Victorian families are struggling under the weight of skyrocketing electricity and gas bills, with some dual fuel households now paying over $4,400 per year, according to a recent study by St Vincent de Paul Society. That’s an eye-watering increase of $800 compared to last year.
Installing solar panels can provide significant savings to offset these rising costs. However, not all parts of Melbourne will benefit equally when it comes to the return on investment for solar power. Depending on your location’s electricity rates, sunlight exposure and other factors, solar systems in certain suburbs and regions can pay themselves off faster than others.
So, what are the top areas around Melbourne to get the biggest bang for your solar buck? Whether you live in the western suburbs, inner city or regional Victoria, let’s uncover where solar power can trim the most off your next crushing energy bill.
Feeling the Pinch of Rising Energy Bills? Trione Solar Could Help.
Victoria’s Rising Electricity Costs
Electricity and gas rates in Victoria are rapidly rising. On average, households across the state have seen annual price increases of over 25% year-over-year, according to researchers and government bodies such as the Victorian Essential Services Commission.
Certain geographical areas are particularly hard hit by these utility bill spikes. The towns of Kilmore, Seymour and Nagambie in the north of the state are seeing huge jumps. Those on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne have also been crushed under swelling rates.
Dual-fuel households that use both gas and electricity are especially feeling the pinch. Recent findings show some unlucky Victorian families now paying combined energy bills far exceeding $4,400 per year.
For many, one way to ease this hip pocket pain is by installing solar panels with backup batteries. Even a relatively small 3 kW solar system can save owners $750 to $1,000 off their energy costs annually. With the average solar installation closer to 9 kW nowadays, many households could offset even higher amounts from their inflated utility bills with solar power generation and storage.
Key Factors In Solar Savings
Several important considerations determine how much owners can save by adding solar panels to their homes. These include:
System Size: Quite simply, a bigger solar system means bigger savings on your energy bills. While a 3 kW system can reduce costs by $750 to $1,000 per year, more typical 9 kW systems today offset far higher amounts.
Electricity Rates and Tariffs: The actual utility rates and special pricing tariffs you are on also impact savings significantly. Those facing the 25% statewide price hikes are well-positioned to offset these rising costs. But specific pricing structures affect ROI, too.
Solar Feed-in Tariffs: These are special rates paid to homeowners for sending excess solar energy back to the grid. Areas with higher feed-in tariffs can increase financial solar benefits.
Location and Exposure: Where the solar panels are installed and the amount of sun exposure impacts productivity. Factors like temperature, cloud cover, panel angles and shading should be considered. More northern-facing systems around Melbourne get better exposure.
Optimising these factors appropriately helps solar owners maximise their return and offset more expanding energy costs over time through their system.
Best Metro Areas for Solar Savings
Within Melbourne, some suburbs stand out as more prime for fast solar payback and higher energy bill reductions thanks to their unique conditions.
Areas like Werribee, Truganina and Hoppers Crossing fall under the Powercor distribution region. This territory has seen some of the state’s largest utility price surges of over 27% annually. Home solar can dramatically mitigate these rising electricity expenses locally. These western suburbs also enjoy good sun exposure to boost solar productivity.
Inner Northern Suburbs
Melbourne neighbourhoods in the inner north, like Coburg, Brunswick, and Merri Creek, sit within Jemena’s distribution network. This provider has also instituted steep rate increases of around 27% year-over-year for its customers. Adding solar allows residents here to take control over swelling power bills. Decent sunlight, especially on north-facing rooftops, helps systems achieve suitable returns, too.
In general, suburbs in zones with higher base electricity rates, decent sun exposure potential and better solar incentives present attractive environments for solar panels to offset big chunks of household energy costs.
Best Regional Areas for Solar Savings
Outside of Melbourne, regional areas getting slammed with major utility price increases stand to benefit most from adding solar panels. Key areas identified as already facing astronomical electricity bills include:
These country towns and regions have been saddled with huge 25-27% power bill spikes from their providers over the last year. The pain translates to several hundred more dollars being sucked out of household budgets annually.
Adding solar can offset far more of these costs in the country versus metro areas. Researchers found rural solar owners save approximately $875 to $1,000 more per year than city dwellers with the same system configuration.
Several reasons account for these amplified savings. More sun exposure out of big cities and cooler temperatures help panels operate more efficiently. And special rural solar feed-in tariffs translate to bigger rebates. With solar well positioned to take an extra bite out of swelling regional energy bills, country solar begins paying dividends faster.
Case Studies: Solar Savings in Action
To illustrate the solar savings gap between different parts of Melbourne, let’s compare two case study homes with the same system setups but in unique locales:
Home 1 – Coburg:
- 5kW solar system
- North-facing panels
- Jemena supply area
Savings = Approx $9,250
Home 2 – St Kilda:
- 5kW solar system
- Mixed rooftop angles
- Citipower supply
Savings = Approx $7,100
Factors like higher base electricity rates from Jemena and increased sun exposure drive bigger savings for the Coburg solar home. Over the first five years, they could save roughly $9,250 on power bills, whereas St Kilda saves only $7,100 with the same system capabilities.
The suburban solar home also enjoys a faster payback time on their initial equipment investment in around four years. For metro St Kilda, achieving ROI would take closer to six years without other incentives.
So, while solar delivers strong utility savings in both areas, Melbourne suburbs with higher electricity prices and better rooftop solar conditions like Coburg provide an even bigger bang for your buck.
Get the Biggest Bang from Your Solar Buck
For Victorian households feeling the sting of runaway electricity bills, installing solar panels can provide major savings. However, certain suburbs and country areas are primed for bigger solar benefits.
The western Melbourne suburbs in the Powercor network enjoy strong solar rebates offsetting some of the state’s steepest utility rate hikes, while inner city homes under providers like Jemena also see nice returns.
But regional solar owners take the cake, with annual savings from $875 to $1,000 higher, thanks to added sunlight and solar incentives. Towns like Seymour, Wangaratta and across Gippsland make great candidates if seeking rapid ROI.
No matter your location, dialling in proper solar panel sizing and shopping electricity rates maximises the offset. And capturing the most sun exposure possible gives your system the best opportunity to shrink those nightmare utility bills.
If you want to start saving on your solar bills, get in touch with Trione Energy today!