How to buy the best solar panels for your home

Solar panels — Plumbing & Solar Panel Installation in East Lismore, NSW

Table of Contents

What you need to consider

Solar panels are a fantastic way of topping up or entirely replacing fossil fuels as a method of powering your home, which is great for the environment and can be a real plus for your bank account too, but how do you know which panels to buy?

There are all kinds of options to choose from, so let’s take a look at what factors you need to think about when making your selection.

You might think that larger solar panels are more powerful, but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. The most sophisticated panels can squeeze a lot of solar energy out of much smaller spaces, so it’s actually the power output of the panel rather than its size you need to think about. 

The smaller, higher output panels tend to be more expensive than the larger and lower output ones, so people with larger roofs may be better off making use of that space and investing in more large panels with a lower overall output.

On the flip side, if your roof is small then you may need to choose the smaller and higher output options in order to get the power you require.

Key Notes:

While Australia is probably one of the best countries in the world for domestic solar generation, not every part of the country is equal, and you need to think about how strong and hot the sun is where you live.

Properties located in open areas will experience stronger, hotter sun exposure while properties located in areas with barriers between their solar panels and the sun, e.g. hills or tall trees will not receive as much energy from the sun.

The location of your property can also have an impact on the type of panel needed to withstand the elements.

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Key Notes:

Solar Panel Types

Thin-film panels can become less efficient over time as they’re exposed to heat and light, so while they’re often cheaper and bigger, they won’t last as long in extreme temperatures.

While they might be fine for properties that don’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, exposed homes might be better off with more robust Polycrystalline options that will last longer in that punishing sun.

Key Notes:

While it’s always good to help the environment, many people choose solar because of the potential for savings on their energy bills.

Many Australian homes make use of feed-in-tariffs that pay a set rate per kilowatt-hour to export their solar power to the national grid, but with falling prices in recent years, it’s important to decide whether you’ll export your power or use it yourself.

A typical home uses 20kwh of energy per day, and you can comfortably export 50% of that and still meet your needs, but exporting up to 75% of it can mean you get more tariff money.

On the other hand, it means you’ll have to pay a little more for your own energy and it will take longer to start seeing a profit from your solar investment.

In the end, the calculation depends on how much you can get for your kilowatt-hours in your location. If the price is high, exporting more can be worth it. If it’s low, it’s better to speed up your ROI than export.


Solar Installation doesn't have to be expensive. Learn more about the available subsidies for solar panels in NSW!


As you can see, the choice of which solar panels to buy, how many to fit and how to set up your energy system is a complicated one that depends on a lot of variables specific to you.

So don’t leave it to chance, get some expert help from David Lewis Plumbing.

From specification through to fitting and beyond, we’ve got the skills to help you pay those bills.

Call us on (02) 6621 8088 or contact us online to organise a quote or talk to an expert!