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The real cost of a cheap Solar Energy System

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

In today’s reality, there are endless options for everything - clothes, cars, food or even Solar Systems!

In the solar space, many companies promote a low upfront cost, but there are often costs hidden beneath the surface. These deals can be extremely enticing but will end up costing you more in the long run.

Understanding how a solar system is priced can help you better understand the process and ensure you’re making the right decision. A solar system is based on four key components:

  1. Solar Panels

  2. Inverter

  3. Installation

  4. Company and customer service

Let’s dive into these a little more!

1. Cheap Solar Panels

As we all know, we have extremely harsh and unforgiving conditions here in Australia, therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure that you’re receiving high-quality panels that can handle such conditions.

Many solar companies will reference ‘tier 1 solar panels’, however neglect to indicate a specific model, brand, manufacturer or part number in their proposal. This allows them to supply any brand or model within the ‘tier 1’ category. In Australia, tier 1 panels is almost a pre-requisite - anything that isn’t tier 1, isn’t worth your time.

However, what most people don’t understand, is that a top-quality tier 1 panel and an entry level tier 1 panel are miles apart in quality and price.

We have often been engaged by homeowners to conduct post installation audits on their systems after they have selected the cheaper ‘too good to be true’ offer. Our findings were astounding! Some items we found included:

⁃ Panels installed and not connected into the system.

⁃ Complete groups of panels not wired in but merely installed onto the roof with no cables at all.

⁃ Inferior panels to the ones the client was promised and paid for.

⁃ Cables terminated in a manner that was hazardous and dangerous to the longevity of the system.

So, it’s crucial that you not only research the products that the company is looking to provide, but the company itself.

2. Inverters

The inverter is the single most expensive item in a solar energy system – and there is good reason for that! Your inverter is responsible for taking the power produced from your panels and converting it into usable power for your home. It’s extremely critical to ensure that, not only do you have a high quality inverter included in your system, but one that also has all the right features that you require for your installation.

As such a crucial element in your system, it’s important to make sure the inverter in your proposal is from reputable company, has been around for a good while and read as many reviews as you can on as many platforms as you can to develop your own, unbiased opinion on inverter manufactures and brands!

3. Installation

Now you have quality panels and a quality inverter, now it’s time to ensure those items are handled and installed with care and experience with a top-quality install.

Your installation price is worth the same as, if not more than the price of your inverter, and that’s for good reason. A lot of man hours, materials, consumables and other items go into your installation.

Some solar company drive the installation price down to try and build the cheapest price possible for the client. But as the saying goes... “cheap labour isn’t good labour, and good labour isn’t cheap!”

While the solar company may be trying to do the right thing by the client in the short-term by delivering the product at the cheapest price possible, often that leads to cutting corners, using the cheapest materials available, and things being rushed during the install, meaning even if you have the best quality products, the install is sub-par.

Is it worth taking the risk with such a substantial investment on your home?

4. Customer Care

Often companies outsource their customer teams to interstate or even overseas calls centres which may cause some frustration during the enquiry, sale and after-care process.

At Advanced Solar, we feel that it’s extremely important to offer our clientele the option to come in, sit down and speak directly with our team. The ability to put a face to the name of the people that will be installing your system is priceless and the same team members will be with you throughout the entire process. If you have an issue with your system you want the ability to jump on the phone and speak with someone locally to get your question answered easily.

When making the switch to renewable energy, it’s not just a matter of selecting a company to do the one-off install - rather you should select the company that you trust to look after your investment and be there for your throughout the entire process.

We understand that there is so much information out there and the real challenge can be to find reliable information. Be sure to do your research using industry regulators such as Clean Energy Council and Clean Energy Regulator – there is so much helpful information available and really should be your single source of truth!

If you’re thinking about investing in a solar system for your home, now or in the future – our team are ready to answer all your questions, just contact us at 1800 848 982 or email to start the conversation.

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