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4 Things You Must Know About Solar

Posted on 4 May 2013
I recently got off the phone with a homeowner interested in solar power and here's a snippet of what he was ranting about...

"The profit margins in solar power are outrageous! They want to charge me $6000 (when you include the rebate) when the wholesale price of the panels and inverter is only $2000!  Even if it costs them $1000 to install, That's still almost a 100% mark up! This is highway robbery! I'll just wait until the prices come down and there is more competition to drive out the gougers."

#1: The profit margins in solar power make it a money-printing scam for all installers.

The Truth: The profit margins in solar power make it a money-printing scam for the WORST installers.

The Truth explained: For the solar power installers who are in it for the long run, the reputable, honest, hard-working ones who know what they are doing, the margins are not astronomical by any means.

The good guys have to do things that all REAL business do: hire staff, train staff, buy the latest technology and equipment, pay 10% GST, pay for insurance, invest in customer service and put aside a percentage of their revenue to service future warranty claims.

All these things cut deeply into that "almost 100% markup". Of course, they are making a profit or they wouldn't be able to stay in business, but the ones who do it right are not "cranking out hundred dollar bills like a counterfeiter".

Who is cranking out hundred dollar bills? The cowboys.

The disreputable installers who have poured into the solar power industry DO make a killing.

Because they know that they can bang the cheapest possible system on your roof and then forget about you. For THEM, solar power is a licence to print money.

Which is why you need to make sure you're doing business with a fully insured, accredited, REAL installer in it for the long haul and not some cowboy.

And please don't fall into the trap of thinking that, just because the company can afford a full page ad in your local paper or a 60 second slot on TV that they must be reputable.

There are many, one and two man bands out there that are doing a fantastic job of serving customers and installing good quality systems built to last.

And there are at least half a dozen companies spending big on newspaper TV and radio adverts who appear to be in for a quick buck whilst the rebates are good.

They are selling no-name inverters and panels at knock down prices and will leave it up to you to connect your system to the grid!

Yes that's right. Despite advertising their systems as fully installed, they don't appear to want the expense or hassle of actually arranging to connect your system to the grid so you can actually use it.

So how do you sort the good guys from the rest?

1)    Check their ABN with ASIC. Look up their address. Then Google that address to see if they have operated under a different name recently. If they change their name every 5 minutes that is a bad sign.

2)   See what previous customers think of them: google search their name and reviews.

3)   Search their name on Whirlpool.net.au where a lot of solar customers swap stories Hint: Google "Whirlpool [company name]" to see the no holds barred feedback.

4)   Remember. If a solar power offer seems too good to be true…

(This article was provided by Finn Peacock – an independent Australian Solar Specialist).

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