Renew Sunulator - Online Community Energy Calculator

Nicola Mares • 12 March 2020

Sunulator is a free tool which estimates the economic feasibility of a solar system. Sunulator has been developed by the Renew formerly known as the Alternative Technology Association (ATA)

What is Sunulator?

Sunulator is a simulation tool that can help you plan for grid-connected solar power. Unlike most other solar calculators, Sunulator uses half-hourly consumption and generation data over a whole year to estimate how much solar generation will be consumed onsite versus exported. Based on electricity tariff information, it then calculates the impact on your electricity bill and projects the savings over a 30-year time frame. Financial results include payback period, net present value and return on investment.

We’ve used special customised versions of Sunulator in many projects for Government, energy companies and case studies.  And it has been used widely in the energy industry, including by solar installers and regulatory bodies.


Sunulator allows you to compare the results for several scenarios, e.g different sizes of solar array or panel orientations, or different amounts of battery storage.

Community investment options

In Australia most solar systems are owned directly by the electricity consumer, usually a homeowner. Sunulator can also assist community organisations to install solar systems via additional investment options:

  • A community organisation installs a system and sells electricity to the host site
  • A solar system is installed through a loan from a community organisation
  • A community organisation acts as an electricity retailer.
  • Economic returns are estimated both for investors and the host site.

Requirements to use Sunulator

You need some experience with spreadsheets and some knowledge of electricity data, e.g tariffs and kW vs kWh. You also need Microsoft Excel, version 2007 or greater, and system permissions to run macros etc.

Regional Locations

If you want to use Sunulator for locations outside the eight Australian capital cities, please download the file for your state listed below. Save it to the same place you’ve saved Sunulator, and it will automatically look into the file to find the information it needs. There are 177 locations in total; “TMY” stands for “Typical Meteorological Year”.

Regional NSW
Regional NT
Regional Queensland
Regional SA
Regional Tasmania
Regional Victoria
Regional WA

Renew has produced several  YouTube videos to introduce and help you to use Sunulator. Renew staff can also help you with Sunulator through our solar power advice service.

More information

Download the Sunulator and User Manuals

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