How to compare solar quotes?

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When comparing solar quotes in Australia, it is essential to take your time and do thorough research. Request quotes from multiple solar installers to get a comprehensive view of the market and identify any outliers.

Compare the system size, components, warranties, and installation costs in each quote. Check for any disclaimers or assumptions that may lead to additional costs.

Assess the performance estimates and forecasted savings from each system to ensure they align with your expectations.

How do I compare solar quotes?

The first thing to consider when comparing solar quotes is to take your time. Before making an informed decision, compare solar options as it requires investing thousands of dollars or more.

So how do you begin?

Our website is a great place to begin learning about solar PV. It provides information on solar PV, how it works, recommended products, reliable installers, and tips for avoiding problems.

Please do not ask for a cheap free solar quote with a low price attached, for example, Facebook advertising. These solar sales companies prioritise low prices and offer long warranties, but their products often break down quickly.

Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • How long has the company been in the industry?
  • If it is a cheap offer – how often have the company directors been directors of bankrupt solar companies?
  • How much information do you receive regarding the brands and products used?
  • What warranties do they offer?
  • How long will it take to install the solar power system, and where will it sit on the roof?
  • Where is the inverter position?
  • Will we hide the cabling in wall cavities, or will the cabling be on the home exterior?
  • How much energy will it produce per year, as well as by month and averages per day?
  • What estimates are they making on savings based on your situation and usage patterns for electricity?
  • Who handles the product warranty and after-sales service?
  • Does the company have a dedicated after-sales process?

What to consider when comparing solar quotes

To compare prices and services, get quotes from multiple solar panel installers before making an informed decision. Aim for at least three to five quotes to get a fuller picture of the market.

Solar panel comparison in the solar quotes

Make sure that the quote includes high-quality products. For home solar batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries, go with a reputable brand like Tesla. Research the efficiency, warranty, and lifespan of the panels.

The inverter is a crucial component that converts the DC power from the panels into AC power for your home. Check the brand, efficiency, and warranty of the inverter.

Compare the included items

Review each quote’s suggested solar system size and component list in detail. Consider the efficiency of the solar panels, inverters, and batteries (if used). Check the specifications to ensure they satisfy your expectations for quality and energy.

Compare the items not included

Are there any disclaimers or assumptions they make that may lead to further costs on the day?

System size and production estimate need to be correct

The size of the solar panel system should match your energy needs. A professional company should analyse your energy consumption and recommend a system that meets your requirements.

This calculation should also estimate your future consumption in case your household’s situation changes.

Saying for every household, “put the biggest solar PV system possible” on your roof is not always the best advice.

man signing piece of paper for solar quote

Compare the performance estimates between the solar quotes

Check the estimated annual energy production in the supplied paperwork.

Take into account factors such as your location, the angle of your roof, shading, and more. You can try our output calculator to get some generation data for different postcodes and system sizes.

How much are they forecasting that each solar system will generate per year, month on average?

What assumptions do the various companies make in these estimates? Are these consistent between solar quotes? If they vary, go with the conservative estimate.

Costs before and after the solar rebates

Analyse the total cost, including the equipment, installation details, switchboard work and any additional charges. Compare this with other quotes for a similar system. If an extremely cheap company does not give you too many details regarding the equipment, that’s a red flag.

The solar quote should include info on government incentives and solar rebates that can lower the cost.

Look at the after-sales support

Ask about post-installation services like system support, monitoring, and maintenance. Recognise the extent of the warranties and customer support to ensure continued system performance.

Reputable installers should provide prompt customer service and guarantee a seamless switch to solar power. Does the company have a written after-sales support process?

Check the experience of the company

What is the duration of their operational tenure? Additionally, what is the nature of their online reviews on platforms such as Google and Facebook?

Some solar installers focus on particular installation types, such as residential or commercial projects. Examine their knowledge and experience handling projects like yours. An experienced provider can understand your needs and offer a better solution for you. Solar panel installers with off-grid solar qualifications and battery installation experience are usually highly qualified.

Installation details

Understand the expected timeline for installation. How soon can the system be installed? Be prepared to wait 2 – 6 weeks for a quality company as they are in demand.

Make sure that the installers are certified and have experience with similar installations.

Warranty and maintenance

A number of different warranties can be compared. The 25-year performance warranty is in our opinion useless and has more loopholes than Swiss cheese.

Ask if there’s a monitoring system in place and ask for help to set it up. Inquire whether the first maintenance inspection is free or if they can provide a quote and schedule it now.

The price of installation varies widely between suppliers. Look for clear and detailed itemised cost breakdowns in each quote. The installation costs include all required parts, labour, permits, and other fees.

Watch out for quotes from large companies that are extremely cheap and label their panels as Tier 1. These solar quotes are cheaper because they offer poor after-sales service, low-quality solar panels, and hasty installations.

In summary

Choose a company that is local and has been operating for at least 5 – 10 years. This will guarantee that there are no issues with after-sales service, which is extremely important.

  • Compare with other solar quotes – Get multiple quotes and compare them on all the above factors.
  • Price vs. Quality – Don’t just go for the cheapest quote, as this has led to hundreds of thousands of poor outcomes. Consider the quality of the equipment and the reputation of the solar panel installer.
  • Transparency – Everything should be detailed clearly in the solar quote without any hidden charges
  • Alignment with your needs – Ensure that the solar quote is tailored to your energy needs and budget
  • Seek guidance – From a solar expert or a trusted individual
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