Spotlight on solar: Buyer's guide to solar power
Thinking about getting a solar power system installed for your home? Hundreds of thousands of Australians are already benefiting from this clean source of renewable energy, so you’re in good company.
You could spend hours researching the different systems and suppliers available, and still not get any closer to a decision. It’s an investment you want to be sure of, we get it. So, to help you sift through the minefield of information out there, we’ve gone straight to the trusted source at Clean Energy Council and teamed up with our in-house energy experts to give you tips on choosing the right system for you.
What to look out for
Let’s get to the basics. At the heart of your solar power system is the inverter, so you want to make sure you choose one that’s reliable. If it stops working, so will your solar panels. And speaking of solar panels – the sturdier the better, as they will stand the test of time.
When deciding on a solar system, you should take into account what you get as a package. One company may offer quality solar panels, but the inverter or mounting system could be a dud.
Another consideration is wiring, which is just as important as the system. If the wiring isn’t done correctly during installation or uses lower quality components, it may compromise safety and performance.
Every property is different, so you’ll need a solar system tailored to your needs. A big system won’t necessarily mean more financial benefits for you. If you push too much power back to the grid you may get very minimal return, so choose one which will benefit your own energy needs first. A good starting point is to check the usage on your electricity bill.
Read the reviews – good and bad
Don’t forget the power of word of mouth! From purchasing the right solar panels to the installation of your new system, you want to make sure you’re partnering with a reputable supplier. Unfortunately, solar retailers are not regulated, so be wary of shady companies out there looking to make a quick buck. When looking for a supplier, it pays to find out who others have used and their experiences, together with researching reviews online.
When speaking to installers, ask them how long they’ve been in business and their level of experience. Choose a supplier who’s been around for a long time and will be able to support you in years to come, should you need it.
Check for accreditation
We’re a member of the Clean Energy Council, which is the peak body for the clean energy industry. They currently endorse around 5,000 solar installers throughout the country. Jump on their solar accreditation website to get in-depth information on choosing the right solar system and battery storage options.
It’s also handy to know, you’ll only receive a government rebate for your solar power if the designer and installer of your system has been accredited by the Council.
Do you really need battery storage?
Many people are keen to incorporate battery storage into their system, but do your homework as batteries are still pricey, so you want to make sure you’ll benefit from one. To give you an idea, a domestic battery can cost more than $10,000 and may only last seven years.
Pre-planning, information gathering and plenty of preparation is the key to making the right solar panel purchase. Visit the Clean Energy Council’s consumer buyer’s guide for comprehensive advice to make your solar panel purchase and installation a breeze.
Consumer buyer's guide
We're a member of the Clean Energy Council. We recommend you visit their consumer buyer's guide for more comprehensive advice when purchasing solar