Updated: Aug 15, 2019
For the local solar business, its time for a fair go.
Australia is the land of the long white cloud! Well maybe that’s our cousins across the bay, but there is definitely a cloud over the residential solar industry.
Nearly two million solar homes have been installed in Australia, this is amazing and Australia is leading the way around the world with solar. However, for a long time, the information around solar has been hard for the general customer to get their head around and this has left the space open to unscrupulous operators offering anything from poor quality products, systems that just don’t perform or work.
Sales companies going out of business or being shut down by ACCC, taking deposits and disappearing, just to name a few! Some of these operators may not even be based in Australia let alone the state which they are now advertising in and sometimes they are just a sales company.
Before a homeowner has to choose a supplier for their solar panel system, they first have to weed out the dodgy ones. As if the number of different options is not hard enough to choose from, you are bombarded with offers through the post, online, and your email inbox. It’s understandable if you’re a little perplexed.
“ We know how difficult it is just to keep up with latest changes, so we offer the right information to help our customers make the right choices” Jonathan Edginton, Energy Culture.
So, how do I pick a supplier for my solar panels?
Firstly, as always, if something is too good to be true… then, guess what? It is.
You should take your time and do your research, the world is fast-paced, and dodgy bros rely on this to baffle and confuse you.
STC! When a solar panel is installed, it essentially does not produce carbon emissions when is producing electricity. This creates a credit that can be purchased by polluting companies, they buy the carbon credit and it helps reduce the cost of the system. Currently, there is no other credit, grant or rebates available to households.
A well-installed solar panel systems cost money and you get what you pay for. Just like selecting a plumber or electrician, you would not rely on services offering you no cost services, would you?
Look for a local supplier, they are so much more likely to help if you need to find out something about your system or would like to know what’s wrong with your monitoring. Isn’t it better to support the local people that have families, isn’t it great to support people in your community? Many local businesses support local charities, in a sense, buying local, you are also indirectly supporting those charities too.
When selecting a local installer, check their reviews on Google, if they’re local you may even know someone that has reviewed the company. Also, pay attention to too many one-liner reviews, a good trick by the dodgy operators is to pay companies for fake reviews.
Check if the company have any third-party verification, like awards or if they are working with other reputable companies, verify their website.
Don’t forget about Monitoring. Does their system have a form of monitoring? A monitoring system will help you identify high energy use or faults with the system. This is an important tool to help you reduce your energy cost further. Don’t just buy something without meeting the suppliers, this is just common sense but easy to forget when looking for a solar supplier as there are online sales companies.
How to calculate the system size required by your home?
For a solar panel system to work we need good exposure to sunlight. In Sydney, we have around 4 peak sun hrs available, this means a rooftop solar system will generate at its maximum for around 4 hrs. So 5kW of solar panels will generate 20 kWh, that is 5kW working for 4hrs will equal 20 kWh of energy. Another way is to divide your daily energy consumption by 4, this will give you the size of the solar panel system on the roof.
There you have it, some ammo to tackle the bombardment of solar sales and bafflement. Have fun and get some great solar on your roof, your energy bills will come down and your kids will thank you for it! Here’s to a brighter tomorrow.
If you would like more info about solar, monitoring or sustainable electrical installations, we love what we’re doing and happy to help anyone with any advice.