Cheap solar panels – Beware!

Solar panels advertised at a bargain price can do more harm than good. The best deal is most likely not the cheapest one. The best deal is the one that uses quality components, designers, and installers, is built to last, helps you save money on your electricity bill and gives you the best quality solar solution for your personal situation.

If you notice a low upfront cost on great quality solar panels, check the terms of sale to see if the company reserves the right to swap out these quality parts for cheaper panels that aren’t of equivalent capacity, quality, or warranty to the ones you signed up for. This option for a company to substitute inferior panels into your system after the point of sale might be a way, they can advertise something that looks too good to be true and then cut their costs and put your future energy savings and your property at risk.

Consider the long-term gain when you’re looking to invest in solar. Promises of short-term savings are only worthwhile if you won’t be paying thousands in years to come on repairs or replacements. And years of projected savings are just worthless paper talk if the system fails before it’s paid itself back. While upfront costs of cheap solar panels might look attractive, the long-term consequences of buying a cheap system are incredibly expensive in the long run – especially if the panels don’t perform to their promises, you need to replace faulty panels, or your inverter isn’t performing at 100%.

Check how the company can support you once the system is installed. It can be difficult to get some companies to help you with a performance issue or a warranty claim, and you might be stuck having to get your solar panels inspected and sent back to the manufacturer at your own cost before they’ll begin investigating the issue. Look for a solar supplier with an Australian-based customer support team for the best after-sales assistance and warranty support.

The cost of your solar panels will depend on several factors, including capacity (watts), size, brand, quality of materials and parts, durability and warranty period, and certifications the brand or product has received. The price you’ll pay will also depend on the number of panels you have within the package you choose, the quality of the inverter they are connected to, and the quality and expertise of the people that are designing the system and installing the solar panels for you.

When choosing your solar panels, consider the quality of the manufacturer and brand carefully. In the solar industry, there are three industry-accepted ‘tiers’ of manufacturer quality. Tier 1 encompasses the top 2% of solar manufacturers and is the highest quality technology and manufacturing.

Tier 1 solar companies:

  • Invest heavily in research and development of new technology
  • Have been manufacturing for longer than 5 years
  • Are in control of every step of the manufacturing process; and
  • Use only the best quality silicon to produce solar cells.

Would you rather have the best quality solar panels that will last you a lifetime, or risk your property and your energy future on a cheaper, poorer quality product that could cost thousands in replacements and repairs?

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