The potential of commercial solar in Perth WA

solar panels on a factory roof in PerthPerth is one of the sunniest cities in the World, ideal for solar, and with a population of over 1.2 million people, especially the commercial solar power industry in Perth has boomed since early 2011. The introduction of Federal Government subsidies and State Government incentives created an unprecedented demand that continues to this day despite removal of many of the government incentives. The number of solar panels Perth customers are installing is increasing each year, from 6 (a 1kW system) in 2008 to 16 (3kW) or more in 2013.

Synergy, the one and only commercial electricity retailer in Perth, sells a unit of electricity (kWh) for 24.8 cents (as at July 1st 2012). With a typical 3kW solar installation producing 5300 units per year, the annual savings are worth $1300, meaning a total payback on investment in less than four years. No wonder solar panels Perth home owners have installed already exceed 1 million panels. Most of the solar panels Perth customers install come with minimum 25 year warranties, and are realistically expected to be still operating in 50 years.

Unfortunately the quality of commercial solar installations that Perth based businesses receive appears to vary greatly. Some report excellent service, quality and information, and others report very negative and in rare cases, unsafe experiences. The Government does regulate the industry, but as always, where there is a dollar to be made there are always those who will flaunt the law.

The Perth solar power industry has proven very resilient to the withdrawal of many of the State and Federal Government subsidies. Whilst many of the large Australia-wide solar companies have fallen (Solar Shop, Unleash Solar to name a couple), the typically smaller local solar installation companies in Perth have not only survived, they are flourishing.

Commercial solar in Perth and the installation of the panels is certainly much simpler than in many other states, with only one power company to deal with. The paperwork is easy, and Western Power is very prompt at upgrading electricity meters to enable the sale of surplus solar power generated back to the grid. The installers for commercial solar in Perth typically favor are either 200W or 250W but in fact, the size of the panel does not matter, it is the total size of the installation that does. A 3kW installation of any sized panel, made anywhere, will make the same electricity as a 3kW of any other solar panel Perth importers care to bring in.