How To Save Money With Solar Panels | 12 Powerful Tips

How To Save Money With Solar Panels, image that shows solar panels and a hand dropping money into a piggy bank or jar.

Keeping more of your hard-earned cash starts before you even have solar panels in your home. But, as a whole, how to save money with solar panels revolves around relying less on the grid and maximizing your consumption.

“How do you do that?”

Good question. Below is a list of 12 tips that guarantee you more savings. These tips cover the stage before you even buy solar panels to having them in your home. Let’s go!

12 ways to save money with solar panels

1. Choose a CEC-accredited installer

The CEC, or Clean Energy Council, gives out accreditations only to installers who have gone through their coursework. This means that CEC-accredited installers have both the training and experience to properly install your solar panels. 

This is important for many reasons. 

For one, this saves you from an absurd amount of headaches. Before the CEC stepped in, the solar industry was notorious for poor durability and power output. With their highly capable installers, though, you save yourself money on repairs. 

Moreover, the Australian government has rebates that you can only avail of if someone from the CEC installs your system. So, hiring them also cuts thousands of dollars off the cost of installation. 

2. Get multiple quotes

Think of it like going to multiple car dealers to buy the same car model. If you ask for quotes from multiple installers, you just might get lucky and come across one that gets you a better deal than everyone else. 

Again, these quotes shouldn’t be from just anyone either. They have to be from CEC-accredited installers. 

This is where we come in. 

We have a network of pre-vetted installers at the ready. If you want, we can get you 3 quotes from them. Oh, and get this. The quotes will be FREE of charge.

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

3. Choose high-quality solar panels

Like most other things, solar panels come in different qualities. Likewise, a high-quality solar panel system will also cost more upfront. However, it’s also going to save you more money over time. 

Choose High-Quality Solar Panels. image showing the brand logos of SunPower, Canadian Solar, REC, Trina, and Qcells.

Top-tier solar panels last longer than their cheaper counterparts. They are also more efficient to start with while losing less of their efficiency due to degradation. 

This means your system will be better capable of producing more energy throughout its life. Consequently, this also means you rely less on the grid, lowering your power bills. 

That being said, modern solar panels should retain 80-90% of their original efficiencies after 25 years. I highly recommend you set these parameters as your minimum when shopping for your solar system. 

4. Have your solar panels oriented according to your energy consumption

In Australia, north-facing panels generally produce the most amount of energy. However, east and west-facing panels are viable options, too, even if they produce roughly 15-20% less energy.

East-facing solar panels save money if you use most of your energy during the early morning because this is where your panels peak in terms of electricity generation. West, on the other hand, will work well if most of your energy consumption is in the afternoon.

Recommended: What direction should solar panels face in Australia?

5. Consider other financing options

If paying the upfront costs with cash isn’t an option right now, you can still have a solar energy system installed with financing. 

There are many options available but the ones that save you the most money are green loans and personal loans. 

Both of these options lend you money at a fixed interest rate. This gives you the same buying power as someone who’s paying with cash which, most of the time, will mean you also get a lower quote. 

The difference is that green loans are harder to get approved for but have lower interest rates. Other financing options include adding the cost of your solar system to your mortgage, leasing the system, and power purchase agreements (PPA). 

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

6. If you have a lot of excess power, invest in a solar battery

Invest In A Solar Battery are one of the 12 Ways To Save Money With Solar Panels

Before we discuss anything else, yes, solar batteries are expensive. However, they also make you capable of using ALL of the solar power your system generates. Thus, making you less reliant on the grid. 

That being said, if you don’t want to invest in a solar battery right now, that’s fine, too. This brings us to the next tip. 

7. Take advantage of net metering

Net metering allows you to send your excess solar power to the grid. The power your solar system generates will then be used to power someone else’s home. 

You get paid for this, of course. It’s called a feed-in tariff (FiT). 

There are a couple of problems, though. First, FiTs are so small nowadays that you save significantly more money if you used all of your energy instead. But, more importantly, you’re only eligible for net metering if your system was installed by a CEC-accredited professional. 

Consequently, this also means that installing solar panels on your own means you’re not entitled to the tariff. 

8. Pre-heat/cool your house while the sun is still out

Another way to maximize your solar electricity is to preheat or pre-cool your house before you get home at night or in the afternoon. 

This saves you money in a few ways. 

For one, your heating/cooling system will be using free energy because, well… it’s renewable energy from your system. 

Two, it also means your heating/cooling system won’t be working as hard to get to your desired temperature. In turn, you use less power from the grid which cuts down your energy bills. 

9. If it’s possible, remove things that cast shade on your solar panels

Your residential solar system will likely be subject to shade from other taller things. Tree branches, in particular, are notorious for this it lowers the efficiency of your system. 

So, where you can, remove things that cast shade on your solar panels

Recommended: Other common problems you could have with solar panels

10. Shift to more energy-efficient appliances

Older appliances generally use more electricity than their newer counterparts. So, if you want to maximize your solar savings, it’s probably a good time to invest in newer, more energy-efficient alternatives. 

If that’s not in the books right now, you can start by swapping your old fluorescent lamps and bulbs for LED. They’re about 80% more efficient and, ironically, about 80% cheaper, too. 

11. Switch from your electric water heater to a heat pump

Heat pumps are more energy-efficient than electric water heaters, so that alone cuts down your energy costs. 

Moreover, solar panels are perfectly capable of running heat pumps. So, you potentially could only be paying for hot water when the sun goes down. 

If you’re interested in this type of setup, do mention it to the solar installers you get in contact with so they can quote you appropriately. 

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

12. Monitor your system’s performance

Monitoring your system’s performance will give you an idea of how much energy it makes in different weather conditions. If your numbers go awry, take it as a sign that something might be wrong. 

In this case, call your manufacturer or installer right away so you can get any issue fixed. 

The sooner solar systems get back to running optimally, the less you’re going to pay utility bills. 


As I said at the beginning, maximizing your total savings will come down to maximizing the use of your system’s generated energy. 

There are many ways you can do this. 12 specific ones are listed above, including buying the best solar panel you can afford, choosing the best of multiple CEC-accredited installers, and using more energy-efficient appliances among others. 

I hope this helps!