Top 5 Tips for Buying a Solar Power System

Posted by on May 8th, 2012 and filed under Featured, Solar. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

 Everywhere you look on TV in Australia, there’s a company advertising solar power and solar hot water systems. And you’d be noticing more and more solar panels appearing on roof tops across the suburbs, too.

There are huge savings (thousands of dollars) to be made on getting a solar energy system installed in your home and they pay for themselves in a few years. But before rushing out and buying the first one you see, you’ll want to do a bit of research beforehand. Here are our tip 5 tips for buying a solar power system:

1.Ask your network of friends and family
Chances are someone you know has just had solar panels or solar hot water installed at their place, so ask around. You’ll get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on their experiences. Which solar installers did they end up going with, who did they say stay well clear off? Tap into your network, this should be your first port of call.

2.Insist on a local warranty
When speaking with a solar panel installation company, always be sure to ask about what happens if you run into trouble with the equipment post installation. Does it need to be sent back overseas? If so, it’s advisable to look elsewhere. Imagine trying to make a warranty claim from a company not based in Australia – the heartache and expense of shipping goods overseas and not really knowing where they’ll end up. By far and away, the safest bet is to seek an installer who uses equipment with a significant presence in Australia. Ask how long the warranty lasts on for on each component as well. Is it 10 years? 25 years?

3.Don’t skimp on the hardware
When looking at a solar power system, you’re basically concerned with three main pieces of hardware equipment. These are the solar panels, the inverter and the mounting system. Just like a well-oiled machine, quality components work best together. Cheap, inferior products have a tendency to fail and it can prove costly if you have to swap out a broken inverter for example. Also, check the equipment you’re buying has been certified in order to qualify for a government rebate and not simply self-certified.

4.Get more than one quote
As with any major financial purchase, shop around. If you were getting a new kitchen fit-out, you’d be wanting more than one builder to quote you a price, right? The same goes for solar systems. The old saying “Always get 3 quotes” is sage advice and while you shouldn’t always select the cheapest provider, getting 3 quotes can give you an idea of the average price of the job.

5.Go in armed with a list of questions
Here is a list of questions you should ask any solar design and installation company before you give them your business:

1.What size solar system do I need?
2.What is the Feed in Tariff for my state?
3.How soon can I expect the system to pay for itself?
4.How much does shade affect electricity production?
5.Can my solar system be upgradable if my needs change?
6.How long has your company been operating and how many systems have you installed?
7.Are you based in Australia and do you only sell equipment from manufacturers who have offices in Australia as well?
8.Do the solar panels you sell have a positive or negative power tolerance (negative is bad)?
9.How does the rebate work and is the equipment you use certified so that it is eligible for the rebate?
10.How much maintenance will the solar system need to run optimally and still stay under warranty?

We hope this guide has given you a bit more of an understanding about getting started researching and buying a solar panel system. If you’d like a quote from a company which installs solar panels in Perth, prides itself on a non-pushy, consultative sales process, please contact Infinite Energy. They’ve installed more than 3000 solar systems across Perth and WA and they only deal with solar equipment manufacturers with locally based warranties.

By: Jamie Press

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