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The High Cost Of Cheap Solar

As the Australian solar market continues to grow we are seeing an increasing amount of solar companies popping up over night to offer cheap solar. While looking for a great deal is always advised, the fact is solar is an investment that should last 20-30 years at a minimum so the quality of the components and labour should always reflect this. Solar can deliver significant savings to your home so when someone calls offering the deal of a lifetime it can be extremely tempting.

If Something Seems Too Good To Be True It Usually Is

Solar presents such a wide range of benefits that you don’t need to embellish to extoll its virtues on people looking to take up renewable energy for their home or business. Making sure solar is right for someone takes time and those pushing cheap solar are usually looking to get in and out as soon as possible. Companies looking to offload cheap solar will often use absolutes when trying to get potential clients across the line and this is a red flag.

A good example of this is the up front promise that solar will completely eliminate your power bills. While this is a possibility there are several factors such as rebates, tariffs, what your current usage is and when you use the most power. A good solar retailer will take the time to audit your power usage and work out what sized solar system can suit your budget before giving you an idea of what savings it will bring to your home or business.

Cheaper Solar Uses Low Quality Components

We cannot emphasise enough how much the quality of your solar components will impact not only the lifespan of your solar system but also its performance. No matter how cheap an offer is it means nothing in the grand scheme of things if the system needs to be replaced 5 years down the track. The issue for consumers is that due to so many new brands emerging looking to cash in on the solar boom it can be hard to determine what is a good product and what isn’t.

The history of the manufacturer is a good place to start as it gives us perhaps the biggest indicator of what to expect from the product. How long has the company been operating for? Where is the company based? Do they have support staff located within Australia? All of these questions can be easily answered with a few quick searches online. What features the product has is also another good indicator such as whether the solar panels on offer have half-cut cells.

cheaper solar is a trap

Cheaper Solar Has A Shorter Lifespan

Low quality components go hand in hand with a reduced lifespan which is a major factor in determining whether solar is a sound investment for you. All of the products we stock come with warranties and performance guarantees that span up to 30 years and this is crucial because certain components such as solar panels are exposed to the elements at all times. You should never purchase a solar product that does not have a warranty that covers both the build quality and its performance over time.

Cheaper solar products will usually be produced by taking shortcuts during the manufacturing process which can lead to defects right out of the factory. As these cheap solar companies are looking to get in and out as soon as possible there is a good chance you will end up with these panels on your roof and once they have your money getting them back to replace the panels can be a serious headache.

Quality Of Labour Reflects The Price

An often overlooked aspect of solar is the quality of labour that goes into the installation process. You can have the best solar products available on the market, but a poor installation will affect just about every aspect of its performance. Cheap solar companies care about as much about the installation as they do the products they are pushing and so will often employ unqualified or inexperienced contractors to carry out the install.

When talking with a prospective solar provider, always ask about the people carrying out the installation. Are they fully qualified electricians? Are they in-house or contractors? If they are contractors what is their ABN history? Asking about components such as the racking used to secure it to your roof is also a great idea as a good supplier will always invest into all aspects of the system. The last thing you want is a shoddy system being installed on your roof in such a way that it damages the sheeting/tiles which ends up costing you even more.

cheaper solar means poor workmanship

Cheap Solar Can Be Used To Launder Money

This is an aspect of the solar industry that is only coming to light in the past few years and is becoming of increasing concern throughout the industry. Moving money in and out of Australia is heavily regulated and moving large sums in or out can be outright illegal. As a way to circumnavigate financial authorities some are using solar as a way to transfer massive amounts of money in and out of Australia. Given that the people doing this originate from countries that make the bulk of solar products, people within the industry can be hesitant to talk about it.

By manufacturing cheap solar they are able to import the products and then either sell them off quickly or conduct a wholesale transaction with a “distributor” who will then either dispose of the panels or try to sell them off themselves. This is a nasty business as it not only affects the solar industry’s reputation but our country as a whole. While overseas investment is key to growing Australia, making sure it is ethical and sound is crucial to the integrity of our country.

How To Tell When A Solar Deal Is Not On The Level

We have written an article recently that covered what you should be looking for when choosing a solar retailer and we encourage you to check it out if you are looking to make the change to solar. That aside there are certainly a few quick tips and pointers we can give to help avoid ending up with a lemon. The first step would be asking about the company giving you the offer, things such as how long they have been operating in the solar industry and where they are based.

Being on the lookout for promises that sound too good to be true is another must. Can solar save you money on your power bill? Yes. Can it return a profit under the right conditions? Yes. Is a solar supplier able to promise these things right off the bat without looking at your individual needs and situation? No. Rushing to get a signature on the dotted line is always a sign that something is not on the level.

Asking about rebates and warranties is also a great idea. It takes time to process rebates and there are requirements in order to claim them so companies looking to get in and out will often completely omit this aspect from the conversation. Asking about warranties is also effective but keep in mind just because they say the products have them doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s about being proactive in finding out as much as you can before making a decision.

Have Questions? Ask Away!

    Consumers have an extraordinary amount of power in any market these days with online reviews and consumer advocates making it easier and easier to determine the legitimacy of a company and their products. The Clean Energy Council is the peak body and voice of the solar industry and a reputable supplier will be an accredited member. The CEC also has a list of approved products which can make it even easier to check out what you are being offered.

    The last suggestion would be to be on the lookout for dodgy or misleading advertisements. Social media is flooded with ridiculous adverts with cut outs of government officials and dollar signs everywhere. My personal favourite is one with a bloke standing on a roof holding up a bank deposit slip which is supposed to be a cheque. Absurd techniques like these are not only unethical but are prohibited by groups such as the CEC.

    Cheap Solar Will Always End Up Costing More

    Taking the time to make sure you are getting the best deal possible in terms of price and performance is your right as a consumer and anyone looking to rush a decision such as this never has your best interests in mind. Taking the cheaper route might feel better now but we can all but assure you that it will come back to bite you in the near future. We say this not as a competitor to cheap solar providers but as a company that is proud to be a part of this world changing industry.

    Always ask yourself if something sounds too good to be true. Always make sure you understand the specific benefits solar will bring to your home or business and be on the lookout for anyone wanting to avoid questions as much as possible. To talk with our solar consultants about what solar can do for you or more information about a particular aspect of making the change to solar, give us a call on 1800 255 474. You can also get in touch with us online via the form on this page or by heading over to our contact page to fill in our online form.