How will solar actually save on my energy bills?

High energy bills and unreliability of the national grid are two of the more pressing reasons why over 2 million households have installed solar. Prompting many to ask, how will solar actually save on my energy bills? Here’s an explanation of savings to expect when installing a solar system.

Bigger is not necessarily better – understand how you use energy

Understanding how you use energy is critical to matching the best system to suit your needs. If you install an oversized system that doesn’t fit your energy profile – you may not receive any real benefit. E.g. if your energy demands are quite low, filling your roof to capacity with solar panels or installing the biggest solar system will have minimal impact on your energy bills.

When looking at solar solutions for your household, one size does not fit all. Biggest is not best. Take the time to understand how much energy the system will generate.

Using the solar you generate in real-time, import less energy

The way that solar works is easy to incorporate into your routine once you get used to it. While the solar is generating, it’s best to use the energy that is generated first, instead of importing the energy from the grid.

The energy that you use from your solar is free while the energy you import from the grid is not, often charged at increasing peak rates.

With solar, you may notice on your energy bill that the amount of energy that you import in the billing period may decrease, and this is because you are now less dependent on the grid as you’re generating your own energy and using that first.

Diagram Solar Usage

Diagram (above) shows energy produced by solar in blue, energy consumed by the household in orange and energy imported from the grid in grey.

Michael from Berwick, Victoria installed his 5kW solar system as part of the Victorian rebate and is reaping the rewards of using the sun to power the home. On January 14 2019, his solar system generated enough solar to power the home during the day and in the evening only imported 3kWh from the grid.

If Michael didn’t have solar, he could have been charged up to $15.35* for the day’s usage.

Because Michael had solar, he was only charged $1.39* for the day’s usage. The rest is free.

Use more of your solar – import less energy from the grid

Whilst you cannot shift your entire lifestyle to be powered by the solar panels, there are many energy-hungry appliances in most homes which will benefit from being used during the day instead of the evening. These can include:

  • Pool pump
  • Washing machine
  • Clothes dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Charging power tools

By shifting these loads to during the day, you will be powering these with your solar and not the grid. Saving you on usage charges from your energy retailer.

Feed-in tariffs

Energy that you don’t use from your solar isn’t wasted, it is sent to the grid and you are paid a credit for this. This credit is referred to as a feed-in tariff.

Feed-in tariffs are a financial incentive when installing solar and is set by the state governments, paying you for the energy you generate and sent to the grid.

State-mandated feed-in tariffs are set for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy sent to the grid and varies by state. For most states around Australia, there are annual reviews of the feed-in tariff structure to better reflect the needs of the grid.

Here are the minimum feed-in tariff rates of all Australian states:










Rate ($c/kWh)









The feed-in tariff appears as a ‘credit’ on your bill and is deducted from your energy charges for the billing period.

Energy usage consciousness

Regrettably, most of us use energy and don’t realise the nominal cost. Energy management software does this for you and tells you how much you’ve saved by using the solar instead of the grid.

On your smartphone or desktop computer, you can log in and see the amount of energy that is used by the home and see how much it is costing you daily.

With every solar system installation, Sunbank Solar install Energy Management Software to give you the data of your household’s energy habits and how much it is costing you.

Reduce the charge of waster energy and only get charged for the energy you actually use with energy management.


Start your saving on your energy bills today.

*Single-rate minimum feed-in tariff, time-varying tariff available, contact us for more information. 
**Regional Queensland
***Horizon Power customers