Posted by: nativeiowan | January 26, 2014

The “GREEN” world, according to Mike…

OK, I am going to collate the facts, my facts about domestic solar power production…

1) COST: paid on 13 June 2012 = 10,435.50

2) Warranty on parts and potential failure due to factory fault = 10 years

3) Looking at my quarterly bill dated 27 Dec 2013 shows: a) I am paying a basic tariff of 0.2630 per kWh, b) + service fee of 0.50219 per day x 91 days, c) + 33.33 GST for 91 day total charge of AUD$366.64.

4) Looking at my quarterly bill dated 27 Dec 2013 shows: a) I am being paid a basic feed-in tariff of 0.4400 per kWh, b) + a “special” fee-in tariff  of .3000 per kWh, c) for a total subsidy of AUD$553.52.

5) So I am paying 0.30977 per kWh; while being paid 0.7400 per kWh fed back into the system.

6) Since I paid for the system in June 2012 my bill tells me I have accumulated a total credit to-date of 438.14 or, a value accumulated at an average of AUD$24.34 per month.

7) My bill tells me usage is averaging a very reasonable 11.82 kWh per day.

8) My bill tells me I am averaging a feed-in of  8.22 kWh per day.

9) the numbers look like this
AUD pp$ copy

So, after 10 years, the system remains unpaid for, at current rates of cost, usage and feed-in credits.

Of course, of course, send this into a 20 year amortization table, of course, it’ll work. But my limited warranty is 10 years, so, perhaps I should stick to the facts and not dream here.

Finally: These number show that a 3kW photovoltaic collection system will not produce enough for an average daily use of 12kWh. If I indeed wished to become self-sufficient I would have to invest in more collection capacity – AND – batteries. Without a way to store the power produced you don;t have power unless the collection system is collecting so… without even sucking my thumb and testing the wind…

Domestic solar collection systems simply do not pay, AND, really are only even close to being viable if, IF, big subsidies are paid to entice people to invest in this “GREEN” technology. I note that when (not if) the feed-in credits are cancelled the system on my roof becomes an expense and is of very little real benefit or gain to me, in the long-term.




  1. Big Mike, thanks for the real numbers! I might have the sun in my eyes, but it looks like without the solar unit you’d be guaranteed out of pocket 13,364 and change (your number of cost of power over ten years), and with the unit – even if you buy a completely new one in ten years rather than just upgrade parts, etc – you’re only potentially out of pocket $1600. From your numbers, the system won’t give you money in the bank equal to your expenses, but it does seem to be saving you more than $11000 off of your 10 year power costs. I’ll look forward to a review of costs in 2022 to see what the end result is!

    • Bill, where you at these days?

      I am not claiming the sky is falling or it all simply makes no sense. Solar has good applications that, though costly, work well. But, the fact that it is “green” and is cost effective is yet to be factually decided, in my books. I have used solar on boats and on islands. Urban domestic applications give you a warm fuzzy but do not work financially, without a subsidy. Such is what I see.

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