The solar glitch Aussie households need to know about
Various solar rebates and schemes have helped thousands of Aussie households turn their green energy dreams into reality, and it’s helping boost renewable energy production big time.
According to solar energy marketplace bidmysolar, one-fifth of Australia’s clean energy is generated from small-scale solar systems.
One scheme that’s increasingly popular amongst Aussie homeowners is the federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Under this scheme, small-scale technology certificates (STC) are generated for every kilowatt of panels installed.
The number of certificates produced per system depends on its geographical location, installation date and the amount of electricity generated, which can mean a rebate worth thousands of dollars.
Regardless of the system’s efficiency, the rebate per panel remains the same, prompting Aussies to purchase less reliable and cheaper systems. As a result, electricity generation and consumption are disrupted.
“Quality solar will pay for itself within three to four years and last for 15 to 25 years. Comparably, cheap solar often fails within 12 to 36 months and underperforms by as much as 60% annually,” founder of bidmysolar, Bernie Kelly told Mozo.
“Cheap solar is undeniably expensive solar, because not only have you invested in a system that fails but you also continue to have sizable power bills and if you decide to reinvest in a new system, the output of those costs too.”
Further research from bidmysolar revealed that one in six solar systems across the country developed a major fault or stopped working altogether, with cheaper models often losing more than 20% of their output capacity within just five years.
“The government incentive programme for solar has created an environment for unreliable solar operators to thrive. Cheap, underperforming and failing solar has been dumped into the Australian market,” says Kelly.
It’s forecasted that more than 400,000 applications for the STC’s by the Clean Energy Regulator will be made this year. To prevent more solar hiccups for the average household, Kelly shared with Mozo his top three tips for finding a top of the line solar system.
“The most important issue for consumers is to never rush in, avoid all the sales hype, and know that prices do not swing wildly from day to day or month to month,” he said. “Avoid wherever possible, finance promising interest-free, no money down. Instead, talk to your bank and use their Green Loan initiatives or a fit for purpose solar loan.
“Always stick to the facts, if anybody makes a statement regarding quality and performance, have them explain the position with some science attached. Question everything which is stated verbally and have a salesperson commit to writing what they have said.
“Find an independent solar advisor who is not conflicted by sales commissions or benefits, like selling your personal details to multiple solar companies.”
Despite its popularity, solar power remains a mystery for many Aussies, so if you’d like to learn more about how solar energy works, have a read of our handy guide.