With many different solar companies in Victoria, it is understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed with information. To confuse things further, one solar company appears to be selling a 5 kW system for under $5,000 while another is selling a similar system for $15,000. You may be thinking, how can one company offer ‘the same thing’ for a third of the price?
The reality is ‘the same thing’ is actually not in fact the same thing. Each solar company has its own offering, and that also means varying degrees of quality.
Solar is a long term investment with upfront costs that require consideration of a number of factors. When looking at options, it’s important to remember reliability and longevity will only be possible if you invest in a quality system that is future proof.
This buyer’s guide has been created to enable you to make an informed choice about your solar power system purchase.
Not really. The right time to buy solar is less about the solar system purchase and more about the external factors that may influence your purchase. For instance, government rebates like the ones available with Solar Victoria may drop or disappear altogether. Commodity prices also tend to increase every quarter, which then impacts the validity of your solar quote.
The quality of your solar system will depend on the quality of the solar panels, quality of the solar inverters and effective solar monitoring.
Companies like SunPower, Trina Solar and Wainaico have been in business for decades, and charge a premium price for their established brand and proven reliability. These companies have been around long enough to know that their panels stand the test of time. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of poor quality panels on the market. The manufacturer may offer a 25 year power output warranty but if they’ve only been in business for a short time, you may want to consider whether they will be around to meet your warranty.
The heart of the solar power system, the solar inverter converts the energy from the sun into the correct energy to power your home. Inverters typically come in two forms – string and micro-inverter. The price between these two can be significant, especially if you are looking at purchasing a large amount of solar panels.
Micro-inverters tend to be on the expensive side as these inverters are installed on the back of each solar panel and work independently of each other. If your roof experiences shade, it may be advisable to choose micro-inverters. Although more expensive than string inverters, you will avoid any long-term burnout issues with your solar panels.
Solar panels and solar inverters will get your home powered by solar energy. However, to ensure you are able to maximise the savings from your solar system, you need solar monitoring.
Quality solar inverter manufacturers generally provide this functionality so most times, it’ll just be a matter of the installer setting it up for you. They may need access to your WiFi to connect your solar system to the monitoring network.
By monitoring your solar system, you’ll be able to fix any issues immediately. EnviroGroup has a solar servicing team dedicated to provide maintenance assistance throughout the life of your solar system.
In Australia, solar installers must be accredited with the Clean Energy Council (CEC). Accredited solar installers use the Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer logo. It’s very important to ensure you check that your solar installer is accredited to avoid poor equipment quality and installation practices that may then result in unsuitable and unsafe systems.
EnviroGroup is proud to be a CEC Approved Solar Retailer with a dedicated in-house team of full-time installers. We are also ISO Accredited for Safety, Quality and Environment.
Before you sign your solar system contract, ensure you read the contract and clauses carefully. Two of the most important aspects to review are installation and warranties.
Installation: The company that you purchase the system from is not always the same company installing your system, and this can cause difficulties. For instance, if your system is not installed properly, or damage is caused by the installers, the supplier of your system will generally not be liable for any repairs. This may mean you need to chase the contractor who undertook the installation. At EnviroGroup, our installers are all in-house and our dedicated service team will assist with your issue. Call 1300 430 430 and press ‘2’ for service, it’s as simple as that.
Warranties: The CEC requires a minimum of 5 years warranty. You should check the warranty offered by the solar retailer, and what it in fact covers. EnviroGroup offers a 5-10 year workmanship warranty for any defects that arise from the equipment and the operation and performance of your solar panels and solar inverter(s).
It’s very satisfying when your solar system is installed. However, to ensure you are able to realise its benefits, don’t forget about the post-installation paperwork.
When choosing your solar retailer, ensure you choose a company with the skills and capability to complete the post-installation paperwork. This includes registering your system with the electrical distributor as well as your electricity retailer for your feed-in tariff.
At EnviroGroup, we do all the post-installation paperwork for you. We will arrange for your smart meter to be reconfigured (or installed) and lodge paperwork to claim the rebates (STCs) on your behalf. We believe in making solar accessible for everyone and ensuring you have a seamless post-installation process is important to us.
EnviroGroup has been servicing Victoria since 2004 with solar and sustainability solutions. Our managing director, Mick Harris is a passionate renewable energy advocate and a pioneer in sustainability. Mick’s genuine and innovative approach underpin the values of EnviroGroup.
We pride ourselves on honesty and commitment to the environment and our customers. If your house is not suitable for solar, that’s exactly what we’ll tell you.
If you’re looking for a future proof solar system that is reliable and effective, EnviroGroup will not disappoint.