Calculate your electricity costs with solar

If your business’s monthly electricity bill is around $2,000–$5,000 then you are probably classified as a large electricity customer.

Use the calculator below to see how much your electricity bill could be with different sizes of systems. All you need to know is your typical usage (in kWh), the billing period (e.g. one or three months), and how many days (not nights) a week your business operates.

Even if your business’s electricity bill is less than $2,000 per month, you could still enjoy a significant saving on your electricity costs.

The results from this tool should be used as a guide only. The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Energy and Public Works (DEPW) provides the tool so that you can obtain an indicative estimate of potential electricity savings through the use of solar panels.  DEPW takes all reasonable care in providing the tool but makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability or currency of the tool. DEPW accepts no responsibility for decisions or actions taken by users or third parties as a result of using this tool.

The tool should not be treated as a substitute for legal or other advice obtained by the user. The tool will be most effective for small to medium business enterprises which:

  • are on demand charges; and
  • use over 100MWh of grid power per year in running their business.

As a user of the tool, you will be required to enter the following information to obtain your estimate:

  • details from your latest electricity bills regarding your actual recent electricity usage
  • the number of days per week your business operates (the tool does not take into account the days when your business is not operating).

DEPW will not be responsible for any delay in electronic access to the tool.

Except for any liability that cannot be excluded by law, DEPW disclaims and shall not accept, nor bear, any liability whatsoever, for any expense, loss or damage arising from your reliance on the contents and suitability of the tool, as presented online, for any purpose (including without limitation special, indirect or consequential damages and damages resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or tort, arising out of, or in connection with, the use, inability to use or performance of the tool). The user accepts sole responsibility and risk associated with the use and results of the tool.

How it works

When your business’s use of solar power brings your total grid energy use under 100 megawatt hours (MWh) a year, you will be reclassified from a ‘large customer’ to ‘small customer’ by your local network operator, Ergon Energy or Energex.

As a small customer, you will be billed on a flat rate tariff, not a demand tariff. While a flat rate tariff is higher per kilowatt hour, you will no longer pay demand charges.

You will need to contact your electricity retailer to request the change to a flat rate tariff as soon as possible after your solar system is operational and reducing your grid energy usage.

The network operator may need 12 months of data in order to verify that the installation of your solar system is consistently reducing your grid energy usage to less than 100MWh per year. In the interim you will still benefit from reducing your grid energy usage.

Before installing solar think about your future energy needs and how this might impact the way you’re charged for electricity. If you expand your business, and this increases the amount of grid energy you consume to over 100MWh, your business may be reclassified as a 'large customer' again.