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5 sure-fire steps to choosing the right solar provider

By | Blog

Choosing a solar provider can be tough! With dozens to choose from, multiple sales pitches and an information overload, it’s easy to get lost. After 20 years of experience in the industry, we’ve seen and heard it all. We’ve recognized a pattern in the similar mistakes customers make in choosing a solar system and a provider. So, we’ve put together 5 sure-fire steps that are essential for solar success but are often overlooked 90% of buyers.

  1. Know what you really want

80% of people looking into solar become overwhelmed by the stacks of information handed down from solar salespeople. What often happens as a result is a push for products that are more important to the sales team and the business making money, than those that are right for the customer. It’s easy to lose track of what you really want.

That’s why it’s important to start with one main solar goal. If you’re like most people and your goal is to save money – start with that. Our biggest piece of advice is… Don’t be an expert on what they sell, be an expert on what you want. Then make them prove to you that they can deliver. It is the job of the provider to convince you that what they’re selling will deliver and will continue to deliver to achieve your goal.

  1. Show me your credentials

This step is often overlooked. For some, it’s easier to assume trust in a company to avoid an awkward conversation – but you should feel as comfortable and confident with your solar provider, as you do with your GP sitting next to their framed degree. Your decision to invest in solar power needs to be backed up by credentials. The most important thing to check is the legitimacy of the company. Take this list to your potential solar provider and ensure they tick these boxes:

  • Are they an approved Solar Retailer with the Clean Energy Council (CEC)?
  • Do they have an Electrical Contractors License?
  • Are they CEC accredited with appropriate additions?
  • Do they have extensive solar experience and solid references?
  • What other installs have they done in the area?
  • Do they have public liability (min $5M)?

If the company is not partnered with the CEC as an approved retailer, you should ask for a good reason as to why. The CEC approved retailer program holds a sales company to a minimum of 5 years guarantee on the promises made at sale time. This is a voluntary program that only exists to give the end user more assurance. So be wary of those who are not part of this program and ensure they give similar guarantees.

  1. Products and service go hand in hand

Comparing products (as described in step 1), even for the most experienced and solar savvy, can be challenging. Comparing a company’s quality of service is equally important but often easier to determine. Read customers reviews on their post-installation service, check out their ratings and ask around town. Don’t just hold your provider accountable on the product alone (that’s the easy part), ensure they can meet your service needs as well. Tell them what you expect and ask them how they will deliver – not only on the install, but on post-service questions, call outs or unexpected issues.

Service starts from the moment you first make contact. Take note of your provider’s ability to deliver on their promises. How do they guarantee it? Who do you call after the install? Will they be around to help if anything goes south?

  1. Who will keep an eye on your solar?

Like anything, there is always a slight chance of something going wrong with a solar system. So, who keeps an eye out for problems? Over 90% of solar systems are totally reliant on the end user picking up on an issue and determining the best course of action. Monitoring your own solar is beneficial, but it’s often hard for a customer to understand the reports and check it regularly. That’s when you want your solar provider to be there. A very reasonable statement to put to a provider is – I do not want to be responsible for ensuring my system delivers over its life. That is your role. How you will do it?

The less expectation put on you as the end user, the more you know that provider will be around to assist. If your provider does not want to discuss it now, then they definitely won’t later.

  1. Think about costs vs value

We all know that some things are too good to be true, but for the lack of better information, sometimes we just can’t help but go for475 the cheapest option. We know however, that the cheapest is very rarely the best.

Getting the cheapest cost item up front can be a comforting way to make a decision. However, the logical side of our brain (or our logical better half) tells us otherwise. Up until now, the most logical way to make a decision about solar was to compare it at face value, which usually comes down to cost comparison. But, the key here is to ask the right questions and ask for the facts – get mathematical! The cheapest upfront cost might not always deliver the best long term ROI. Our director, Kon Flaherty has put together a set of fool-proof calculations that can help you make an informed, confident decision.

For more information about how you can achieve solar success, call our team of Green Energy experts for an obligation-free discussion about your solar power needs.

5 solar power myths, busted!

By | Blog

The topic of solar electricity, despite its proven benefits, still invites some sceptics. Solar power technology has advanced astronomically over the past 20 years – and with more efficient technology, the overall cost of solar has dropped and the quality has shot waaay up! 

Starting as a once expensive energy source, it seems that there are still some misconceptions about this renewable energy solution and we’re here to set the record straight. We’ve intercepted 5 common solar myths that could be holding you back from a $0 power bill and a more sustainable lifestyle. 

MYTH #1. High electricity prices are just this generation’s reality 

Yes – electricity prices in Australia are some of the highest in the world. Even after a slight fall in mid-2017, power prices are still the highest they’ve been for 20 years – and if we continue to use power from the grid, this isn’t going to change any time soon. 

BUSTED!

But, alongside high power prices, this generation also brings with it more advanced and cost-effective solar power technology than ever before. Therefore, increased power prices are only a factor for those who rely solely on the grid. To give you an idea of the savings you could see on your power bill, two of our Green Energy customers reported that “…before solar, [their] bill was over $800 and the last one was $65” – Robert and Rebecca Hold, Whitsundays. 

MYTH #2. I can’t afford it 

The most common misconception is that solar power is too expensive, and the average Australian household or small business can’t afford it. There are initial installation costs which depend on the system you choose, but if you can afford what you’re currently paying for power, you can afford solar. 

BUSTED!

As power prices continue to rise with everyday expenses, you really can’t afford not to. If you compare the cost per kwhrs (which is the actual power produced by a unit); 1kwhr generated from solar costs between 6-10 cents. The same kwhr delivered through a standard electricity retailer is closer to 30 cents! This usually means that the money you’re saving on your monthly power bill exceeds that of your monthly solar repayments. At Green Energy, we can calculate your individual solar savings based on your last bill.

There are also a variety of Government rebates and financial incentives that will help to reduce the cost of installation. Talk to our team about finding an incentive you could be eligible for.

MYTH #3. It’ll take too long to make back my investment 

Some homeowner’s think they’ll have to wait over 20 years to see their solar power benefits and are concerned that it will take too long to pay of the cost of solar installation – but let’s consider the facts:  

BUSTED! 

Depending on your location and the size of your solar system, you could start seeing a return on your investment almost immediately. Most of our customers make back their installation costs in as little as three to five years. Our friendly team of experts can talk you through your potential ROI and find a solar plan that’s right for you. 

Solar panels can also increase the value of your property. New research from realestate.com.au and Origin Energy found that 85% of Australians identify solar rooftop panels as something which adds to a property’s value. Three quarters of renters also said they would pay additional rent to live in a property with solar energy. 

MYTH #4: I’ll never be able to understand it all

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the solar tech information out there, you’re not alone. It’s hard to know where to begin and it’s likely to be one of those life-admin tasks that has slipped into the too-hard-basket. 

BUSTED! 

Solar panels are complicated pieces of technology – but a way to combat that is to find an installer you can trust. At Green Energy, we take the time to explain all our solar plans to make sure you understand what you’re getting and what your ROI will be. This could all be done and dusted in one consultation. 

We believe in developing strong, transparent relationships with all our customers, so they know they’re in safe hands. Check out our online case studies to hear from some of our satisfied solar warriors.  

MYTH #5: There’s no harm in holding off 

For a lot of people, the reason for holding off on installing solar could be explained by any 4 of the above solar myths, but we’re here to put things into perspective. 

BUSTED! 

In short, there’s never been a better time to invest in solar. Government incentives are decreasing, energy prices are going up, solar panel prices are coming down and the technology is as good as it’s ever been. Don’t waste money by waiting. Invest in your own electricity solution, stop paying for grid power and stay ahead of the power price rises and government incentive phase out.

 

Sources:

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

http://theconversation.com/higher-energy-prices-are-here-to-stay-heres-what-we-can-do-about-it-99187

https://www.wholesalesolar.com/blog/17-solar-power-misconceptions/\

https://news.energysage.com/top-solar-myths/

https://www.realestate.com.au/news/85-of-aussies-say-solar-panels-boost-property-prices/

 

Solar power to reduce Australia’s #1 cost of living concern

By | Blog

It’s no surprise that electricity prices are the number 1 cost of living concern in Australia – our power bills are some of the highest in the world! A study by Canstar shows that 42% of their over-50s respondents believe that energy costs are their main cause of bill stress, closely followed by health insurance and council rates. 

More and more Australian households are struggling to pay their electricity bills with some reports showing that families are choosing to move houses, throw out electrical appliances or live without heating in winter – all to save on their power bills and keep their living costs down. 

To make matters worse, Australian electricity prices are only getting higher, with some politicians saying that these highs are the “new normal”. What we’re now calling “normal” is a 117% increase in electricity prices over the past decade – that’s 4 times the average price increase across sectors, according to the ABC. 

Australians are calling for governments to prioritise and invest in renewable energy sources to offer a solution to the ever-rising electricity prices and provide a long-term power solution for our future. 

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has implemented large and small-scale renewable energy schemes, aimed at ensuring 23.5% of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. For the everyday Australian, these schemes provide a financial incentive to install small-scale renewable energy systems such a rooftop solar, solar water heaters and heat pumps. Now more than ever is the time to invest in solar energy – with government rebates helping to take the sting out of initial set up costs.   

Be part of the solution and join the thousands of Australians enjoying the benefits of solar power.

  • Drastically reduce your electricity bills so you can focus on the more important things 
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the 23.5% renewable energy target 
  • Generate clean power for your home or business without costing the earth 
  • Increase the value of your home or business 
  • Put that Queensland sunshine to good use! 

As an approved solar energy provider by Australia’s Clean Energy Council, we say SWITCH TO SOLAR and stop paying too much for power bills. 

Call our friendly team of experts at Green Energy to find out how you can cross electricity bills off your list of worries.

Sources:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-18/electricity-price-rises-chart-of-the-day/9985300

https://www.power-technology.com/features/australia-energy-prices/

https://www.canstar.com.au/budgeting/energy-costs-1-cost-living-pressure/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/01/australias-high-electricity-prices-the-new-normal-report-says

https://www.aer.gov.au/news-release/rising-energy-prices-create-affordability-problems