The Solar Price Wave
Unscrupulous solar power companies continue to mislead or deceive customers with carefully worded ads.
With the option of a sale or bargain, everyone wanting to get on the green wave and buy a solar system will jump at the chance of saving a few dollars. Every year for the past few years a government rebate has been available that does save customers some extra money. On the 1st of July like every other past couple of years this rebate will be reduced again.
A large number of Solar Power suppliers use this “going, going, gone” tactic to scare consumers into thinking that the rebate is going to run out and if they don’t take advantage there will be a bigger cost to them.
The reality is, yes the rebate is reducing but there is a fundamental reason why.
Solar systems have continued to reduce in price over the past 4 years. We have seen a 33% drop on systems compared to the same time last year. The price drop also had a government rebate reduction of $1500 which would make the difference closer to a 40% price drop. The incentive offered by the government was designed to help make solar more affordable.
The fact is they are.
The price has dropped so much so that the rebate is tending to not inflate the price but to keep the prices from dropping while it’s in its running out phase. The rebate this year will only be a drop of $700 and the incentive of $1200 is still available for the next year. Is this a reason to jump in and buy a system at a possibly inflated price? Just make sure you shop around.
Price differences of solar systems between supplies have been another way to get caught out of pocket. The unsuspecting consumer is willing to take an offer without shopping around. A comparison from 4 different suppliers has revealed the following on a 5kW system:
Solar Company 1 - $28 000
Solar Company 2 - $21 000
Solar Company 3 - $9990
Solar Company 4 - $11990
The startling fact is we have installed every one of these systems in our surrounding region as a sub-contractor. The ACCC have stated it’s not a crime to sell something at an exorbitant price as long as it’s the product advertised so it’s just an uneducated consumer missing out and paying thru the nose.
The quality of hardware is also another startling difference with the cheapest equipment being sold at the higher prices whilst the better quality equipment is in fact being sold cheaper. Better equipment will not only last longer but will perform better and save you more money in the long run. Solar Company 1 (Melbourne) and 2 (Perth) use the cheapest they can find. Solar Company 3 uses better quality Chinese panels and Solar Company 4 use German made Inverters and Norwegian made panels.
One more thing the consumer should be careful of, when buying a solar system. If it’s eventually delivered and installed 6 months later, what has the price of the system done in that time? It will have dropped another 15% in price while you have been waiting for an install date. Make sure you get a fixed installation date or maximum time frame to install.It really is a time for the consumer to be aware, don’t be pressured into a sale and get value for you money.