There’s no doubt that the world of solar and renewable energies is evolving rapidly.
Likewise, it’s no secret that energy prices too are on an upward trajectory for all.
With the increasing demand for sustainable and cost-effective energy sources both here in Victoria and beyond, solar power is now a more viable solution than ever before for homes and businesses alike.
And yet, a common question prevails: are quality solar panels really, truly worth the price tag?
In this post, we’ll delve into the range of reasons why (and under what circumstances) quality solar panels are a wise investment, exploring the benefits of installing quality solar panels, highlighting the risks of opting for cheaper alternatives, exploring the availability of current incentives in Victoria, and taking a look at the reasons why quality solar products more accessible than ever before.
Let’s get cracking!
What sets quality solar panels apart?
The first step in understanding the true, long-lasting value of quality solar panels is to understand the significant differences between high-quality and poor-quality panels.
Here are some key differentiators to consider:
- Longer lifespan: Quality solar panels are built to last, often coming with warranties that extend to 20, 25 or even a huge 40 years in the case of SunPower Maxeon panels, which we stock at G Store. This ensures that your investment remains protected for the longest-possible period. Ask the Victorian solar provider you’re considering: “What warranty periods do you offer with the panels you stock?”
- Enhanced efficiency: Quality solar panels in Victoria are equipped with advanced technology, resulting in much higher overall energy production. These solar panels can generate more power from the same amount of sunlight they receive, leading to enhanced savings over time for the purchaser.
- Flexible installation options: More generally, quality solar panels offer versatility in their installation, allowing for customisation to suit your specific home’s needs and/or the available space on your roof. This flexibility is often missing in cheaper alternatives, or the installers of these cheaper panels are not well-equipped to handle difficult installation scenarios.
- Lower degradation rate: One hallmark of quality solar panels available in Victoria is their degradation rate. This is the rate at which the panel degrades in its capacity to produce energy, which is normal for all panels, over time. SunPower systems record an average degradation rate of -0.32% per year compared with -1.25% per year for other non-SunPower systems. REC solar panels, also stocked by G Store, boast an average annual degradation rate of no more than -0.25% and a guaranteed power output of at least 92% at year 25!
What value-add do I get from a trusted solar retailer in Victoria?
If you’ve already commenced your solar journey, it won’t come as any surprise to you that finding the right solar retailer is as crucial as finding the right solar panels.
Here are some essential factors to consider when evaluating which retailer-installer is right for you.
- Positive customer reviews: Look for retailers with a track record of satisfied customers. Feedback and reviews from homeowners who have experienced the retailer’s service can offer valuable insights – just do a quick Google or ask your solar retailer where to find their testimonials.
- Quality products: Ensure that the retailer offers reputable brands and high-quality solar panels and equipment. Reliability and performance are key, as are reviews of the brands/products offered by your retailer.
- Ongoing customer service: A reliable solar retailer in Victoria should provide excellent customer support – and not just at the time of sale. You want to be assured that assistance is readily available in case issues arise post-installation. It’s that same old adage – you don’t care about good customer support until you need it!
- Awards, recognitions and certifications: While awards aren’t everything, solar retailers that have received awards and recognitions within the Australian solar industry often indicate their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. At G Store, we’re a certified and preferred installer for many of the country’s leading brands – which means we’ll also install them to the highest-possible standard.
Put simply, when you choose to purchase a particular brand of solar panel, you’re not just choosing the product itself. You’re opting for the service, support, installation prowess and warranty protections provided by the retailer who sells them to you.
So – make sure you choose wisely!
What’s the average cost of solar panels in Victoria?
As you might imagine, the cost of a solar system in Victoria varies based on a range of different factors, including the system size, the quality of panels, and the fees associated with installation of the solar panels.
The good news is that there are a huge range of rebates available for solar panels in Victoria that make the up front cost of a higher quality system vastly more affordable for most customers.
The question then is this: can you really afford *not* to opt for a higher-end system?
Are there rebates for solar panels in Victoria?
There sure are.
Solar Victoria offers a growing number of incredible rebates, each designed with your particular circumstances in mind. In Victoria, three main rebates apply for the purchase and installation solar panels and associated solar products:
- The Victorian solar panel rebatehttps://www.gstore.com.au/tag/rebates/
- The Victoria hot water rebate (including solar and heat pump hot water)
- The Victorian solar battery loans program (providing up to $8,800 interest-free for the purchase of a solar battery)
You can assess your eligibility and find out more about these rebates in the dedicated section of our learning centre.
Why should I avoid cheap solar panels?
With the rising cost of living and many competing financial pressures in our lives, it’s understandable that you might be tempted by target social media ads (or otherwise) claiming to offer too-good-to-be-true deals on solar panels in Victoria.
However, it’s absolutely vital to comprehend the full range of risks associated with opting for the lowest-priced panel option. Put simply, a solar panel isn’t just cheap because the retailer/installer wants to be kind to you. There’s always a reason why a product has a much lower upfront cost than others.
Here are some common pitfalls of cheap solar products that you might like to consider:
- Poor build quality and short lifespan: Inexpensive solar panels are often constructed with lower-quality and unethical materials and processes, leading to shorter lifespans and frequent replacements.
- Warranty issues: Warranties for cheap solar panels may be non-existent or be tricky to access or administer. This can be the case with some sole trader solar panel installers/retailers who have little clout when it comes to accessing warranty protections for customers.
- Inferior inverters: A solar inverter is a specific kind of power inverter that converts variable direction current output of a solar panel into the kind of electricity that can be fed into the grid (and used). Cheap solar installers may utilise low-quality inverters, impacting the overall performance of your system.
- Unethical brand and model switches: Some companies may substitute the advertised premium products with lower-quality equivalents during installation. For uninitiated customers, this can be an easy switch to miss. Choose the wrong installer and you may be offered very little protection if this unfortunate situation was to eventuate.
- Inadequate system design: Cheap solar deals are typically not tailored to your home’s specific needs, resulting in suboptimal efficiency and output. A quality solar installation process takes into account the specific conditions of your home or business, tailoring a system to suit your build so that it functions at optimal efficiency and safety.
- Upselling and hidden costs: It’s often the case that attractive deals with a lower upfront cost can lead to upselling to a more expensive system, negating the advertised price and highlighting hidden costs that the solar retailer/installer hasn’t discussed with you.
- Poor installation quality: Some cheaper solar companies in Victoria employ unqualified workers for installation, potentially compromising your safety and the longevity of your system overall. What’s more, corners may be cut during installation, putting your investment at huge risk.
- Unethical sales tactics: Cheap solar companies can employ aggressive sales tactics and engage in misleading practices to close deals. Have you noticed this since you began your solar journey?
- Fake reviews: Some unethical solar companies in Victoria may resort to fake reviews and testimonials to portray their services as superior to what they offer. Vigilance is required when assessing online reviews – and if you’re unsure, crosscheck your information by making phone calls to the retailer, perhaps using this article as your guide for questioning them.
Another way you can arm yourself against the downfalls of cheap solar products in Victoria is by looking for the warning signs of cheaper solar panels and batteries:
What are the warning signs of cheap solar panels?
- Poor ethics in the panel’s production line
- Poor power output in comparison to other panels
- Discoloured surfaces or broken elements when the panels arrive
- Unappealing design and/or aesthetics
- Lack of flexibility in installation
- Unusually low prices
- Unprofessional website or sales materials
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s now important to ask:
Are more expensive solar panels worth it?
Key to this discussion is to reframe your concept of “expensive”.
Have you come to understand “expensive” as meaning the product with the highest upfront cost? Or perhaps the product that sits just outside of your budget, regardless of its features?
Take a look at how you’re defining “expensive” and then, do the numbers. At G Store, we can help you form a specific understanding of exactly what you can get for an upfront cost that takes into account the relevant rebates and that doesn’t harbour any hidden costs.
The kicker? While more expensive solar panels come with a higher upfront cost, they are generally worth it in the long run. Good quality solar panels tend to be more efficient, have longer lifespans, and are backed by strong warranty periods, generally ensuring better performance and greater savings over a longer period of time.
The key is to find the right balance between quality and cost that aligns with your budget and energy requirements.
Ready to learn more about the quality, high-efficiency solar panels we stock and recommend at G Store?
We can’t wait to chat with you.