Did you know that the price of a solar panel installation in Malaysia is actually pretty reasonable? That said, several different factors can determine the actual price of the installation. Upfront costs and the type of solar panel used can vary from roof to roof. Solar installers also have different prices and packages for a full solar panel system installation.
To start off, let’s first talk about the common factors that can affect your installation cost.
Factors that affect the Solar Panel Installation Price
Size of the System
The size of your solar panel system will be limited by the available installation area on your roof. It’s also dependent on the amount of solar electricity you want to generate. To maximise the cost savings from your solar panel system, we recommend getting an estimate of your average electricity consumption based on your electricity bills from at least the past 3 months. Since solar panels generate electricity during the day, another way to maximise your solar cost savings would also be to optimise your solar system size to meet your daytime energy needs.
Note: Many households are now consuming more electricity as many more people are working from home during the pandemic. Because of this, it might also be worthwhile to take a look at your electricity bills from before COVID-19.
Bonus Tip: Under the Net Energy Metering (NEM) system, property owners can export excess solar electricity that they generate back to the grid. This will be done on a “one-on-one” offset basis allowing you to maximise your solar savings even if you consume a lot less during the day. With this in mind, you can also choose to fully utilise your roof space for solar panels — even if you won’t consume all the solar electricity generated during the day. Selling any excess clean energy back to the electricity grid can help you make a profit from your solar panel system and reduce your payback period!
Roof Pitch, Type and Material
Most roofs can accommodate solar panels. That said, your roof’s material and type will determine the mounting mechanisms needed for your installation and affect how you can place solar panels. In Malaysia, the most popular types of roofing are tiled, metal and asphalt roofs. Roofs that aren’t easily accessible with ladders or from a balcony may also require additional scaffolding. These factors may cause the price of your solar panel installation to vary.
Tiled roofing: Tiles are usually first removed for the installation of a mounting frame before they are returned to their original spots. Your solar panels are then fixed onto the mounting frame. Drilling is usually necessary to ensure that the mounting frame is properly secured. More work is required in a solar panel installation on a tiled roof and this can add to costs.
Metal roofing: Standing seam metal roofs are the best for solar. No drilling is required and mounting clips can easily be fastened to the seams of your roof. This simple installation process also ensures lower prices. It also means that you can easily remove your solar panels from your roof if you need to do so.
Asphalt roofing: Installing solar panels is generally straightforward. Studs are drilled into the roof and solar panel mounting frames and attached to the studs. The panels are then attached to the frame. This makes the installation process a lot easier and keeps prices down.
Note: For steep roofs, a longer installation process is often to be expected. This is because installers have to be extra meticulous to ensure that your solar panels are safely and securely attached to your roof. Steep pitches will also often require extra manpower, resulting in additional labour costs and an increased solar panel installation price.
Type of Solar Panel
Two main factors determine the price of solar panels — their technology and the brand. There are 3 main solar panel technologies: Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Thin Film. While each has its pros and cons, monocrystalline solar panels are now the most frequently used for residential rooftop solar installations because they are the most space-efficient and have the highest conversion efficiency.
Most solar installers in Malaysia usually recommend panels made by “Tier 1” solar panel manufacturers. This tiering system was highlighted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance as a measure of a manufacturer’s reliability and consistency. Among “Tier 1” solar panels, their prices vary based on where they are manufactured, their efficiency and warranty durations. The most popular solar panel brands in Malaysia are Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells, JA Solar, Jinko and GCL.
Overall Solar Panel Price Estimates
Here’s a rough estimate of the standard system cost for landed property in Malaysia. Remember that installation costs also differ based on the factors mentioned above.
So, what is the price of a solar panel installation in Malaysia? The price really depends on your house type, roof size and size of your solar system. This can range from RM40,000 to RM100,000.
Terrace Houses: The usual system size would be around 20 solar panels with an 8 kWp system. The installation area would be approximately 45m2. The cost of your solar panel system would range from RM40,000 to RM50,000. It’ll be sufficient for average energy consumption of 890 kWh per month.
Semi-detached Houses: You may be able to install around 30 solar panels or a 12 kWp system that will cover an average monthly energy consumption of 1,182 kWh. This will cost around RM55,000 to RM65,000 for a solar panel system with an installation area of 70m2.
Bungalows: Rooftop solar systems for bungalows would usually be around 50 solar panels, equating to a 20 kWp system with an installation area of 110m2. The average cost to install solar panels for bungalows would be around RM90,000 to RM100,000 due to the high number of panels and large installation area.
|House Type||Average Number of Solar Panels||Solar Panel System Size||Average Cost|
|Terrace Houses||20||8 kWp||RM45,000|
|Semi-detached Houses||30||12 kWp||RM60,000|
Other Solar Panel System Price Considerations in Malaysia
Most solar panels come with a 25 or 30-year warranty. Meanwhile, solar inverters usually have a 5 or 10-year warranty. These warranties cover 1-for-1 replacements of any physically defective equipment. Many solar installers also provide packages that include waived maintenance fees for a period of time. Installers generally don’t offer complimentary lifetime solar maintenance as most solar PV systems can last for at least 25 years. This means that if your solar panels require replacing within the warranty period, you may still need to fork out some money for an ad-hoc check or maintenance.
Maintenance charges for your solar panel system usually range from RM200 to RM800 per visit in Malaysia. The average price is around RM320. For this price, your solar panel installers can both clean your solar panels and conduct tests on your inverters and breakers. While most property owners only do maintenance once every 3 to 5 years, we recommend scheduling maintenance once a year to ensure that your solar panel system is in tip-top condition.
Bonus Tip: These days, almost all solar panel systems come with a free online monitoring platform or mobile app that allows you and your installer to track the performance and efficiency of your solar PV system. Monitoring your system regularly and solving issues promptly when they come up will reduce the chances of long-term damage to your solar panels. This can cut down unnecessary large expenditures in the future.
Waterproofing or Reroofing
Water intrusion is a risk that may occur after installing your solar PV system.
As a caveat, when installing solar panels on the most common asphalt roofing, spaces on the roof are usually sealed with flashings to prevent leakages. Metal roof installations are also largely non-intrusive.
That said, if your roof is relatively old or poorly maintained, we recommend waterproofing your roof before you begin installing solar panels. This should also be considered for more intrusive tiled roof installations. After all, your solar panels are likely to sit on your roof for the next 25 years.
Waterproofing procedures are generally not immediately necessary and will add to your budget. However, they’re a worthy investment to prevent any possible leakages after installation.
This article was first published on 11 July 2021 and last updated on 26 April 2022 to include additional details.