Solar Installers Ballarat VIC

Hi there,

We have 3 quotes and are after some advice.

Ballarat area, large home/family. 2 phase home. Terracotta tile Roof North facing. Power bills per quarter per day (27kw, 40kw, 50kw (Winter bill), 37kw)

Quote 1
12.6 KW system. 42 x 300w SolarEdge Smart module monocrystalline. 1 x SolarEdge SE6000 Inverter (6000w) 1 phase. 1 x SolarEdge SE5000-AUS Inverter (4985w)
Lifetime monitoring (which is reqd as we have export limitations). 12 yr module warranty and 25 year performance warranty on panels. $15,798.97 (vic rebate and STC deducted)

Quote 2
10.14 kw system. 25x SunPower SPR-MAX3-390. (390w)panels. 25 year product and performance warranty. 1x Fronius Primo 8.2-1 inverter 10 year product warranty. 1x export limit device. 10 year warranty. $16,105.00 (STC and VIC rebate deducted)

Quote 3
12.7 kw system
36 x Canadian 355 panels. 1x Huawei battery ready 1 inverter. 1 x Huawei battery ready 2 inverter. No monitoring. 25 year panel performance warranty. Inverter warranty 10 years. Workmanship 5 years. $13,215.00 (STC and Vic rebate deducted).

Any help much appreciated! Thank you


Very happy with the install we had 41 solar panels installed in the middle of February.

41 x 300 W sunpower panels with two Fronius 5 kW inverters. 13.2 kw system. We also purchased monitoring which I would highly recommend.

we went through Widgery And Wilson electrical, I would recommend them, they did a good smooth install and helped us out with some high voltage problems that we had initially. We had one small issue with one of our electrical items not being monitored correctly and after we figured that out they were quick to rectify the problem. Their quotes were very detailed and offered a lot of information. They have been around for a long time and they do a lot of commercial solar and some retail.

I wouldn’t do anything different except perhaps to buy more solar panels because we purchased a small outdoor spa just before the solar panels arrived and it was therefore not included in our quote (and not included in our payback period which is at 3.5 years) so we would have a slightly higher payback period now because of the spa purchase.

Red energy
33.88 c/kWh peak
20.9 off peak

I’m not sure whether to recommend red energy or not really I don’t know much about the other retailers in comparing them. I do get other quotes occasionally from other retailers but they can’t match the 15% off pay on time discount that I get at red energy (which red don’t offer this any more).

Today we are producing 5.4 kW of power in the middle of a clear sky sunny winter day so I would definitely recommend solar panels even though there is less solar gain during a cloudy day the solar we do produce on a cloudy day does still cover part of the running of the house.

The inverters don’t take up much room and the solar panels don’t look too bad.

Should be 2 inverters , Quote 2 -not good. What is your export limit?


Have pre- approval for 5kw system

Hi Timmy

Do you know why you are using so much power? Seems really high compared to most peoples consumption.

With such high consumption are you shure you do not have 3 phase?

Do you know how much you are using during the day and how much during the night?


Hi Ivan

The last quarter we used 49kw per day and I only use dishwasher and washing machine overnight. No high computer /tv/ split system use as we have wood heating and double glazing. And if split system is on we make sure it’s between 5-6am. A pump supplies
tank water to entire house. 2 fridges. We have high off peak night use, most would come from elec hot water. Would love you to suggest where the power consumption is coming from. We have 44 lights in the home (it’s quite large) and 30 of those are ten year
old LEDs (not quite as efficient as those today). The remaining lights are efficient bulbs. At any one time at a minimum 20 lights could be on in the evening and we try not to let it go over this. Electrician has confirmed two phase, we don’t have three phase
available in our area. Off peak for last quarter 2544 kW/h, peak 1892 kW/h. We have only had a smart meter since 28/7/19 so I’m in the process of getting some data together which may help.

Thanks for your help

Hi Timmy

Can you please contact your Electricty provider and obtain your interval data for the last 6 months if possible. It will give us a better understanding of your usage.

Have you tried switiching off appliances to see what is going on. Converting all your lights to LED would be a good start.

Your off peak is just too high. Something is not right. Probably worth getting an Electrician to check it out.


1 Like

Hi Ivan

Thanks for those suggestions. We have only 2 months of smart meter data which I am working through now. I’ve suspected the solar hot water not working properly but have had it checked twice in the last 6 months.

I’ll keep going through our smart meter data and try get to the bottom of it

Thanks again

Sorry, missed this post previously Timmy. Agree with Ivan, that’s really high usage, makes a lot of sense to try to get that down first.

Find a local solar installer

Hi Marty

No problems there

I have the interval data for last few months but it’s a huge spreadsheet. It shows high usage around the use of split system, which is set between 5-6am and again 8.30-9.30pm. The last two weeks of the last bill we had a house sitter who didn’t use the
wood heater and the bill may have been a couple of hundred higher due to this. I suspect we could get it down to $850-900 mark for the biggest quarter. The other quarters are much lower. We did hit it hard last quarter in reducing consumption, we don’t have
the house hot, hubby and I often wear coats inside, kids don’t feel it though. Will keep monitoring the data and watch out for any other high use items.


Hi Timmy

A 10kW system will make about 40kWh a day on average throughout the year in Ballarat, although of course it will produce more in summer and less in winter, which is the opposite of when you use it unfortunately. See our Solar Generation Victoria page for more details around that.

A 6.6kW system would possibly provide a faster payback, because you’ll be using most of your solar year round, which gives a faster payback usually than exporting it. I think the Vic solar rebate maxes out after 5kW or something as well doesn’t it? I’d personally probably look at a 6.6kW system, even if you didn’t reduce your usage. However, reducing your usage as discussed would of course be best way to save money (and reduce emissions if that’s a consideration) - I know it gets cold in Ballarat though, I’m sure it’s hard to keep the place warm.

That aside, all three of your quotes use pretty decent equipment. I’d be happy with any of them really. SunPower and Fronius is a standout, but also significantly dearer, so hard to way up if it’s worth the extra cost.

As I always say, most important thing is to get a good installer. Have you checked out their reviews? See this chapter in our Buying Solar guide if you haven’t already.


Hi Marty

Thanks for your help

The Vic solar rebate doesn’t max out at 5kw, as far as I’m aware and no salespersons so far have mentioned. They’ve all included it in my quotes for 13kW systems. Understand what you are saying about the 6kW system, however would really like to reduce
the bills and cannot see the bills especially the Winter bill going down under $850 anytime soon. Will check out the installer reviews. Really like the local electrician company who has been around for over two decades quoting the Solaredge however have hesitations
regarding this after reading one particular online review from a QLD electrician. I have a quote for LG (38 x L2 Neon 350watt for $13,600 also with two Fronius inverters. We have export limitation of 5kW so will need a limitation device also.

How’s the LG quote sound?

I think that’s a particular issue with the temperature/humidity in Qld (MC I assume?), shouldn’t be a problem in Vic, had really good feedback from Vic installers.

Just checked and the Vic rebate does max out at 4kW actually, at a max of $2225.

If you have export limit of 5kW, I think getting a system twice that big is going to be a problem. You’ll produce way more solar than you need in summer and it’ll totally go to waste. I really recommend getting a 5kW inverter. I’d suggest going with your local company. LG and Fronius is a great combo too though.


Thanks so much Marty, I feel most comfortable with this particular local company and did read what you note about humidity and Vic installers being ok with SolarEdge (yes MC).

Will consider your recommendation of a 5kW system. One installer has had that discussion with me (Summer generating too much, waste etc), the rest recommend 10kW.

BTW had an electrician over yesterday and found faulty time clock on HW service, so electric HW kicking in when it needs -day and night -which would push our bills up as our off peak costs half of our peak with Red. How long it’s been faulty?:roll_eyes:

Appreciate your help/advice

They make a lot more $ from a 10kW to be honest, with a small amount more work. Hard to advise otherwise.

I hope that faulty switch kills your bills.


Hi Marty

Hope the switch makes a difference too! Received a pre-approval from Powercor for 10kW export today. (One solar company who’s quoted did this through Powercor). What do you think about us looking at a 5kW system now and add panels once we have gone through
a Winter to see how much we still have to pay in Winter? We would still get the Vic gov rebate (which is due to drop to $1800 January 1st) one installer advised. Or does this make the whole process more expensive, ie: another installation down the track?


Hi Marty

One installer has quoted commercial panels. Any problems with this that you know of, such as affecting the warranty etc?


Yes, it makes the whole thing more expensive, and a bit awkward. Definitely best to make a call on that before install. If you have a 10kW limit, different story. But, I would push the companies on the price of the 10kW, you could probably get a bit of a discount.

If they quote it, it should be ok. I’m not super clear on why they (LG I assume?) brand them as commercial. They are 72 cell, which means higher voltage. The installers need to ensure that they work out the system design with the inverter, but if they are quoting it they presumably have done that. Other than that, I don’t know of any issues, someone else might know more though. I think @Den_Thomson has commented on this before.


Thanks Marty! I’ll let you be now and make a decision on the LG or SunPower after pushing the price on a 10kW. Thanks again for your advice.

Hi Timmy, Marty.
The LG Neon2 panels are now 350w 60 cell. Not sure which panels mentioned here are 72 cell. It shouldn’t effect warranty by installing 72 cell panels however they are larger and tend to have thicker frames making them heavier, I personally wouldn’t use them on a house because they tend to look bulky and in a lot of cases are harder to fit multiple rows. That being said I have done a job where we put them on the shed. If your toying with the idea of deploying some now some later. ( I just have to say this ) the best system to use is Enphase All the control gear goes in on the initial installation, just need to add panels and micros later it’ll all work a treat. The second installation should be vastly cheaper as there are no major items or cabling to be done. That being said the installer should accommodate space for the extra Q relays in the distribution board on the first install or you’ll need to install a second one.
If going for Enphase try to keep the panel sizes to 330w as the IQ7+ is rated at 295w
I’ve ran out of the extra 330w Lg Neon2 panels I ordered. But Lg are looking after me on the 330w Black so my customers are paying the same price. The 350w Neon2 will work for me on the IQ8 to be released in Australia towards June 2020

Regards Den

Thanks Den/Marty

It’s a SunPower 405w commercial panel I’ve been quoted $14,000. Installer said it’s fine to quote commercial panels on residential just not the other way around. I’ll get it done at once instead of two installations. I’ll decide between the SunPower and
LG with Fronius I think, as I’d like efficiency for as long as I can get it. I’ll make sure we are happy with the look of the commercial panel if we go with that one

Thanks for your advice