The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels

The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels

The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels

Posted on: 11th May, 2021

Last updated on May 16th, 2022 at 05:42 am


When building a new home, the decision to install (or not install) solar panels is something that many families wrestle with.

Solar panels are an “add-on” cost that can be hard to justify if we don’t fully appreciate the cost/benefit equation.

But the reality is, the cost of electricity isn’t getting any cheaper and it continues to increase each year. So, why are solar panels sustainable? As electricity costs skyrocket, the cost of installing and maintaining solar panels is decreasing each year, making solar panels more accessible for more people.

What are solar panels?

Solar panels are more accurately named solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and they are a way of capturing sunlight and converting it into usable electricity for you to use in your day-to-day life at home.

So, what are solar panels made of? The solar cells in a solar panel are made of silicon which acts as a semiconductor, with both a positive and negative layer together creating an electric field. The sun is a natural nuclear reactor, which releases energy called photons.

How do solar panels work? When these photons from the sun hit the solar panel on the roof of your home, a reaction occurs that generates direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter is then used to transfer the DC electricity into AC electricity, which is what is used to power your home, as well as provide system information and fault protections.

For those of us wondering why are solar panels good for the environment, here’s an amazing fact: Every hour, the Earth receives enough photons to generate solar energy to theoretically cover global energy requirements for an entire year!

With Australia being one of the sunniest countries in the world, it’s the perfect place for us to put the sun to work and create clean, renewable energy for ourselves — and for generations to come!

Why consider solar panels when building a new home?

1. Decreasing costs

Of course, when you’re allocating your budget during the planning phase of building your new home, it’s tough to fit in all the elements you would like.

All the add-ons do add up and as your wish list expands so too does the total cost of building your new home!

For many people, solar panels sit in the “nice to have” but not “must-have” part of their wish list.

Solar panels have long been seen as an expensive addition, which energy-conscious individuals would love to splurge on but place a higher priority on the furnishings and fittings of their home. However, in recent years the price of electricity has risen and the cost of installing solar panels has decreased significantly — making them a much more accessible option for many people.

But this decrease in prohibitive solar panel costs has not equated to decreased quality. So how efficient are solar panels? Solar technology has seen vast improvements of late and solar power systems are now more efficient and cost significantly less than they did a few years ago.

2. Solar panels pay for themselves (eventually)

On average, the cost of installing solar panels on your home takes 5-7 years to completely pay off with the savings you make on electricity.

Of course, these savings and the time it takes to cover the initial purchase and installation cost depend on the capacity of your solar panels. Typical savings for a middle-of-the-range system is between 2 and 4 times their initial cost in saved electricity bills, which is pretty impressive.

3. Solar repayment schemes

Consider the fact that the average price of electricity in Australia is around 20-30 cents per kWh, but solar energy costs around 5 cents for kWh to produce. The savings quickly add up.

Many homes have a battery storage solution to store their excess solar power created, however many energy retailers are now paying homeowners for this excess to be fed back onto the grid.

4. Decrease your carbon footprint

The benefits of individual homes using solar energy have been repeated for over a decade in Australia.

It is a safe, clean, low-maintenance way to provide for your current family’s requirements with minimal negative impacts on the future generations to come.

Using “green power” (such as solar power) greatly reduces CO2 emissions and the demand for fossil fuels, which minimises greenhouse gases and our overall carbon footprint.

If you’re wondering how to choose solar panels for your home, an average Australian household with a mid-range solar system setup would generate 11,046kWh of clean energy each year and reduce over 9 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions from being created — that’s the equivalent of planting 35 trees!

As with many good things, renewable energy really depends on a vast proportion of the population taking charge of their carbon footprint and planning for the future.

One home in isolation won’t make much of a difference, but communities and neighbourhoods across the country taking charge will make massive strides for our shared future.

4. Diversifying dependence

Harvesting your solar power from the sun diversifies your dependence on one power source should there be an interruption.

Natural disasters (such as the recent 2021 NSW floods or the 2020 bushfires) see many homes without power for days or even weeks! Investing in a solar system protects your family from unforeseen disasters and emergencies, and ensures you are not dependent on external suppliers to keep the lights on for your family.

5. Space efficiency

Another key feature of solar panels is that they don’t take up much space — or rather they take up space that was otherwise unused up on your roof!

The beauty of solar panels is that they harness natural sunlight and are most efficiently placed up and away on your roof rather than taking up your valuable backyard or outdoor space.

You may be asking, how many solar panels do I need? When considering installing solar on your home, it’s important to take the position and slope of your roof into consideration and place them in the most efficient location to maximise sunny hours of the day.

6. Increased property value

For most people, your home is your biggest asset and maintaining it properly is important to ensure it holds its value well into the future.

Solar energy is viewed by most of the Australian public as a positive selling point for a home, with research indicating that the more solar panels installed on the roof the higher the value of the home — with estimates of around $6,000 for each kilowatt of solar energy!

On a standard 5kW installation, this would add up to over $29,000 in extra value placed on a home with solar panels.

With the price of electricity expected to continue to rise, solar panels will become even more in demand for buyers and become an important investment to think about when building your home.

Additionally, by investing in a solar system you are essentially future-proofing your home’s value — with the “green agenda” of millennials and the following generations showing that they are willing to pay significantly more for products that consider the impact on the environment.


Deciding whether to add solar panels to your new home can feel overwhelming and confusing to start with.

But the benefits of solar panels are there — lower solar panel costs, an eventual ROI, solar repayment schemes, a smaller carbon footprint, diversifying your energy source, space efficiency and increased power value.

This is also where trusted solar specialist partners, Six Star Plus, come in. They have over 15 years of experience in the industry and are an approved retailer by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and are Greencap CM3 Certified.

Our friendly Achieve Homes sales team is always here to chat with you about how including solar panels on your new forever home can best work.

We can run you through the best home designs and solar panel placement to maximise your energy collection. And we can help you understand how many solar panels would best suit your family’s lifestyle and energy needs. Request a callback today!

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