You might have searched online and noticed some solar panels and inverters cost more than others or you’ve got a quote that was higher than expected and decided you can’t justify the costs.
We understand the initial investment of purchasing, installing and setting up a solar panel system can be costly. While solar systems might look similar, they’re not created equally. If you want a low price you have to compromise on the product or installation quality and run the risk of system failures or a lousy install. It comes down to the age-old debate of cost versus quality. You can’t get the highest quality product with the highest quality installation for the lowest price.
That’s why we’re bringing you everything you need to know to evaluate cost against value and how to avoid a disaster.
Cheap Solar is Like Purchasing a Used Car
If you’re buying a used car with a price tag that seems too good to be true, there are always risks involved. It’s too easy to be ripped off, pay too much and wind up with something that’s expensive to fix if any problems arise.
Everyone understands the basics on why the price of used vehicles and models vary so much, yet when it comes to solar systems so many people go looking for the cheapest quotes they can find.
Put simply, good things aren’t cheap and cheap things aren’t good.
Beware of Cheap Solar
You get what you pay for and cheap solar systems are exactly that, they’re often made from cheaper materials and go through less quality assurance testing.
Beyond the dollar figure, the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best value. You need to take how continued performance and superior quality will outweigh costly repairs and the potential for a manufacturer who won’t honour their warranty.
Cheap solar manufacturers might advertise their low-quality systems for approximately $3,000 – $4,000, often with panels from a no-name brand that has no reviews online. Take the time to learn about the company and the models they manufacture as it’s common for companies to promise unachievable returns by inflating electricity prices.
While it might seem like the price is right, they could end up costing you more in the long run. We all know that time is money and that’s especially true with solar if your faulty system needs to be turned off until it is fixed.
When comparing costs, also compare the warranty details of the panels you’re considering buying. We know from experience that cheaper panels struggle to last even 10 years and definitely cannot last the 25 year production warranty that has been offered and sold to you.
You should also check the installers certifications and accreditations; in Australia all systems must be installed by a CEC-accredited installer. A rushed job with low quality mounting equipment may result in damage to your roof while mistakes with wiring and weather sealing can create electrical and fire hazards. Many companies use subcontractors to do the installation work and there is no quality control on this type of work as the subcontractor is trying to earn as much money as they can from the sales company.
Many of the cheap solar sales companies use CEC accredited installers who have agreed to sign off on as many jobs as they can before the Clean energy council revokes their license -100s in some cases and as there are no fines or penalties for these installers only loss of license they soon disappear from the industry and leave you, the home owner, with a disaster.
Why Quality Solar Panels Are Important
We understand that purchasing a solar system for your family home is a long-term investment, so it’s important to choose solar panels that won’t let you down. You are spending an amount of money for a product and in return, you’re looking to see reduced power bills for decades to come. That’s why we recommend choosing a system from a manufacturer who has a strong presence in Australia and offers local support, like us.
The most obvious difference between the top panels and the cheaper ones is the output. The higher the output, the lower your power bills are and the more money you have in your back pocket. This can also be the difference in performance at different times of the day and during different seasons and cloudy weather, rain, etc.
A solar system can add value to your home but only if both the panels and inverter are from leading manufactures. Home buyers don’t want to put up with faulty systems because the previous owner bought something cheap and nasty, they should expect 25 years of trouble-free ownership.
Solar power is great when it’s working and a nightmare when things go wrong. Make sure you choose a solar company with a great reputation that offers full warranty support, system monitoring and a fair price.
When purchasing a solar system, remember that a quality system will pay for itself through increased output, reliability and longevity. Do thorough research on the companies you’re looking at, ask the right questions and go into the decision with caution.
Make sure you don’t join the dozens of calls we receive asking for help on a solar system that doesn’t work and the installer or company do not exist or work in solar anymore.