So, you’ve heard about all the benefits associated with solar panels, such as lowered power bills and reduced enviro footprint. You’ve made the decision to commit, and are now in the process of finding a reputable company. Perhaps you’ve hit up Google to search for something like ‘best solar installers in Brisbane’, or maybe you’ve received a hot tip from a mate about their solar panel experience with XYZ.
While this is all well and good, it pays to do a bit of research and ask some key questions before settling on your solar panel provider. To help you out, the following list outlines what to address during your hunt for solar installers in Brisbane.
- How will you decide the type of system to use on my home?
From the shape, type and slope of your roof to your home’s current efficiency levels, there exists a myriad of factors that will determine which solar panel system is best suited for your abode. Of course, your own individual situation also comes into play, including design aesthetic preferences, financial restrictions and energy needs.
A reputable solar company will take the time to assess your circumstances and discuss your options with you. Ideally, they will advise a system that best reflects your wants and needs, rather than something that’s cheap and easy for them to install.
- What kind of performance can I expect from this system?
Once a system has been recommended, it’s important to clarify your expectations. For instance, a monocrystalline solar panel is renowned for providing high efficiency and subsequently comes with a higher price tag, while a thin-film system gives the lowest efficiency yet offers other benefits in terms of portability, flexibility and aesthetics. Evidently, it helps to know what you’re investing in to avoid disappointment.
Here’s a hot tip: in order to gauge a good idea of performance expectations, ask the company for a detailed breakdown of kilowatt-hours typically produced by the system each month, rather than daily output. While there is no ‘best solar company in Brisbane’, a reputable one should at least take the time to generate these figures for you, thus providing a more accurate snapshot as it accounts for natural peaks and troughs throughout the year.
- Is there room to upgrade in the future?
Whether you plan to extend your home, increase your energy usage or grow your family, your future energy needs are likely to change over the course of time. Hence, it’s a good idea to momentarily peer into the crystal ball and try to predict what the next chapter of your life will look like. An upgradable solar panel system can ensure additional solar panels are added as your circumstances evolve, so it’s a good idea to check with your provider if this is doable.
Of course, one of the major benefits of solar panels is the financial incentive they offer. While current schemes vary between states and territories, the general gist is that energy providers buy back the energy that homeowners export to the grid at an equivalent or higher price to market rates.
With that in mind, your solar company should explain how they plan to calculate a system size that will generate the best return on investment for you. This is a complicated procedure that requires estimations based on how much energy you will export versus how much you will import. In other words, it’s not just about amount of energy usage, but when energy usage occurs as well.
- What are your warranty timeframes and procedures?
It’s always a good idea to check up on manufacturer warranties. Enquire about how the system’s different components are covered, the recommended frequency of servicing for maximum performance, and length of the product warranty (for reference, 25 years is a pretty standard ballpark figure offered by solar installers companies in Brisbane).
In addition, make sure you check whether the company requires you to pay them for a regular check-and-clean as part of the installation warranty – this can be a cheeky trap set by some less reputable providers.
Lastly, it’s helpful to understand what will happen if a repair or replacement is required, including your own responsibilities within the overall process (for instance, who you may need to contact, what kinds of costs you will potentially fork out, and so on).