While there are solar panel installers out there who are legitimate and work with a lot of home and business owners to create a system that has great output and lasts, unfortunately, there are dodgy dealers, too. They sell the cheapest panels at premium prices, or just sell low quality cheap systems which either under-produce, break, are unsafe or all of the above.
As reported in The Australian, ¼ of all Australian systems are at severe or high risk due to faulty wiring and unsound panels. Cheap isn’t always better. Here are some of the risks associated with installing cheap panels and inverters.
1. Cheap systems have lower efficiency
Sure, the system may be cheaper, but you’ll also be saving less money in the long run. With less ability to absorb and turn sunlight into electricity, you’ll see only a slight reduction in your power bill. Saving money today will cost you money in the long run.
2. Cheap panels break
Like anything low quality, the parts used in cheap systems are often not made to last and haven’t been tested to the same standards as higher quality systems. Also, cheap panels, installed by installers who take shortcuts, are more likely to not comply with manufacturer’s installation instructions, voiding your warranty.
3. Switchboard upgrades add cost
Not visiting the site before installation is a common problem with dodgy installers. Without checking your roof angle, the age of your switchboard, overhanging shade and your electrical system, you may end up with huge add on costs that blow out your budget.
4. Your system may be unsafe (and a fire risk)
Electricity is dangerous if appropriate safe electrical practices aren’t followed by a qualified and licensed electrician. Lower quality systems have a higher risk of parts corroding, covers cracking or wires being exposed to weather, meaning the wrong set of circumstances can lead to fires and worse. Hiring installers who are licenced, properly trained and given reasonable time frames to do the job properly is the best way to ensure electrical safety.
5. Maintenance can get costly
With systems that have short warranties and aren’t made to last, you’ll be paying regularly for repairs to maintain safety and efficiency. At Proven Energy, we recommend regular checkups, but most of our systems are built to last for years with normal usage.
6. Short warranties often mean high replacement costs
Cheaper systems come with shorter warranties, or with stricter rules around when you can make a warranty claim. This means that if your system fails within a year or two, you may have to wear the costs of a whole new system.
Cheaply priced solar companies may also use a business model that involves installing a large number of systems, then closing down before any warranty claims can be made.
Proven Energy is an established company that uses solar panels that have a 25-30 year warranty and inverters that have a 10 to 15 year warranty, so you can rest assured you’ll be getting a high quality product that lasts.
There are many risks and hidden costs when choosing cheaper solar systems, so it’s important that you think about your installation as a long term investment. Just like a car or a home renovation, a solar system is something you’ll have to live with and maintain for years. Choosing a higher quality solar system means you’ll see a much larger reduction in your power bill, as well as resting safe in the knowledge that your system will last for years to come.
Proven Energy offers a range of systems to suit residential, commercial and agricultural energy needs. Contact us today to find out how much you can save on your electricity bill.
Peter is a Licensed Electrician and the Director of Proven Energy, a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer. After working in the industry, Peter’s interest in renewable energy lead him to found the company in 2012, offering honest and reliable solar system supply and installation for residential, commercial, off-grid and agricultural properties. Peter is a CEC Accredited Installer. Electrical Contractors Lic No. 74650