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The True Cost of Choosing Cheap Solar

We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ so when it comes to adding infrastructure to your home it’s important to ask yourself if that’s really where you want to be cutting costs.

To give you some numbers straight off the bat -

  • A safe and reliable CEC accredited install, using good quality CEC approved equipment should set you back $5000+. The sky’s the limit when you start talking about a big dog system that’s all-singing, all-dancing
  • Cheap solar deals start from as low as $2,500 and are alarmingly easy to find all over the internet, but don’t be fooled, the true cost of this comes later

There are a lot of reasons why budget solar terrifies us. From a safety perspective when it comes to bad installation and poor quality products it’s risky at best and the stuff of dangerous nightmares at worst. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reported that of the rooftop solar installations inspected by the regulator, one in six were deemed "substandard" and about one in 30 was "unsafe".

For the average Aussie, your home is your biggest, most expensive investment so it makes very little sense to devalue it by adding the cheapest solar panels installed by the cheapest sub-contractor to save a few dollars in the short term. For your safety and your family’s safety - we urge you not to take the opinion that cheapest is best.

Non-compliance with Australian standards is almost a guarantee when you buy the cheapest panels around, a lot of them are produced in China and don’t have to meet the same standards as say, the German manufacturers. (That’s not to say that there aren't any reputable brands or quality panels coming from China), but our best advice is to think before you buy. Do your research; there are no laws to stop you putting dodgy panels on your roof, so the risk is entirely on you as a home-owner, making it doubly important to make a safe and informed decision.

Another problem you will almost certainly come up against when it comes to a budget system is likely to be a warranty issue. Since 2013, 80% of companies that sell cheap solar have already left the market. There’s a very good chance these companies liquidate and come back rebranded a year later, but regardless where does that leave you when it comes to needing replacement panels? Nowhere good.

The true cost of cheap solar will likely rear its ugly head some time down the line. You’ve paid a bargain price upfront but you are likely to find that’s not your only outgoing. We spend a considerable portion of our time taking down redundant, unsafe systems and replacing them just a couple of years after they have been installed. Those customers have been left unsupported with a warranty the manufacturer couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deliver.

Quality plays an important role across the board, not just for your own peace of mind when it comes to getting a return on your investment but when it comes to producing the clean energy that Australia's renewable energy target relies on. The harsh reality is that the cheap alternatives out there are not actually very efficient which means you’re not going to be seeing a significant reduction on your power bill either. It’s a lose-lose situation.

It stands to reason that even though these companies are selling cheaply they have to be making money somewhere, often cutting costs on labour and passing that discount on to you. Do you really want an unlicensed installer on your roof? We’d hope not! Only let professional, licensed, CEC accredited solar installers on your roof.

When you choose your solar provider make sure the advisors, designers and installers are considering crucial aspects such as your roof angle, sunlight, shading and energy consumption trends in the household and grid and metering costs before they put a recommendation together. A quick search on Google simply can’t take any of this into account although it will confidently provide you with an arbitrary price for a system that might not be suitable for your roof type.

Our team is made up of experts, guys who really know their stuff. Many of our specialists started out as electricians so they know the game. We understand it can be hard to sift through the truth of it all especially if you are doing your due diligence – that’s what we’re here for.

In summary, some things to keep in mind:

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Warranty
  • Reliability
  • Accreditations
  • Reviews
  • Hidden costs
  • Avoid DIY solar at all costs

We cannot stress enough – you will always be able to find a cheaper system than anything we sell at Clean Power. You just need to ask yourself if, based on the above, you'd want to.

Get a quote today.