6 Reasons Not To DIY Your Off-Grid Solar
By Peter Sutrin, Electrician
Published December 7, 2022

With increasing power prices and costs of living, many people are choosing to go off-grid, growing their own food, collecting their own water, raising their own animals, and generating their own power. 

Sustainability is a great investment in the long run, but doesn’t come without its share of risks and costs. One issue we often see is people who’ve chosen to install their own solar, which causes more harm than good in the long run. Below we’ll take a look at some of the risks of installing off-grid solar without a trained professional. 


So you can claim your STC’s

Small-scale Technology Certificates or STC’s, are an incentive that is applied to your solar installation cost, claimed by your installer, and given to you in the form of a discounteded system. The larger the system, the larger the incentive available. These incentives can only be claimed if you use a CEC Qualified Installer to install your off-grid system. 


Because solar is a big investment

The average off-grid solar system can cost as much as $20,000 in parts alone. With hundreds of different brands of varying quality on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. Incorrect installation may cause it to not work correctly, break, or even fail before it should; if you’ve invested a sizeable amount into solar equipment, that’s money out of your pocket. If you’re planning to invest in solar, choosing a trained professional to install it means you’ll save in the long run with a safe and efficient system. 


So you don’t void your warranty

There are a range of warranties that apply to your solar system, and they will vary based on the manufacturer, supplier, and installer, as well as the quality of the panels and inverter you purchase. Some of these warranties may be voided if you install the system incorrectly, or install it yourself, instead of choose a trained professional to complete the installation. 

6 Reasons Not To DIY Your Off-Grid Solar 1So your house doesn’t burn down

A solar system on your home is a micro power station, and while this makes you self-sufficient, it also comes with risks. Not properly installing the cables, cutting them incorrectly so they fray, or leaving a part exposed to the weather, can risk your home. Leaving parts of an inverter exposed, or not properly covering entry cabling can mean water leaks into the unit, also causing a fire risk.  A qualified installer will ensure that all electrical cabling is properly installed to minimise the risk. 

At Proven Energy we have supported many off-grid customers in designing and installing their high-quality second systems. Poor quality systems may last a few years, while some have been unlivable from day one and had to be completely replaced. Some systems have forced the customer to take legal action against the original supplier, and still not receive any support or warranty. Off-grid solar is important and expensive and needs to be done right the first time. 


So you don’t have issues when selling

When purchasing a property, buyers will often undertake due diligence to make sure all parts of the structure are safe and meet Australian Standards.. Here at Proven Energy, we’re often asked to check solar systems before people purchase a home. In many cases, we see systems that aren’t working efficiently, or in some cases, aren’t working at all. In cases where the system poses a danger to the occupants, we may even recommend that the purchasers don’t complete settlement on the property until the solar system meets minimum safety standards. 


So you don’t risk serious injury

A solar system produces DC current, which can be deadly. Incorrect installation of a solar system can cause a range of risks, including live wires, and electrocution. Not only does this pose a serious risk to you as the installer, but it can also pose a risk to other household members. 

We have seen systems that we have had to advise customers that they need to be turned off immediately. We have seen systems where we have made the decision not to allow people to enter the building until certain safety precautions are repairs are undertaken. 


Looking for a professional opinion on your off-grid options? Give our experienced team a call