Solar panel systems in Singapore are gaining traction as the most viable energy source in the renewable energy transition. With our limited land space and sunny, tropical climate, solar is an ideal energy source on rooftops and even reservoirs.
Since the energy crisis and surge in electricity tariffs in 2022, installing solar panels in Singapore is becoming an increasingly effective cost-saving alternative.
Fun fact: The total solar capacity in Singapore for residential properties increased by a whopping 12% from 2021 to 2022. Westies enjoyed the most solar power, having the highest solar capacity of 319.7 MWp!
For homeowners considering solar, this guide will tell you everything there is to know about solar in Singapore!
Table Of Contents
- Benefits of Solar
- Is it possible to power a household entirely by solar panels?
- Does my solar panel system need batteries in Singapore?
- Can I install solar panels in Singapore if I’m buying electricity from an OEM retailer?
- Can I install solar panels in a HDB?
- Can I install solar panels if I live in a condominium or MCST?
- Can I install solar panels in a landed house?
- Is my roof suitable for solar panels?
- How are solar panels installed?
- Solar Panel Cost in Singapore
- What kind of solar payment plans are available?
- Solar Panel Warranty and Maintenance in Singapore
- Are solar panels worth it in Singapore?
Benefits of Solar
1. Attractive Electricity Cost Savings
Solar panels are often perceived as only something for people who care about the environment. To the contrary, the main reason many people get solar is for the financial benefits! With a lifespan of at least 25 years, solar is an investment that pays for itself within just 6 to 8 years with electricity bill savings.
2. Combat Climate Change
Climate change is a critical issue that continues to threaten us every day. We emit an ever-increasing amount of harmful carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. Solar generated electricity helps to decarbonise our energy grid and doesn’t depend on a depleting natural resource.
3. Solar Panel Prices Are Lower Than Ever
In his 2022 May Day Rally speech, PM Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the impact of soaring energy prices on Singapore and its people. With the Russia-Ukraine war, increasing demand for electricity and a lack of electricity alternatives, household electricity costs will only rise.
On the other hand, solar electricity is getting cheaper and cheaper. Did you know that the cost of solar globally has declined by 89% in the last 10 years? People often think solar is expensive but it is actually the cheapest form of electricity generation now. This is in large part due to more efficient technologies and lower costs as solar becomes more popular.
You can even enjoy lucrative financial incentives for solar in Singapore. Considering all this, there’s no better time to begin switching to solar and saving money on your electricity bills!
Is it possible to power a household entirely by solar panels?
This depends on the size of your solar system and household electricity consumption. Some solar homeowners can absolutely spend $0 on electricity every month after going solar. In fact, on a sunny day, you can even generate more electricity than your house needs, and sell the excess electricity to the grid to turn a profit!
A cool example of how your electricity bill could look like with solar
In fact, we have quite a few solar homeowner testimonials under our belt who can attest to the practicality of powering your home with solar panels. Click here to see some of them!
Does my solar panel system need batteries in Singapore?
In most cases, no. A solar panel system in Singapore often involves a grid-tied setup that does not require batteries since you can sell excess solar energy generated back into the grid.
When there is sunlight, your home will first consume the solar energy generated by your system for power, and automatically draw electricity from the grid if your energy consumption exceeds what is generated. At night, when your system is not generating energy, your house will tap on power from the grid like usual and you’ll not experience any electrical outages. The end result? You save on electricity since you consume much less from the grid.
We generally do not recommend installing batteries as they are expensive at this point (they can add $10-20K to your system costs). However, installing battery-ready inverters will allow you to easily include batteries in the future when prices fall.
Can I install solar panels in Singapore if I’m buying electricity from an OEM retailer?
Your solar panel installation is not tied to your OEM retailer contract, and you can install solar at any time regardless of your contract end date. That said, some solar installers may find it administratively easier when customers are under SP Group. Solar homeowners who generate more solar energy than they consume may even switch to selling their excess solar electricity with an OEM retailer to make a greater profit during periods where wholesale electricity prices are higher.
Can I install solar panels in a HDB?
Almost 80% of Singaporeans live in a HDB flat. Unfortunately, this majority doesn’t have the option to make alterations such as installing solar panels on their HDB roof. Thankfully, HDB’s Green Towns Programme plans to install 540 MWp of solar panels on Singapore HDB estates by 2030.
Can I install solar panels if I live in a condominium or MCST?
Condominium blocks are shared living spaces and may have restrictions preventing you from installing solar panels. However, if you’re the owner of a penthouse or MCST landed house and would like to get a solar panel installation, here are some important pointers to consider:
- You will need to first get approval from your condominium Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST)
- You will not be able to export or sell any excess electricity to the grid
- The solar system installed will be considered a “hobby” system and you may have to be liable for any risks to the condominium
Refer to this article on installing solar panels for condominium or strata landed homes for everything to consider.
Can I install solar panels in a landed house?
Yes! Landed homeowners can easily install and benefit from solar panels in Singapore. For an instant personalised estimate, try this free online solar assessment tool and calculate how much you can save with solar!
Is my roof suitable for solar panels?
There are three main factors affecting the suitability of your roof for solar panels: 1) Size, 2) Amount of Shade, and 3) Angle & Direction.
Most roofs are suitable for solar panels. However, roofs that are overly complex or shaded would not be the most ideal for solar panel installations. A smaller roof can accommodate a smaller system, which will typically result in a lower return of investment. For a more detailed explanation, read this article on determining rooftop suitability for solar panels here.
Pro tip: You can use this free online solar assessment tool to get an instant roof suitability assessment, installation and cost savings estimate personalised to your roof!
How are solar panels installed?
To understand how solar panels are installed in Singapore, you can watch the video below that goes in-depth to how the process is like and duration of a typical installation.
In summary, there are generally 6 steps when it comes to solar panel installation in Singapore:
- 1) Scaffolding (if required)
- 2) Solar Panel Delivery
- 3) Attach Mounting Frames
- 4) Secure Solar Panels to Mounting Frames and Connect to Solar Inverter
- 5) Set up Wiring
- 6) Testing and Quality Assurance
For a complete walkthrough on how solar panels are installed in Singapore, do check out this page for more step-by-step details.
Solar Panel Cost in Singapore
The cost of installation will vary based on several factors. The most important being the number of solar panels being installed. The cost of a solar installation in Singapore ranges from S$15,000 to S$36,000 or more. That said, a good estimate will be S$20,000 as most residential solar panel systems are around 10 kWp (S$2,000/kWp). Besides the number of solar panels installed, roof material, orientation and complexity are other factors that can affect installation costs.
What kind of solar payment plans are available?
Purchasing and installing solar panels, especially for large systems, can incur significant upfront costs. That’s why solar PPA or solar leasing exists to help business owners make the switch to solar and instantly save on their monthly bills. If you are a business owner and wish to explore zero upfront cost solar, feel free to check out what we currently offer here.
While solar PPA or solar leasing is only available for business owners/commercial buildings, Solar AI Technologies has officially launched Singapore’s first ever Rent-To-Own plan (RTO) specially for homeowners.
Rather than paying for the entire cost of the solar system upfront, you can choose to go through RTO to enjoy solar savings instantly. You pay a monthly fee lower than what you’re currently paying for electricity, then own the system after 5-10 years. That means a solar system is installed on your roof for FREE, maintenance provided and performance guaranteed throughout the plan.
Solar Panel Warranty and Maintenance in Singapore
Most solar panels come with a 12-year product warranty and 25-year power output warranty. Meanwhile, solar inverters usually have a 5-year product warranty. These warranties generally cover 1-for-1 replacements of any physically defective equipment.
This means that if your solar panels require replacement within the warranty period, while the replacement panels will be provided for free, you may still have to pay your installer for the labour costs associated with the replacement work. Maintenance and cleaning costs for your solar panel system usually range from $300 to $500 per visit in Singapore, and we recommend customers to arrange at least 1 visit per year.
However, for zero upfront cost plans, maintenance & servicing is typically covered throughout the whole contract, so you would not have to worry about arranging these visits if you are signed under such a plan.
Are solar panels worth it in Singapore?
Solar panels may involve some high upfront cost, but there are schemes that allow you to simply enjoy instant savings. Some roofs may not be as ideal for solar, but residential solar panels mostly pay back their entire installation cost in an average of 5-8 years. With financial schemes in Singapore allowing you to sell excess electricity to the grid, you can even more easily make back your initial investment.
Solar isn’t simply for the eco-conscious, it’s simply the most financially practical option for any eligible homeowner. Considering all this, why not find out how a switch to solar can benefit your home personally with this online solar assessment tool?
This article was first published on 7 June 2022 and last updated on 15th September 2023 to include additional details.