What to consider when buying solar?

Fast read

When considering purchasing solar panels, it is important to consider your motivations for doing so, whether the panels will enhance the value of your home, the reputation and local presence of the company you choose to install them, and whether your home is suitable for solar panels.

It is also essential to understand the potential financial savings and to carefully consider the costs and benefits of purchasing batteries to store excess energy.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the panels are compatible with your home's electrical system and that any necessary permits and approvals have been obtained. Finally, it is a good idea to compare quotes from multiple companies and to fully understand warranties or maintenance as well as the terms of any agreements.

What are the key considerations when buying solar?

Are you considering purchasing solar? When you first start to think about purchasing solar, there are a couple of key rules or key considerations that I would recommend. And the first question to ask yourself is: Why am I doing this? When I started in the industry in 2006, many people didn’t buy solar for financial reasons. Because the payback was still 10 to 15 years, environmental reasons were the main factors influencing a decision to buy solar.

You need to ask yourself, am I getting it because I’m off the grid, and this is the only way I can get electricity? Am I getting it to have lower electricity bills in the future? So you need to be very clear about why you’re getting solar.

But the environment should also still be a consideration because, as we’re finding, it is becoming a more significant issue. So your own contribution is quite important. Therefore, ask yourself, why am I buying solar?

Will the solar system enhance the value of my house? 

The next question is, will it enhance the value of my house? I’ve seen solar systems installed very poorly, and the house looked damn ugly afterwards. And you might have had a $500 saving on the electricity bill, but you lost $30,000.

And look at the house. So make sure that you pick a local company that comes out and inspects it, that makes suggestions of where the panels can sit so they sit in harmony with the house and do not actually, you know, diminish the house value.

Total black panels are available now and look better on many roofs, so again, it may be worth considering going for a completely black version. We have written a guide to black solar panels if you are interested here.

Some people will argue that total black panels perform slightly less efficiently in very hot weather. But the performance difference is maybe 3 or 4%. It’s not a big deal. And so if the looks are right, I would always prefer the looks of the panel over a small smidgeon of performance, advantage, or disadvantage. Another thing to consider is who I will get to install my solar system.

Go with an established local company when purchasing solar

We always recommend a local company that will be available for after-sale service because that’s when a solar system will require care. Yes, it doesn’t have moving parts, but you’d be surprised that after five, six, or eight years, you might have had a hailstorm and will want somebody to check the system out.

If you’re in a less populated region, do not buy from a big, slick city company that has a local contractor right now. Because in two years’ time, their contract might be gone and you will never find them again. And it’ll be months and months before anybody comes back to fix whatever is wrong. So that is another important consideration if anybody will ever return at all. We have also written a guide on why buy from local solar installers.

installer measuring solar panel
Always consider the quality of the installation as well as the after-sale services.

Is your house suitable if you buy solar? 

You’ve also got to check if your house is suitable for solar. For example, if you have really old tiles, if you’ve got a rusted roof if you’ve got a lot of trees overhanging the house, or if you’ve got just a poor roof condition, in these cases, your home is potentially not suitable for solar in the first place.

However, you will still find companies who will whack it on because they don’t care. And in that case, you’re going to find a couple of years later that you’ll have to pull them off. So please check if your house is suitable and you do that via a quality-focused trusted company that comes out and does a proper site inspection because you want to find out if it’s worth it to do.

Anything else to note about getting a quote?

If you are considering purchasing solar, one of the key considerations is how much you will save if you’ve got a very low electricity bill; in that case, is it really worth it? So how much will I save – make sure the installer will answer this question. If you want to save more on your energy bills, consider looking at Canstarblue’s energy saving tips.

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