, and terms of the solar panel installation before moving forward.

By working together to come to a mutual agreement, tenants and owners can enjoy the benefits of solar energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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Negotiate with the Owner of the Building

With the growing awareness of the advantages of renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy, an increasing number of individuals are exploring the possibility of switching to solar power.

There are various solar providers in the market that offer solutions for leased properties. Some of the things to consider when selecting a solar provider include:

Ultimately, the solar provider you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It’s important to do your research and choose a provider that can help you get the most out of your solar investment.

After installing your solar system, proper maintenance is important to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity. Ask the solar company to provide a breakdown of the system’s maintenance requirements and ensure you schedule regular cleaning and check-ups.

If you are leasing the system, check with the company to know what is covered under the agreement and who will be responsible for maintenance and repair costs.

At SnapSolar, we can help you install a solar system to a leased property with no hassle. We can also help you explore other options to save money on your solar installation costs, and to manage these costs by accessing government rebates and incentives.

We’ve provided this for countless households and businesses in Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area. 

Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

SnapSolar Mackay Team

More and more business owners are considering solar power, for a ton of very good reasons. It can save money, lead to greater sustainability and energy independence, and it’s good for the environment.

It seems like a no-brainer. For many business owners, though, there’s a big question. Since many business premises are leased, will solar provide a return on investment within the lifetime of the lease? Or could you be forced to vacate your premises before you’ve even made back the money you invested in your solar panels?

In this article, we’ll answer that question. We’ll look at the likelihood of most businesses breaking even on their solar investment before their lease is up, and the factors that play into that.

The first thing to consider is the length of your lease. For most businesses in Australia, a lease tends to last for 8 to 10 years, although there is a lot of variation here.

If you want to install solar panels, you’ll want to at least break even on your investment — and ideally start saving money on your energy bills — before your lease is up. Otherwise, you’re essentially just paying for someone else’s solar panels.

Solar panels can last for more than 25 years, and the technology is improving all the time. But how long does it take for the money saved by your panels to offset your investment? That depends on a few different factors:

So, what’s the average? It’s tough to get an accurate figure, but it seems that most solar customers in Australia take about 4 years to break even on the costs of purchasing and installing solar panels.

However, it can take longer due to the factors mentioned above, and up to 10 years is not unusual. It’s important to consider this in relation to the length of your lease when making the decision to switch to solar.

As a business in leased premises, adopting solar energy can be an excellent choice. If you’re at the beginning of your lease, already use a lot of energy, and pay high rates for energy from the grid, switching to solar might be a great financial decision.

Ultimately, it’s something you’ll have to figure out for yourself. Take the time to assess your spending and look at the cost breakdown of installing solar panels.

Working with an expert can be extremely helpful here. At SnapSolar, we help businesses work out if solar is right for them. We’ll walk you through the many complicated stages of assessing your costs and deciding if solar represents a smart financial choice for your business. We’ve done this for countless businesses in Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help and get started today.

Solar power is more popular today than ever before, and as time goes on it looks set to become even more widespread, not just in Australia but around the world. But how long has solar been around?

What journey did it take to get to where it is today? The answer is a pretty fascinating one, and the story starts earlier than you might think. Let’s take a look at the evolution of solar energy (and what’s coming next).

When was solar energy first used? Most people would give an estimate somewhere within the last 100 years, and if we think about solar panels in the way we use them today, they’d be correct.

However, humans have been using energy from the sun to heat their homes for much longer than that. Many thousands of years ago, the Ancient Egyptians designed their houses to store heat from the sun in the walls of their building.

All day the baking hot African sun would pound their homes, and when the sun went down all that stored heat would gradually release, keeping the inhabitants warm throughout the freezing desert nights. It’s not quite photovoltaic cells and solar batteries, but it’s the first chapter in a long history of harnessing solar power.

Fast forward a few millennia and we reach the first stages of the journey to today’s solar panels. The discovery of solar panel technology took place in many stages, with the work of many scientists.

A major breakthrough was the discovery of something called the photovoltaic effect, which happened when a French scientist called Edmond Becquerel found that metal electrodes could use light energy to produce electricity.

Through the later decades of the 1800s, several scientists built on that idea, gradually discovering that selenium could be used to harness the power of sunlight to produce electricity. 1883 saw the invention of the first-ever solar cell by Charles Fritts.

This process was refined over the next century, and in 1954 we saw the first example of what we would recognize as a solar cell today. The first ever silicon photovoltaic cell was created by Calvin Fuller, Daryl Chapin, and Gerald Pearson — and was able to provide enough electricity to power actual devices for several hours.

The later half of the twentieth century saw numerous breakthroughs and advancements in solar technology, as scientists worked to improve the efficiency of solar cells and gradually push them to a point where they made sense as a mainstream energy source for homes.

Today’s solar panels are much more effective than those of the past, and this progression looks set to keep going.

Today, solar is more popular than ever before. We’ve finally reached a point where solar panels are a feasible option for powering entire homes and businesses at a reasonable price point, and given the environmental benefits of solar, more and more people are turning to the technology.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Solar power still faces some challenges — it’s still seen as too expensive for many households (although this is changing fast) and it’s plagued by misconceptions and unfair negative press.

We’re at an incredibly exciting point where impressive advancements in solar technology are happening all the time. New materials are being discovered to make solar panels more efficient, productive, affordable, and durable.

At the same time, new storage methods are being developed to make it easier to power your home even when the sun isn’t shining and move towards full energy independence.

Since solar is a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy source compared to fossil fuels, it’s also benefiting from high levels of funding and research and is bolstered by growing interest.

We’re now looking at a future where solar power has a real chance of becoming a major source of electricity, competing with fossil fuels and perhaps even replacing them at some point in the future.

Solar is an incredibly powerful, sustainable, and often surprisingly affordable way to provide energy to your home. As time goes on, it’s likely to become even more effective and widespread.

Don’t wait around. At SnapSolar, we can help you make the switch to solar, providing you with all the information you need to make the decision and get started on your solar journey. Get in touch to learn more.

Solar energy is becoming more popular all the time in Australia, for households and businesses alike. More and more people are wising up to the power of solar to save money on their bills, reduce dependence on the energy grid, and do their bit for the environment.

However, for many people, there’s a problem. Installing solar panels in a property you own is one thing… but doing it in a rented property is another thing entirely. How do you convince your landlord that solar is the right thing to do and that they should invest in it?

Well, worry not. In this article, we’ll show you how to present your solar plans to your landlord in a way that they won’t be able to resist and pave the way to a better energy future for everyone involved.

Before you start, it pays to look at things from your landlord’s perspective and think about what they might be concerned about when it comes to solar and what might be holding them back. This will help you anticipate their objections, address their concerns, and put together a much more convincing case. Here are some examples:

Your landlord may not be aware of the benefits of solar, and may even see it as a fad or unnecessary expense. In these cases, you have a challenge ahead — clearly show your landlord why it’s worth investing in solar.

Take time to research the many benefits of solar, like its ability to save significant amounts of money in the long term and reduce dependence on an often unreliable electrical grid. Be as detailed and clear as possible — collect statistics and data showing how cost-effective and useful solar can be.

This is also a good time to investigate any rebates or incentive programs your local area has for solar panels. Queensland has a number of these programs, and some can allow you to save significant amounts of money.

If you base your case for solar on what YOU want, you’ll probably struggle to convince your landlord. Instead, think about it from their perspective.

Think about your landlord’s priorities and concerns — they want a property that will continue to gain value for them while incurring minimal costs. When looked at from this angle, solar installation is a short-term expense that will yield long-term gains by saving money on utilities and adding value to the property.

Once you have all the information ready to go, it’s time to put it all together in a detailed, professional, and convincing presentation.

This is where you’ll tie together all of your existing research and data and present it clearly, then make a compelling argument for solar.

Remember to make your arguments from the landlord’s perspective — for example, try to find concrete statistics on how solar panels can increase the value of a property and make it more attractive to future buyers.

Clearly outline how much the installation process looks set to cost, and factor in any incentives and rebates you’re eligible for.

Once you’ve done all your groundwork, it’s time to actually meet up with your landlord and present your plan. Try to think about any objections or hesitations they might have, and address these pre-emptively.

This is your opportunity to talk about cost, too — how will you split the cost? Remember that solar panels will add a significant amount to your landlord’s property so you shouldn’t cover the full cost, but be prepared to make a contribution.

It’s also time to consider the savings you’ll make on energy bills and how they will be shared, remembering to consider any other tenants in your building and how they might be affected.

Switching to solar can be incredibly rewarding, and many of the benefits apply even if you’re renting your home or commercial space. Solar energy is often marketed exclusively at building owners, but it’s well worth considering for everyone.

If nothing else, it’s a good idea to do your research and work out whether or not solar could be a viable option for your rented property. Even if you decide it’s not for you right now, you are still well-prepared for the future.

At SnapSolar, we help households and businesses throughout Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area make the transition to solar. We can help you through the entire process — whether you own or rent — and get you on the path to a solar-powered life.

Contact us to learn more and get started today.

More and more Australian households are turning to solar energy as a way to power their homes. Driven by considerations like the rising cost of traditional energy and concerns about the climate, many families see solar as the energy source of the future, and one that’s especially well-suited to sunny climates like Australia.

However, one major drawback for many people is cost. Solar is still perceived as an expensive energy source, and the upfront cost of installing solar panels is seen as too much for many households, even if that cost will be offset over time.

While it’s true that solar requires an investment, there are lots of options to make this cost more manageable. The Australian government has a number of schemes aimed at encouraging people to adopt solar, and there are many ways to save money here.

Let’s dive in.

The RET is a scheme aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, partially by promoting the use of more sustainable energy sources like solar power.

The RET rewards both large-scale power stations and smaller solar users like households by giving them certificates for the power they generate. You can receive a certificate for each megawatt hour of power you generate — based on the power a 5kw Australian home produces, this should take about 50 days.

These certificates are purchased by electricity retailers, so you as a homeowner receive a financial incentive for the solar energy you produce.

The SRES is designed to incentivize smaller parties, like individual households and small businesses, to use more renewable energy like solar power. Similar to the RET, the SRES issues certificates which can then be sold for financial rewards.

Unlike the RET, these certificates are given up front, based on the amount of power your solar system is expected to generate over the next several years.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation — or CEFC — is a state-owned bank, designed to fund clean energy projects on behalf of the Australian Government. CEFC focuses on large-scale projects, but it also works with smaller solar users and households.

CEFC has committed more than $1.1 billion to solar projects since June 2020. This includes working with investors from around the world and bringing new technologies and approaches to the industry.

ARENA was established by the government in 2012 with the purpose of supporting the transition to renewable energy sources and, ultimately, net zero carbon emissions. Over the past decade, ARENA has supported over 600 projects and helped invest almost $10 billion into the renewable energy industry in Australia.

When it comes to solar, ARENA has provided over $230 million to around 130 solar projects, helping make solar more effective, accessible, and feasible as an energy source for businesses and individual households.

Feed-in tariffs are a way for households to receive credit for any excess electricity their solar panels produce. In other words, they have the option to “sell” excess power back to the electrical grid instead of simply letting it go to waste.

Solar panels often produce more energy over the course of a day than your home needs. If you don’t have a solar battery, there is no way to store this excess energy, but feed-in tariffs allow you to get some money back for it, in the form of discounts on your energy bill.

The amount of money you get from feed-in tariffs will vary based on your location within Australia. Usually, it’s somewhere between 7 and 16 cents for each kilowatt-hour of energy you send to the grid.

As you can see, there is actually a ton of support from the Australian government when it comes to solar energy. Even if you feel like the transition to solar is too expensive, it may not be the case — and this will become even more true as support increases in the coming years.

The most important thing is to become as educated as possible on all the support and incentives out there, so you can make the transition to solar in the most cost-effective and smooth way possible.

At SnapSolar, we can help you by giving you all the information and guidance you need to make an informed decision. Get in touch with us to learn more and get started.

“I’d love to switch to solar energy… but I just can’t afford the installation costs.”

At SnapSolar, this is one of the most common objections we hear from customers who love the idea of solar but can’t make the upfront financial commitment.

It’s frustrating — even though you know your solar system will pay for itself over the first few years, you’re still locked out because of that initial price tag. But what if there was a way to gain access to solar without that upfront cost?

Well, there is. It’s called a solar PPA, and in this article, we’ll explore precisely what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to access solar in a more affordable way.

With a solar PPA, your solar energy provider will install a solar panel system on your property. You’ll pay for the electricity it generates, at a rate you agree on beforehand, and in return, your energy provider will completely cover the upfront cost of buying and installing the solar panels, along with the ongoing costs of maintaining them.

If you’re struggling to save up the required amount of money to purchase and install solar panels, a PPA can be the perfect solution. This is because a PPA allows you to tap into the many benefits of solar power, such as:

At the same time, you’ll avoid the large upfront costs typically associated with solar panel installation. For solar energy providers, it’s a good deal too, as the money you pay them helps fund their growth and development.

What’s the difference between a solar PPA and leasing your solar panels? The two concepts can appear very similar at first glance, but there are some key differences.

The main thing to note is that, with a lease, you pay a fixed monthly fee to use your solar system. With a solar PPA, on the other hand, you pay according to how much energy you generate — on a per kilowatt-hour basis.

There are pros and cons to each approach, so it’s worth taking the time to figure out your personal situation, needs, and goals before committing to one or the other.

Entering a solar PPA can be a daunting decision, and it’s not one you should simply dive into. Take some time to consider things like:

A solar PPA can be an excellent choice if you want to tap into the power of solar and start building your own solar infrastructure but want to avoid a large, one-off payment to install the panels.

At SnapSolar, we can help you learn more about a solar PPA and whether it’s the right option for you. We can also help you explore other options to save money on your solar installation costs, and to manage these costs by accessing government rebates and incentives.

We’ve already done this for countless households and businesses in Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainable business practices, with many organisations recognising the importance of reducing their carbon footprint and embracing renewable energy solutions.

One such solution is solar power, which offers not only environmental benefits but also financial advantages for businesses. In this article, we will explore the concept of claiming an instant asset write-off on solar installations for businesses, highlighting the potential cost savings and explaining the eligibility criteria.

The instant asset write-off is a tax incentive provided by the government that allows businesses to immediately deduct the cost of eligible assets, including solar installations, from their taxable income. This means that instead of depreciating the asset over several years, businesses can claim the full deduction in the same financial year as the purchase, providing an immediate financial benefit.

To be eligible for the instant asset write-off, businesses must meet certain criteria. As of the time of writing, it is essential to note that the eligibility criteria may vary, so it is advisable to consult with a tax professional or refer to the official guidelines provided by the relevant tax authority. However, we can discuss some general guidelines based on previous policies:

  1. Business Turnover Threshold: The instant asset write-off is typically available to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover below $10 million, this will allow your business to receive up to $150K.
  2. Asset Value Threshold: Governments may impose a limit on the value of assets that can be claimed under the instant asset write-off scheme. This threshold may vary, so it is important to check the relevant guidelines to ensure compliance.
  3. Date of Purchase and Installation: In most cases, the asset must be purchased and installed within a specified timeframe to be eligible for the instant asset write-off. It is vital to understand these dates and ensure that your solar installation aligns with the specified timeline.
  4. Business Use Requirement: The instant asset write-off generally applies to assets that are used primarily for business purposes. In the case of solar installations, the system must be installed for business use, such as powering commercial premises or operations.

It is crucial to note that eligibility criteria and thresholds can change, so it is recommended to refer to the official guidelines provided by the ATO or seek advice from a tax professional to ensure compliance with the latest requirements specific to your state.

Claiming the instant asset write-off on solar installations for your business offers several benefits. Let’s explore them:

  1. Accelerated Deduction: By claiming the instant asset write-off on solar installations, businesses can accelerate the depreciation process and receive a substantial tax benefit upfront. This immediate deduction can help offset the initial cost of the solar system, improving cash flow and reducing the payback period.
  2. Cost Savings: Solar power offers significant cost savings through reduced electricity bills. By generating clean energy on-site, businesses can decrease their reliance on the grid and mitigate the impact of rising electricity prices. The combination of instant asset write-off and ongoing savings can lead to a considerable return on investment in the long run.
  3. Energy Cost Stability: Rising electricity prices can be a significant concern for businesses. By investing in solar and taking advantage of the instant asset write-off, you can hedge against future price hikes. As solar systems typically have a long lifespan, you can lock in lower energy costs for the foreseeable future, providing greater predictability and stability in your business operations.
  4. Environmental Stewardship: Embracing solar power is not only financially rewarding but also demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. Businesses that invest in renewable energy sources like solar contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, helping combat climate change and enhancing their environmental reputation.
  5. Competitive Advantage: In today’s market, consumers increasingly prioritise businesses that demonstrate sustainability initiatives. By investing in solar and claiming the instant asset write-off, you gain a competitive edge. This can attract environmentally conscious customers, foster brand loyalty, and differentiate your business from competitors who haven’t adopted renewable energy solutions.
  6. Government Incentives: In addition to the instant asset write-off, governments often offer other incentives to promote solar adoption. These may include grants, rebates, or feed-in tariffs, further reducing the cost of installing solar systems. By leveraging these incentives, you can maximise your financial benefits and achieve a quicker payback period.

Claiming an instant asset write-off on solar installations can be a game-changer for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint while maximising financial benefits. By understanding the eligibility criteria and taking advantage of this tax incentive, organisations can enjoy immediate cost savings, improve cash flow, and demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future.

As with any tax-related matter, it is always advisable to consult with a qualified tax professional or relevant authority to ensure compliance and make the most informed decisions for your business.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help and get started today.

The Queensland government has exciting news for residents in the Sunshine State – they are rolling out the Battery Booster Rebate Scheme 2024 to make solar battery systems more accessible and affordable to Queenslanders. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this innovative program aimed at empowering households with green energy solutions.

The Battery Booster Rebate Scheme 2024 is a groundbreaking initiative by the Queensland government to help residents overcome the financial hurdle of investing in solar battery storage systems. With an upfront cost of over $9,000, solar battery systems have been out of reach for many households. However, this scheme is set to change that.

Under the program, eligible Queensland households can receive substantial rebates of up to $4,000, depending on income eligibility requirements. This means that more families can harness the power of the sun and reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources.

As the program becomes available, Queenslanders interested in participating can find application details on the official government website. Be prepared to meet income eligibility requirements and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and power bills.

While an official launch date for the Battery Booster Rebate Scheme 2024 is yet to be announced, Energy Minister Mick de Brenni has confirmed that it will commence in 2024. Additionally, the government has quietly published the legislation enabling the scheme, indicating its commitment to making this program a reality. For more information, you can visit this ABC News article.

To ensure the safety and quality of installations, the government has initiated the establishment of an inspectorate. This body will oversee up to 2,500 inspections across Queensland, ensuring that battery systems are installed correctly and adhere to industry best practices and safety standards. Installers will also receive guidance on battery safety risks.

The Queensland government’s Battery Booster Rebate Scheme 2024 is a significant step towards a more sustainable and affordable energy future for residents. By providing generous rebates for solar battery systems, the government is encouraging Queenslanders to embrace renewable energy solutions while mitigating the impact of rising power prices.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting initiative, and take advantage of the opportunity to become part of Queensland’s clean energy revolution.

What are the main reasons for switching to solar power? There are lots of reasons, but for most people, the environment is close to the top of the list.

In this survey, for example, 87% of people said the environment was a key reason behind their decision to adopt solar power.

This is with good reason. Solar panels are a much cleaner source of energy than traditional fossil fuels like coal and oil. They produce renewable energy, don’t release harmful emissions, and allow us to be more self-sustaining.

But there’s a big unanswered question here — what happens when your solar panels reach the end of their life? How do we make sure they don’t end up contaminating the earth with the chemicals inside them, undoing all the good they did in their lifetime?

In this post, we’ll dig into that. We’ll look at how solar panels are recycled, and what you personally can do to ensure your panels end their life in the most environmentally-friendly way.

In 2016, there was 900 tons of solar waste in Australia. By 2020, that number had reached 2000 tons, and by 2035 it’s expected to reach 100,000 tons.

Solar panels contain a number of components that can be harmful to the environment, including small — but not insignificant — amounts of metals like lead. If we aren’t careful about how we recycle solar panels, the waste from them could harm our natural resources and water supply.

What’s more, recycling panels is much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than building new ones from scratch, forcing us to extract all the materials needed from nature.

Although they might look like fairly simple structures on the outside, solar panel systems contain a wide range of materials and components, and these vary greatly in terms of how easy they are to recycle. Let’s start with the easiest ones.

The average solar panel contains about 75% glass. If you’ve ever thrown a few empty bottles into a recycling bin, you’ll know that glass is a pretty easy substance to recycle. This is good news — the majority of a solar panel is easy enough to take care of. On top of that, panels also contain things like aluminium (for the frame), copper wiring, and plastic. All these things are fairly easy to recycle.

Solar panels also contain small amounts of many other different materials, and these can be somewhat harder to recycle safely and efficiently. These can include:

There are a few other things to consider, too. For example, if your solar system uses a battery, this can be notoriously tricky to dispose of and will require a specialist.

The process of recycling solar panels is really a series of different processes, since the materials involved are very different and require very different approaches to properly handle.

The goal with recycling solar panels is to recover as much material as possible to be safely reused, minimizing the amount of material that has to be disposed of. Here are the main stages involved:

Some solar panels (a small percentage) are made from cadmium and tellerium, and these will require a somewhat different recycling process compared to the more common silicon solar panels that we focused on in this post.

If you’re using thin-film solar panels, you’ll need to take them to a specialist facility to be recycled.

Solar can be complicated. It’s a big decision, and understanding how to do it safely, sustainably, and cost-effectively can require a lot of research. At SnapSolar, it’s our job to guide you through that process and ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision about your solar future. We’ve helped households and businesses across Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area do exactly that.

Get in touch with us to find out more and get started.

In order to understand if solar really is the right choice for you and your energy needs, it’s important to understand how much energy solar panels actually produce. This way, you can more easily see how solar stacks up against alternative energy sources and how it will help meet your current and future energy needs.

To understand how much energy solar panels produce, we need to look at a number of factors. Remember that different types of panels and systems can vary quite a lot in terms of their output and efficiency, so you’ll need to perform your own calculations for whatever system you opt for.

Most solar panels can produce somewhere between 250 and 500 Watts of energy each hour, and systems of panels can usually give out somewhere between 1kW (that’s 1000 Watts) and 4kW.

To calculate the output over time, we need to multiply the figure in Watts by the number of hours your panels are actually producing energy during that time. This depends on a number of factors, such as:

To get a realistic figure for the amount of energy your solar system will produce, we need to dive into each of these factors.

Peak sun hours are an interesting concept, and one you might not have come across before. The official definition of a ‘peak sun hour’ is when the sun’s intensity reaches an average of 1,000 watts of photovoltaic power for each square meter.

So peak sun hours might not be consecutive throughout the day, and can vary quite a bit from day to day and especially from season to season. Peak sun hours can also vary a lot by region. Mackay, Queensland, for example, receives an average of 5.5 peak sun hours per day. In other parts of the world, like Northern Europe, this number will be far lower.

As we mentioned, solar panels usually range from about 250 to 400 Watts in terms of energy output. This is a big range, however, especially when extrapolated over the course of a year. A system using more powerful panels, or a greater number of panels, will produce a significantly higher amount of energy over time.

There are many different types of solar panels out there, and they all differ in terms of the energy they’re able to produce. The two main types of solar panels on the market today are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Let’s take a look at the main differences here.

Monocrystalline solar cells are cut from a single piece of silicon, which makes them more efficient than their polycrystalline cousins. It also makes them more expensive — monocrystalline solar panels tend to cost about 50% more than their polycrystalline counterparts, which can add up over the course of a full solar panel system.

The extra cost comes with benefits, though. Monocrystalline solar panels tend to perform better in both higher temperatures and shadier conditions, so depending on your location it might make sense to pay a little more.

Polycyrstalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline, but they’re also less efficient and don’t work quite as well at higher temperatures. This means that the overall power output of your solar panels will be less if you opt for a polycrystalline system instead of a monocrystalilne one.

The unit we use to express power output is daily kiloWatt hours (kWH). To calculate this, you need to know the size of your solar panel system in Watts and the average number of hours of direct sunlight your receive per day.

Here’s the formula:

Size in Watts x average hours of direct sunlight/1000 = output in daily kiloWatt hours

So for a 2kW solar system in Mackay: 2000 x 5.5 / 1000 = 11 kWh per day

This gives you a great starting point to estimate your energy production for the week, month, and year. Of course, this system relies on averages — your solar panel will always produce more energy at certain times of the year than others, and this can vary considerably.

In Mackay, sunlight levels throughout the year are more constant compared to places like Scandinavia, but your hours of direct sunlight and therefore your solar output will still vary somewhat between seasons.

Solar can be tricky to understand at first, but it won’t take too long to master the basics and get to grips with how your system works around the year. At SnapSolar we can help guide you through the first stages of the learning process, helping you decide on the right size of solar system for your needs and location. We’ve done this for countless businesses and households throughout Mackay and the surrounding Queensland area. Get in touch to learn more and get started.