It’s a concerning reality, but it’s important to note that this has originated primarily from poor quality, cheap components or substandard installations and is not a reflection of every operator in the market.
In an industry that is largely pressured by consumer expectations for the lowest prices, many solar providers and manufacturers unfortunately make the decision to sell cheap products and cut installation corners to make some level of profit. Many of these companies are in it for a short term “cash grab” and have no intention of being around in the long term to deal with the fallout from their work.
In an interview during the ABC report, Michelle McCann from PV Lab Australia says, “Australian consumers are notorious, and known overseas, for caring a lot about price and not caring about quality, and when that happens you get the cheaper product. And the cheaper product is not the better-performing product.”
What McCann is essentially saying is you get what you pay for. Choosing to purchase a budget brand for your panels or your inverter, or a budget company to complete your install, increases the likelihood that you’ll run into issues.
Our tip: If you’re hoping this will be a one-time purchase that will last the next 20+ years, spend the extra time researching your options and don’t let price be your one and only deciding factor when investing in a solar PV system.
While we hope the findings from the ABC’s report don’t deter you from installing solar altogether, we hope it does reinforce the importance of choosing a reputable retailer with high-quality systems and rigid safety standards.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.
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