Useful tips before buying a solar system.
While deciding to buy a solar system, consider the following suggestions:
- Undertake some solar research using our FAQ site and other sources like the Clean Energy Council’s consumer guide or the Facebook page “Crap Solar” or google Scam Solar to find the latest cheap solar nightmares. Also speak to family and friends who already have a solar installed to hear about their experience.
- Do your research about brands and prices. There are some very cheap offers on the market, but often these cheaper deals mean that poor quality equipment is made to appear like quality. Keep in mind that you are looking for a product to last for 25 years, so that your financial investment is returned over and over. Find out about the company offering the very cheap deal; if it is a solar sales company - and not a local installer - avoid them. Often some internet research reveals a good overall picture.
- Do not give into pressure selling and deadlines. It’s one of the oldest sales tricks in the book. If the sales person cannot give you the time to make a considered decision, then they are likely fearful you’ll discover problems with the deal after a little research; bad reviews, unfulfilled warranties and poor quality products can all be revealed through minimal research. Buy from local installers so that in years to come you can access their local solar expertise and support.
- Do not be guided by internet reviews. Unfortunately many solar reviews on the internet have been manipulated via internet review providing centres overseas or simply pay for review actions. It is easy to just write a text on a website and simply make things up. Unfortunately solar is not immune of such practice. Follow the golden rule. In solar - you get what you pay for and the cheap buyer - regularly has to buy twice.
- Look at the size of your roof and how big a solar system can fit? Try our roof size calculator to work out how big a solar system can be on your specific roof. To check the calculator result, contact your local LG dealer. Remember to allow some reserve space for when you install a solar storage battery for night time solar power use, and even more battery storage capacity to charge up an electric car in years to come. Remember, your quality solar system is built to last for 25+ years. Think back over the past 25 years to the days of 'brick' mobile phones, dot matrix printers, floppy disks, fax machines, Walkman’s and VCRs, now consider what the next 25 years may bring and how your home power needs may change and grow.
- Set yourself a budget. Solar systems vary in quality and size and so does the price. As a rule of thumb each KW of a quality solar system will cost in the range of $1,300 to $1,600 for a residential system up to 10 kW. You can find systems for $600 per kW but these are very much lower grade systems with less output productivity and shorter shelf life in inverters and panels. Looking to save a few dollars and buying poor/cheap quality system will cost you more in the future. You are making an investment of at least 25 years, so avoid compromising and consider quality and real warranty support over everything else. Additionally, a top brand solar system with good performance at the time you sell your home could return you about $10,000 or more in property value. See real estate survey.
- Consider Panel Types & Certifications. There are mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and amorphous films available in Australia which are used for solar systems. We recommend the high efficiency mono-crystalline Type solar panels, as this is the technology used most often in quality solar systems and is the most tested technology, as mono-crystalline panels have been mass produced since the 1970s. They have a black appearance and from our point of view will blend in more to your roof and neighbourhood than the blue poly-crystalline solar panel variety. Nowadays the blue Polly panels are mostly phased out. As for Mono-crystalline N-type silicone panels as they will perform excellent in low light and hot weather.
- Consider the available Government rebates. Solar systems attract government rebates if they have been registered with the Clean Energy Council. Liaise with the install company to ensure that the offered panels are registered. All LG panels are registered and have undergone extensive fire resistance testing, a requirement in the Australian Solar standards.
- Look for the right Manufacturer’s Warranty. Many manufacturers will offer a 10, 12 or 15 year Manufacturing Warranty and an 80% Performance Warranty of 25 years. Unfortunately the Performance Warranties are hard to claim, as the cost of proving the low performance can be more than the warranty payout. For a consumer it can become difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Companies like LG offer a full product replacement warranty for 25 years and most importantly, LG are not a company based in some remote offshore location but have a large presence in Australia, with close to $1 billion annual income. Finally make sure the manufacturer has a local legal entity in Australia; should you have a dispute in years to come, a company with no link or contact in Australia is hard to pursue when it comes to consumer rights.
- Choose a quality Solar Inverter Solution to go with quality LG panels. An inverter is an important part of the solar system and has a direct impact on the efficiency of conversion from solar power to usable electric power of your system. The more efficient the inverter, the better the energy conversion process will be. The bigger and more established the manufacturer, the more likely warranty claims or required repairs will be dealt with smoothly. LG Solar Australia recommends Fronius, SMA, Enphase and Solaredge inverter solutions.
- Mounting and accessories are important. There are building standards for every aspect of the mounting and electrical accessories used in a solar system. Quality systems are certified. Ensure that the installer uses certified products by having the products to be used in your system clearly listed as part of the quote.
- Do your research when getting Quotes and Buying: We recommend that you get a few quotes for comparison. Never be pressured by a sales person to sign on the spot. Avoid the travelling band of solar installers hitting town (door knockers) and then disappearing, never to be seen again, when the system breaks down. Use local install companies and take your time, before you buy.
You can contact your local, authorised LG solar panel dealer who will give you professional advice or call LG direct on 1300 152 179 with any question.
Qualified LG Solar Installer: