Why Cheap Solar Will Cost You More

Fast read

While tempting cheap solar deals may appear to you, they often lead to high repair costs because of faulty solar pv systems and dodgy installation practices. Some companies cut corners by subcontracting work or offering minimal after-sales support. Cheap solar systems may also lack performance and have a short lifespan.

Additionally, uneducated sales tactics and government rebate loopholes can leave you with unexpected electricity bills and worse problems. Remember, solar is a long-term investment, so prioritise quality over price to avoid disappointment and financial loss. Always research and choose reputable installers for a reliable solar solution

The cost of extremely cheap solar

In the solar industry, there is currently a price war. With everything going on in the world, a number of shady solar installers are offering extremely cheap prices for solar system installations so they can win business. While this may seem like a good thing for customers, it’s a long-term disaster for them.

Customers who purchase a cheaper solar power system initially are often hit with extremely high costs for repairs and replacement. In the industry right now, tons of installers are plaguing people with faulty systems. So, ensure you don’t let price be the determining factor when purchasing a solar system.

Dodgy installation practices

The most common way that cheap solar will bite you in the bum is through the installers cutting costs. Dodgy installers will hide behind the names of well-established solar brands by still using reliable and well-known system components such as REC or LG, but they will then decrease the overall cost of the system, sometimes by $1000.

The customer thinks to themselves, “Oh, a reliable brand with low costs, what a steal”, however, the installer will make a profit by cutting corners. For example, many companies subcontract their work to installers or provide little to no after-sales support. The good news for consumers is that finding a reliable solar installation company is now easier than ever.

The solar industry faces a problem: companies are selling common residential systems, typically sized between 5kW and 6.6kW, for as low as $4,000. Despite warnings about the risks associated with cheap solar panels, many customers still fall victim to these scams.

This causes the entire solar industry to have a bad reputation because of the customers’ laziness rather than the installers. Tens of thousands of stories online about cheap solar, with many groups online dedicated to failed systems.

Just like if you were to buy a new air conditioner from the store, you would know that the cheapest system will most likely be the worst performing or have the shortest life span.

After-sales service – so important

Your home is one of the most, if not the most, valuable assets you could purchase in your lifetime. This means that when you choose a solar system for it, you want to make sure you are choosing a high-quality system and installer so that you don’t get any structural damage to your roof.

Another major issue incurred with cheap solar is the lack of after-sales support. Even if you choose the highest quality components and get them installed by a trustworthy installer, there is still a rare chance that something could go wrong. In this instance, you want to make sure that you can contact the initial installation company so that they can inspect your system and identify the problem.

When you choose a cheap installer, you will likely receive no help after the installation, and in many cases, when there is a fault with your system and you try to contact the installer, there will be no response.

installers working on solar system
Companies should offer additional services like performance checks

Other cheap solar practices

Another common practice you may encounter when purchasing cheap solar is uneducated salespeople working on commission. It is common for cheap solar companies to hire salespeople who work on commission and don’t get to keep their jobs if they don’t reach their quotas. This means that you can expect sales techniques that involve over-exaggeration of the benefits and saying anything you want to hear so that they can secure a sale. While it is just their job, in most cases, you will be throwing money away.

Another practice to be aware of, less commonly discussed, involves low-quality solar companies exploiting a loophole in the solar rebate system. This loophole allows them to replace all the panels on your roof and claim the rebate again. This means if you originally bought a poor-quality system and need to fix it, another cheap solar company could profit significantly from you, leaving you with a hefty energy bill and potentially worse problems.

The math behind the scam is simple. With the current solar rebate worth around $700 per kilowatt (kW) and a cheap solar panel costing roughly $400 per kW, approaching a low-quality company puts you at risk of being scammed. You’ll end up paying a lot more and potentially not solving the underlying issues with your solar system.

So what’s the final verdict?

Like any other purchase, don’t let price be the deciding factor, what many people forget is that a solar system is a long-term investment. This means that you shouldn’t purchase the cheapest system because it definitely won’t last as long as you expect it to. As well as improving their carbon footprint, many homeowners purchase solar for the financial benefit, however, if you choose a cheap system this financial benefit tends to become a cost.

The final message is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you do your research and understand how much you should expect to pay and who in your community is a reliable and high-quality installer.

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