Is my solar power system underperforming?

When your system was first designed, the company you purchased it from should have provided an indication of how they expected your system to perform, and how they expected it might affect your power bills. If you’ve noticed a difference between this estimate and your system’s performance, it’s worth investigating further.
The top three indicators that your solar system might be underperforming:

⦁ Your bills aren’t as low as you expected, or they’ve started to climb back up.

While your bills shouldn’t be the only place to look, they might be the first indicator that something’s not quite right. If you’re used to a certain figure coming in the post or via email each quarter, and this has recently changed, it’s worth following up with either your electricity retailer or your solar retailer to see if there are any issues at the heart of it. As part of this, you should also review your own electricity usage patterns: have they changed, or is everything still the same as before? Any changes to your behaviour in terms of electricity use, for example, day-time vs night-time use, changes to appliance use, or a new air-conditioning system, might be the cause of the bill shock rather than any issues with your solar.

⦁ Your system’s output data doesn’t match the indication that you were given by your retailer or installer.

When you were given your system quote and design specifications, you should have also been provided some estimates as to the expected performance or output.  If these figures look drastically different, or you’re not sure they’re correct, don’t hesitate to call your installer to follow up with them. There could be a simple explanation – especially in the case of a newly installed system or inclement weather – but it’s always better to be proactive.

⦁ Your inverter’s display screen or system interface is showing an error.

This is the easiest way to detect something is wrong – but as solar inverters are often in “out of sight, out of mind” locations it’s often not checked by solar owners until it’s too late. Make it a routine to check your inverter for any errors regularly, and you’ll be sure to catch any issues before they spiral.

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