Choosing the best solar panels for your specific needs requires careful consideration and research – not least because the current market is so saturated with options and products, many of which are substandard.
With the growing popularity of solar energy in Australia, it’s essential to spend time researching and selecting quality solar and solar battery storage products that offer optimal performance, durability, and long-term benefits to both you and your home.
In this article, we’ll look at some valuable tips to help you choose the best solar panels for your specific needs, interests and budget. The aim? To help you make a comfortable, well-informed decision and maximise the benefits you receive from your solar system for many years to come.
Let’s get started.
Tip 1: Choose quality solar and solar battery storage products
We’ve all received them: unsolicited emails offering solar panel and battery storage deals that seem too good to be true, at prices that defy logic.
But there’s a reason for this. Often, the reason these solar products and services can be offered at such a low price is due to the low quality of the technology, product, and capacity for ongoing customer support once install has been completed.
Here are the factors we suggest contribute the greatest deal to the standard or quality of a solar product:
Efficiency: Solar panel efficiency is all about how well a particular solar panel or solar product turns sunlight into electricity. Panels with higher efficiency generate more power from the same amount of sunlight, meaning that within a limited space, a home or business’ energy needs can still be supported. In Australia, the average efficiency of solar panels is approximately 17-20%.
Durability: If, like other customers, you’re keen to secure solar panels that can handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you, you’ll need to be looking for a durable product and one that’s likely to last for many years – particularly in Australia’s harsh environmental conditions. Factors like wind load resistance, hail rating, and temperature coefficients should be considered, helping ensure that your panels can handle the wide range of environmental challenges they’re likely to face over their lifetime.
Certification: Over our 15+ years of industry experience, we’ve learned that it’s vastly important to choose solar panels that have been independently tested and certified by trusted organisations like the Clean Energy Council (CEC) in Australia. When a particular model of solar panel obtains CEC certification, it means that strict quality and safety standards have been both met and maintained.
Manufacturer’s reputation: This is a big one. Don’t forget to do your homework on the solar panel manufacturer, checking out their reputation, how long they’ve been in the game, what customers have to say about their products, and how they handle their warranty claims, no matter what the nature of the claim or fault. Above all, this should give you a good idea of the quality of both their panels and the level of satisfaction you can expect from their ongoing customer service and the handling of your issue.
Tip 2: Choose solar panels with a long warranty
The worst feeling ever is not having sufficient faith in a product you’ve just purchased – solar, or otherwise.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned throughout our 15+ years in the industry, it’s that customers find those long days and nights spent worrying about a break-down, replacement or malfunction to be incredibly tiring.
The solution? Choose a panel with a long warranty – not only because it provides your peace-of-mind, but it also demonstrates just how much faith the manufacturer has in its product.
More broadly, solar panel and solar battery warranties provide confidence and protection against potential defects or underperformance, although these are unlikely with a higher quality product. When selecting solar panels, we strongly suggest considering the length and coverage of the warranty offered by the manufacturer – such as that provided by SunPower for their SunPower Maxeon solar panels: an industry-best and very impressive 40+ years!
According to website SolarQuotes, a widely trusted Australian solar power information and quoting service, most reputable solar panel manufacturers across Victoria and beyond offer warranties that range from between 10 to 25 years. At G Store, we’ll always offer you products with strong warranties that demonstrate not only the manufacturer’s but our own confidence in the products we supply.
Tip 3: Make sure you understand the available government solar rebates and incentives
With such a wide range of government solar rebates and incentives now available, making a choice about the “best” solar panels for your specific needs is made easier – that is, you can truly understand an accurate projection of both upfront costs and long-term investment opportunity.
Both the Australian and Victorian state governments provide various incentives and rebates to promote the adoption of solar energy. While these can change year-on-year and depending on the election cycle, these incentives generally provide upfront, ongoing, and significant financial support for homeowners and businesses alike to help reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels.
Here are some examples of the solar rebates and incentives currently available in Victoria:
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs): STCs are “tradable” certificates that can be used to reduce the cost of your solar panel installation. The number of STCs you receive as a household or business depends on important factors such as the size of the solar system you have, and the location of your specific installation. The Clean Energy Regulator provides an online STC calculator that can help you estimate the number of certificates for which you may be eligible.
Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs): As a member of a Virtual Power Plant program (VPP), you can start earning “feed-in tariffs” – a certain amount of money per kW of energy you export to help stabilise the broader grid. While the rates and eligibility criteria for FiTs vary across different states and territories, we’re proud to offer an outstanding FiT via our VPP partnership with Smily Energy – an amazing 15c/kW! Just ask us how today on 1300 766 940.
Various grants and subsidies: In addition to STCs and FiTs, various state-specific grants and subsidies may be available to you, subject to eligibility, to support your installation of a new solar panel system. These programs aim to encourage renewable energy adoption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One great example is the recently announced Solar Victoria solar battery loans, via which up to 4,500 homes in Victoria can access loans of up to $8,800 interest free – read more here.
Overall, it’s important to recognise that choosing the best solar panels for your specific needs requires careful consideration and balance of factors such as quality, warranty, and available government incentives.
With over 15+ years of trusted solar and battery story expertise, our G Store team’s passion is helping you find the solar and solar battery storage solution that’s right for you.