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Have you been thinking about installing solar panels in Cairns but don't know where to start? We have done the hard work so that you can educate yourself about solar power, and then request quotes in seconds from the best solar companies that service Cairns. Cairns is situated on the east coast of the Far North Queensland region. The laid back city is well known for its first-class access to both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Forest whilst the Cairns Esplanade remains a hub for locals and visitors to the city. The tropical climate of Cairns makes it the perfect place to install solar power, as the city enjoys an average of 7.7 hours of sunshine per day. Residents of Cairns have been taking advantage of the sunshine and have been slashing their power bills by making the switch to clean, renewable energy. A typical 5kw system installed in Cairns will generate an average of 23.81kWh of electricity per day - which is enough to power the average family home!
There are extremely generous Federal Government Solar Rebates available to homeowners that install solar in Cairns. Please see the 'latest info on solar rebates in QLD' section further down the page to see the solar rebate you are entitled to for various common solar system sizes. There is a solar feed-in tariff (FIT) available to homeowners in Cairns! The feed-in tariff is the amount you get paid by your energy retailer for the excess solar energy back you feed into the grid! Some retailers are far more generous than others when it comes to paying you for solar energy so we created a table further down this page of every energy retailer in QLD and the solar FIT rate that they offer homeowners in Cairns.
The climate in Cairns is lush and tropical! Solar absolutely makes sense in Cairns! Summers are hot with an average high of 31°, while our sunny winters are warm, with an average low of 26°. The level of solar irradiation in Cairns is 5.27 kWh/sq m/day, meaning that the sun is beaming 5.27 kWh of power per square metre onto solar panels you install in Cairns every single day!
As of August 2019, there are 6,753 solar power installations in the postcode 4870, meaning 10.6% of the available homes in Cairns are covered in solar panels.
Based on current installations in Cairns, the average solar system size is 5.2kW. We receive a lot of enquiries from homeowners who would like to add panels to an existing solar system they installed a few years ago (which can be a costly exercise), so in general, we recommend installing as many panels as your budget and roof space allows.
The 6.6kW solar system is a great system that will ‘future proof’ you against continually rising electricity prices and will enable you to take full advantage of the generous government solar rebate as it stands.
A 6.6kW solar power system is perfect for homes in Cairns. 6.6kW solar systems typically come with 20 x 330W solar panels, and a 5kW inverter - allowing you to claim 33% more solar rebate than a 5kW system, and also help you to produce more power during low light conditions. Residential solar panels are roughly 1.7m long by 1m wide - so installing a 6.6kW system on your home will require at least 34m2 of roof area.
At the time of writing (February 2020), a good quality 6.6kW solar power system installed in Cairns will cost you between $5200 - $9500. The higher end of this price bracket is for premium panels (LG, Kyocera, Sunpower) installed with panel-level optimisation (micro-inverters or power optimisers). The best way to compare solar power systems prices is to click 'Get Quotes' at the top of the screen and our 3 highest rated solar installers will provide you with quotes specific to your home in Cairns.
A 6.6kW solar system installed in Cairns will pay for itself within 3-5 years, making it an attractive investment!
Cairns DFO is now a solar-solar-power shopping centre with the rooftop installation of a huge 1.3 megawatt solar system. The system consists of 3,250 solar panels installed on the centre’s rooftop which will supply 50% of centres daily electricity demand, halving the DFO's demand for supplied power.
The slope of your roof is generally the best angle at which to install your solar panels. If you have a flat roof, your chosen solar company will fit tilt frames, to ensure that your solar panels are at the ideal angle for maximum energy production. In Cairns, the perfect solar panel tilt angle is 16.9°.
The direction that your solar panels face can have a huge impact on the overall amount of energy produced by your system. In Australia, a north-facing solar system will produce the most energy - with peak production during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point.
However, solar systems installed on the North-East or North-West aspects of the roof will produce only slightly less power than North facing installations (see image below for the difference in energy production for different roof aspects).
As solar panel prices and feed-in tariff rates have fallen, East-West facing installations are becoming increasingly popular because they start generating power earlier in the day and finish later in the afternoon - which follows most families’ energy usage patterns more closely. This means that even though the system is producing less energy overall, more of the energy is being self-consumed making East-West installations an attractive prospect.
When deciding which aspect of your roof best suits your energy requirements, you need to take into consideration how you use power in your home. If you have kids at school and are away from the house for the majority of the day then it could be beneficial to install an east-west solar array.
We recommend cleaning your solar system at least once per year and always self-consuming as much of your solar energy as possible to maximise the return from your solar investment in Cairns! For households where trees might cause shading on the roof, we recommend the use of power optimisers or mirco inverters to maximise the output of your system and make sure only the shaded panel is losing efficiency (not the entire string of panels) as explained in our solar tips guide.
Our solar tips guide is full of information about the best solar panels and the brands you can trust section provides easy solar panels comparison.
We will send you a copy of our Definitive Solar Tips Guide when you request your free quotes!
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Homeowners installing solar panels in sunny Queensland are entitled to the Federal Government's STC 'rebate' - more commonly referred to as the 'solar rebate'. This financial incentive comes in the form of Small-Scale Technology Certificates (or STCs). When you install a solar power system, a certain number of STCs are created based on the size and the location of your solar installation. Each STC carries a monetary value, and the total value of these certificates equates to your 'solar rebate.' The more solar panels that you install, the bigger the value of your 'solar rebate'.
Your chosen solar company will handle the application for the rebate on your behalf and apply the value of this rebate as a discount at the point of sale. You can read more in-depth about the STC rebate in our recent blog post on the subject. To make life easy, we have calculated the value of the STC rebate you are entitled to for common solar system sizes here in Queensland below:
|System Size||Federal Government Rebate (STC's)||State Government Rebate|
|2 kW||$1080||Solar for renters (trial)|
|3 kW||$1620||Solar for renters (trial)|
|4 kW||$2160||Solar for renters (trial)|
|5 kW||$2736||Solar for renters (trial)|
|6.6 kW||$3600||Solar for renters (trial)|
|10 kW||$5472||Solar for renters (trial)|
*Please note that the STC rebate calculations are based on solar panels installed in Brisbane, QLD (Zone 3) using an STC price of $36.00.
In addition to the Federal Government STC rebate, you may be eligible for the following Queensland State Government rebate:
Solar for Renters (trial) - rebates of up to $3500 are available to landlords that install a solar system on their rental property. During the trial phase, the rental property must be in the Bundaberg, Gladstone, or Townsville local government areas. There are 1000 rebates available during the trial of this scheme.
Solar feed-in tariffs (FITs) are the amount you get paid by your energy retailer for the excess energy your solar panels export back into the grid. During the day, it’s typical for your solar power system to generate more power than is being used in your home. This excess means that if you have a grid-connected solar system, the energy you don't use feeds back into the grid, and your energy retailer will pay you a fixed amount per kWh of energy that you send to them. The retailer-provided solar FITs listed here do not include any bonus feed-in tariff that may be provided by the QLD State Government.
|Energy Retailer||Min rate (per kWh)||Max rate (per kWh)|
|DC Power Co||15.0c||15.0c|
|Locality Planning Energy||10.0c||10.0c|
|Future X Power||7.0c||7.0c|
**The feed-in tariff rates you are entitled to vary depending on the energy plan you choose with the retailer. Feed-in tariff rates displayed are correct as of March 2020.
Choosing the right system size depends on many factors, including how much power you use during daylight hours, your roof orientation, whether shading will be an issue, and how much roof space you have at your home or business. In general, if you can afford to pay your power bills, then you can afford to invest in solar because the system will pay for itself in energy savings. As a rough guide, you can compare the average daily power usage on your power bill to the average daily output of common system sizes we have calculated in the table below:
|System Size||Avg daily output||Return on Investment|
|2 kW||8.4 kWh||3 - 5 years|
|3 kW||12.6 kWh||3 - 5 years|
|4 kW||16.8 kWh||3 - 5 years|
|5 kW||21.0 kWh||3 - 5 years|
|6.6 kW||27.7 kWh||3 - 5 years|
|10 kW||42.0 kWh||3 - 5 years|
*Please note that the location used for above the daily output calculations is Brisbane, QLD - based on the Clean Energy Council GC Design Guidelines.
In order to provide the best possible service to Queenslanders, we have taken the QLD Government's getting started with solar checklist, along with the Clean Energy Council's recommendations and combined them with over 10 years solar industry experience to create our solar buying tips guide. We will send you our exclusive 2020 Solar Buying Tips Guide when your request your obligation free quotes!
We have proudly helped tens of thousands of homeowners compare solar quotes in Queensland over the past five years. There are now 707,397 homeowners in the sunshine state enjoying the benefits of solar power in their homes!
We’ve partnered with Australia’s leading solar providers to help you make an informed decision on solar power. Just complete the simple form, and we’ll organise for three of the highest-rated local solar companies to provide you with detailed quotes on solar power for your home. Find out how much you can save today!