Many homeowners who want to save money on energy expenditures and lessen their carbon footprint choose solar energy. When considering a solar energy system, it's crucial to pick a trustworthy manufacturer and a nearby source or installer.
Obtaining numerous bids for comparable equipment is also a good idea. Finally, be careful in examining each quote, paying attention to specifics like pricing, equipment included, and guarantee.
How to secure the best solar deal?
We all like a good bargain. But not everyone knows how to find one, particularly solar. Finding the best solar deal for your home is important to ensure you install a quality, long-lasting system that best suits your needs.
So before you speak to your local solar installer, here are three key tips to ensure you get a good result.
1. Only go with reputable brands
Now that solar has been operating in volume in Australia and New Zealand for nearly 15 years, we can judge the brands that have stood the test.
Regarding panels, the Tier 1 label is meaningless and is usually used by cheap panels to try and look like a quality product. So please do not be misled by the Tier 1 label – when it comes to panels – ignore it – it’s not a label for quality.
Panel brands like Qcell, REC, and Sunpower are top-quality panel products. While they cost a little more, they also deliver more in hot weather and generally have fewer warranty claims and better after-sales service.
In the inverter and optimiser space Fronius, SMA, Solar Edge, and Enphase are known to be the most reliable brands, with Sungrow being a Chinese inverter manufacturer growing in reliability. However, Solis and Growatt are lower-cost Chinese-made inverter brands that have not been in Australia for ten years. Therefore the verdict is still out.
2. Go local and likely get a better long-term deal
The solar industry works on tight margins so getting the best solar deal can be difficult. Many large solar install companies argue that they buy cheaper as they buy in more considerable volume and then pass these savings onto you, the end consumer.
While this sounds logical, it is often not the case. Buying in bigger volumes also means higher storage costs, cash flow costs, and staff overheads.
We here at Your Energy Answers recommend long-established local companies less than 80km from your home. That way, when you need a service call, this work can be undertaken by the original installation company, as they will be willing to come out and attend to the issue.
Getting prompt service can be challenging if you pick a far away energy retailing company or a national company with HQ far away. By not having offices in every region, large-volume solar companies need to subcontract via a network of electricians. Sometimes it will take a long to book a reliable electrician to bother and come out to your site.
3. Get multiple quotes for the same equipment
Like any project involving large financial input, getting several quotes will ensure you get the best solar deal.
When you get multiple quotes, ensure you do not get quotes for vastly different equipment because it will be difficult to compare apples with apples. Instead, research which panels and inverter are appropriate, and then ask the installer if they can supply this equipment. Go with quality – not with the price for the best solar deal.
Then when you get differing quotes, you get them for similar equipment, which makes it easier to compare the prices.
When you get multiple quotes, you must take your time to review them and pay attention to equipment details, inclusions, price, and warranty.
Sometimes the company with the slightly higher price will do a better job as they break fewer tiles and follow the standards and requirements more comprehensively.
Ask each company why you should choose them and make notes of the answers. Then, check out reviews and give a solid tick to the local company that has been in business, preferably for over a decade, employing local staff.