It’s hard to know how much to spend for a solar installation. There’s a huge spectrum between the cheapest systems and the most expensive systems. How do you know that you’re not paying too much? When should you be scared of paying too little?
Quality Solar Components vs. Cheap Solar
First: there are always going to be deals that look like fantastic options. There’s a lot of cheap solar out there. But most cheap solar systems are cutting a lot of corners. They aren’t necessarily safe, and the installation isn’t always handled properly. With a cheap solar system, you might not have the maintenance or support that you need.
While you can save money on the initial system and installation, this will likely cost you money long-term. You may need to replace the technology and equipment more frequently, or you could even experience something dangerous and dramatic… like a house fire.
Thus, when comparing solar, you shouldn’t necessarily go with the lowest bid. But how can you know what’s too low?
What Does the Solar Industry Recommend Spending?
Here’s the easiest way to find out what the “going rate” for a solar system in your area is: get a few quotes. Call some solar system companies up and compare different amounts. You’ll likely have some very low bids, but also a lot of bids that are clustered fairly close together. That “cluster” is probably going to be the general, reasonable rates in your area.
When it comes to solar, you get what you pay for. The more you spend, the more care is likely to go into installation and maintenance. A cheaper system may not have any included maintenance: you might need to pay quite a lot every time you need troubleshooting or repairs. The costs of a solar system is only partly the solar panels themselves; it’s also the labor and the services provided.
So, the cost of your system is going to vary, depending on what the company can offer. The company may have higher quality parts and expert technicians who are on call 24/7 to answer your questions. That’s going to be on the more expensive side. On the other hand, a company may have high quality parts, but you may need to pay for all your service calls. That could be more moderately priced.
Average solar power costs for a 3kw system in Australia ranges between $3,000 to $8,000, so you can see that there’s a significant range. And you may add to those costs by doing things like adding batteries, which can store unused power and make your solar system more effective and functional overall. But you can talk with your solar company about your budget and figure out a way to create a system that works best for you.
And don’t forget that there are a lot of tax credits available for both commercial and residential solar power installations. It’s possible that your final cost could be impacted by these tax benefits.
How Can You Pay for Solar?
So, what if the solar system costs in your area are high? You know that solar installations will save you money over time, but you still need to pay the cost of the system to begin with. With housing prices increasing in Australia, that’s not trivial.
But there are ways. Many solar panel companies offer financing, and there are also home equity loans that are open for renovations. It’s often fairly easy to get financing for solar systems, so you don’t need to pay the entire cost upfront.
Don’t assume that you can’t afford a solar panel system. It may be less expensive than you think, and it is going to save you money over time. Instead, get some quotes, compare, and figure out whether your budget will allow for it. You may be able to get an easy payment plan.
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