Do you really want to purchase solar from your energy provider?

 

We conducted our second, bi-annual Australian Consumer Solar Survey back in February of this year and were surprised by the sentiment towards consumers purchasing solar systems from their current energy providers.

37.45% of respondents stated that they would not purchase a solar system from their energy retailer.  A further 30% were unsure.

Here’s a breakdown of why:

  • I don’t like them – 4.04%
  • I wouldn’t trust them – 20.38%
  • They don’t have expertise in this area – 9.79%
  • I’d rather support local installers or small business – 40.06%
  • Other – 25.73%

Taking all those reasons in to consideration, why is it that many customers are still willing to align themselves, contractually, with their current electricity provider?  Is it convenience?  Is it laziness?  Is it a lack of education/information?

Maybe.

Mostly, we think that it’s due to the enticing offers of 0$down and $0 % interests [for a limited period].

In the current financial climate with an average Australian pay rise sitting at 0.5% and the average increase in electricity prices at 4.76%, that’s a very shiny and pretty offer.

But you might want to pause and ask yourself “Why is my electricity provider, now trying to convert me to solar?”

 

Alas, all that glitters is not golden.

Many of these offers are straight up credit cards with major banks, so the “loan” is not necessarily for the exact amount, but a rounded up line of credit.  So, a consumer could easily be tempted to spend the balance of the credit during this payback period.

The interest rate after 5-year period of 0% interest is applied at the cash advance rate, currently sitting at 25.99%.  Oh, there is also an annual fee charged, which can range from $59 to $119.

Additionally, these will come with few system options when selecting panels, an inverter and possibly a battery.

Each vendor will have their own sets of lending criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges that will apply.

Again, this is from one vendor. With nothing to compare it to, $0 down and $0 interest might seem like a great option, even if it is from an entity with a not-so-great trust score.

These are all problems, which are easily solved.
Compare the market.

Get multiple quotes from multiple vendors, who offer a variety of [top tier] products, with acceptable warranties at competitive prices.

You might even find that, after the count the current government rebate of up to $4826*, you might not need to finance.
Then again, you might discover that your energy provider is the best option for you, but at least you will have done your due diligence to ensure that you made the best decision for your household.

 

Let us help you make that decision by getting 3 Free Quotes, from local suppliers.

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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