If you’ve decided to make the switch to solar energy, you’ve made a great choice. One of the most important things you need to do is to work with a reputable solar panel installer who can guide you through the process. Many people and businesses switching to solar have made entirely preventable missteps along the way, so here we’ve created a list of common mistakes to avoid for a hassle-free switch.
Waiting for the latest technology
Some people who want to make the switch wait too long because they’re waiting for the latest technology to arrive. As in every other technology, new components for solar systems arrive on the market from time to time, but the configuration of residential and business solar systems has remained the same for quite a number of years, and has already reached impressive levels of efficiency. Every quality solar system has a payback date where the net savings made from the system outweigh the original cost, and all the savings made are considered as profit. That means the sooner you install a solar system, the sooner you’ll be in profit. If you keep waiting for the latest technology to arrive, it’s more likely than not that you’ll end up never taking advantage of cleaner, greener, cost-effective solar power.
Not understanding solar power
Some homeowners and businesses who want to make the switch are under the impression that solar may not be completely right for them because their property lacks the right features or layout. Whether this is because your roof isn’t north facing or because you have other buildings or trees sheltering your roof, you’re probably mistaken. Split arrays where panels face in two or more directions can still provide great benefits, and it’s thought that since the reduction of electricity Feed In Tariffs, arrays split over the East and West faces of a roof can actually be more preferable than north, particularly for working households where energy usage increases at the start and the end of the day. If shading, soiling or multi faced roofs are a concern, there are now specific solar products such as Micro Inverters and DC optimisers to maximise a system’s output. With Australia having the highest average solar radiation per square metre, even if the roof on the property isn’t facing the right direction, a reputable installer can still help you out with setting up a highly efficient system.
Not maintaining your system
It’s true that solar systems require little maintenance, but there are a few things that owners should look out for to make sure their system runs at maximum efficiency for many years to come. For example, a buildup of dust can negatively impact the amount of power your panels generate for you. Doing the basics as instructed by your installer will keep your system working hard for you and generating the most power possible. One of the simplest things you can do is check your average output from time to time. Most modern systems offer online monitoring to quickly check your solar output, and some monitoring systems can even be configured to send an alert when your system is not working as it should.
Not obtaining the right sized system
Some households and businesses who switch to solar make the mistake of not doing a full review and analysis of their power requirements, and so end up with a system that doesn’t match their requirements. This could be because their solar installer hasn’t taken the time to go through the household requirements with them.
It is a legal requirement for your installer to provide a performance estimate for your system. A reliable solar system installer will also take you through your electricity usage patterns and history before making an informed recommendation about the type of system you need. They’ll also take other factors into consideration, including your budget and property features. Other factors, such as renovations and buying new appliances, might also be relevant. If you don’t know what you need and what you want, you could end up with a system that’s too small or too big for your requirements.
Not exploring financing
Exploring financing options could help you reach your goal of powering your home or business with clean solar power more quickly. Financing might also be something to consider if you’d like to own a larger system than you can’t currently afford without financing. You could reduce your out-of-pocket costs while saving on electricity bills over the long term. Depending on your circumstances, your system could save you a considerable amount spent on electricity costs each year, so even if financing a system might cost you a bit more, you could be better off in the long run if you install your system now. At Keen 2B Green, not only do we have solar systems to suit all budgets, we can also offer tailored finance packages to suit your purchase, with interest free repayment plans available.
Choosing an inferior product
It’s easy to opt for what appears to be a cheaper solar system, but this could turn out to be a costly error. Whether it’s six months after your system is installed or longer, inferior systems can experience rapid degradations in efficiency, along with other safety and performance related issues such as discolouration, delamination, burning out of the connectors, and isolator and inverter failures. A product’s warranty should be carefully investigated, as it may be difficult to claim on without any backing from an Australian office. Your company may also pass liability of an installation on to the electrical contractor or might require an annual service at your own cost. From set-up and parts to design and installation, avoid the common mistake of trying to save money and ending up with a product that will cost you more in repairs and replacement over the long run.
Missing out on government incentives and feed in tariffs
If you’re buying a solar system, you might be eligible for different types of government incentives. These can vary depending on your state or territory, and if you qualify, you could save a significant amount of money through incentives such as Small Scale Technology Certificates, which provide a rebate based on the size of your system and the estimated power it will produce over fifteen years. Solar feed in tariffs are also available and are dependent on your electricity contract. These rates are no longer regulated by the government and differ vastly depending on the electricity retailer and plan, so shopping around is recommended. When selecting an plan, the four main factors that should be considered are the solar feed in tariff rate, the consumed/imported energy rate per kilowatt, the solar meter charge and the daily service charge. Depending on your solar and imported energy usage, the highest feed in tariff might not be your cheapest plan option. Keen 2B Green can tell you which ones you qualify for and help you save more on your installation costs.
Not choosing a reputable installer
Finally, the most important mistake to avoid is failing to go with a reputable installer you can trust. Your solar system installer assists you with everything from recommending the right type of system and letting you know about applicable incentives, negotiating your contact with your network provider, coordinating your connection to the grid, helping you find the right financing and guiding you on maintenance. A good installer will set up a solar panel system that allows you to get the most from your property, given its features and attributes.
Reputable installers utilise experienced electricians and provide you with a fault-free installation service. If there are any issues, they’ll be quick to rectify them. A quality provider uses only high-quality components for all parts of the system – whether it’s the inverter, panels, cabling or racking – instead of low-quality systems that could see large declines in solar energy conversion rates or rapid degradation. A reputable installer will also be happy to provide you with a transparent warranty and terms and conditions.
If you’d like to know more about Keen 2B Green’s installation services and solar products, get in contact with us today.