Say bye to solar 'snake oil'

SOLAR SELECTION: Solar Integrity say product quality is key when it comes to making the most out of your investment, so do your research, talk to friends, learn the brands and read reviews. Picture: Solar Integrity
SOLAR SELECTION: Solar Integrity say product quality is key when it comes to making the most out of your investment, so do your research, talk to friends, learn the brands and read reviews. Picture: Solar Integrity

Browsing social media or on TV you may see unbelievably cheap prices for solar power or hot water. But often there's a catch.

There is a lot to consider when installing a solar panel at your home and it can be tempting to look at the price tag before product quality.

Energy usage, site inspections, possible rebates you may be eligible for and what you can expect out of your investment are all important conversations to have with your solar provider.

That's why Solar Integrity works with their customers to understand their needs and what they are wanting to achieve.

Quality is paramount when looking at your options. And, sadly, many of these cheap alternatives carry elevated risk including a higher risk of failure.

Many lower-end systems are removed and sent to landfill long before their projected end of life. This is adding to our ongoing issue of waste. And when purchasing a product that is meant to be good for the environment you expect exactly that.

Cheaper companies are often marketing companies. Not in the industry through passion or the long term.

"We have seen many companies in our industry phoenix, some three or four times. This is frustrating for companies like ours, left to explain to their customers why their system has failed, left to clean up their mess," say Solar Integrity.

Another issue is 99 per cent of brand names used in the solar industry are not household names.

So, customers really do not know if they are getting a Rolls Royce or a Datsun 180B. They merely believe what the salesperson is telling them. And no, it's most probably not made in Germany - a common "selling point" made by door knocking style salespeople.

Then there's the issue of installers. Many companies send their installers from the city, never to be seen again. And when there is an issue they don't come back.

Other companies will say they use local installers, and this can be the case, but when an installer is being paid a set price to do a job corners are often cut, and this isn't good for the customer or the industry.

So, what can you do? Research! Google the products and read reviews. There are many out there that have industry nicknames due to their non-performance.

And while you are at it look up the installation company. Look at their website to see what their work looks like. If they are proud of it, they will show it, through photos on there and on social media pages. Many of the sales companies will use images they have paid to use. Talk to friends and family that have solar ask what their experience was like.

Quality product accompanied with quality installation will give you a much higher return on investment.

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