PV-system

I’m Ready to Buy a PV System, How Do I Find the Right Quote?

Information verified correct on December 4th, 2016

Get the right PV solar quote at the click of a button. Compare CEC certified solar retailers and installers.

Are you ready to buy a PV system? Start by comparing Clean Energy Council (CEC) certified solar retailers and accredited installers. The CEC are the peak body for renewable energy in Australia. CEC certification and accreditation guarantees a certain quality of work. There are thousands of CEC accredited installers and certified retailers. The information on this page can help you find the right quote for your PV solar setup.

Get a quote and buy a PV system from a CEC retailer so you can be sure you’re getting the best parts and a quality workmanship.

DID YOU KNOW

You can only claim government rebates on your PV solar system if you use a CEC accredited solar installer.

Compare these PV solar quote features

Formal quotations will include information about:

  • The parts: model number and power rating (tier 1 solar parts are best).
  • Travel and transport costs.
  • Site costs: repairs to roof, switchboard and wiring upgrades.
  • Total cost of the job.
  • Job start and end date.
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Watch out for one size fits all PV systems

Some retailers and installers may want to offer your a one size fits all type of PV system, however, this may not be the best PV solar configuration for your home. A solar designer should consider the specific needs of your dwelling, like the amount of energy you consume and how much energy you want to export back to the grid versus roof space, space for solar heating and whether your roof is shaded during the day. Custom designed PV systems may cost a little more than ‘kit systems’; however, too much or too little solar power is inefficient and will end up costing you more in the long run.

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Watch out for Google Earth inspections and other off-site inspections

Some solar retailers or installers may want to provide you with a quote for a PV system based on what they can see from Google Earth. Google Earth inspections or other off-site inspections are not sufficient for a full quotation. While this may be O.K. for a preliminary quotation, an off-site inspection does not account for the following:

  • The condition of the roof. Repairs may be required before work can start. This is especially true for older homes. Cracked roof tiles are a common cause of roof repair.
  • Shading. Shading can cause a drop in the energy production of PV solar panels. The solar retailer may need to access your roof to check for shading issues from adjacent trees or buildings.
  • Solar heating. To properly account for solar water heating if a system has not been installed already.
  • Cabling. Extension cables or cable enclosures may be required to connect the panels to the inverter etc.
  • Upgrades. Switchboard or meter upgrades may be required to install a PV system.
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Expandability

Your solar installer or retailer may try to offer you a larger inverter than your PV panels support so you can add more panels and produce more energy later. The pros and cons are saving money later if you wish to upgrade the system versus spending more money now to pay for a larger inverter. Also note that there may be voltage issues with adding different panels to your system.

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Frequently asked questions

Why is my panel capacity is more than the inverter can handle.

Clean Energy Council (CEC) guidelines allow for more panel than the inverter is rated for (33% more). This can produce more power on overcast days; however, electricity can be wasted through the inverter on days when all panels are producing the maximum amount of energy.

What are Tier 1 solar panels?

PV solar panels are rated into different ‘tiers’ by PV industry bodies, like the CEC. A Tier 1 ranking is the best. Solar panels with a Tier 1 ranking deliver on a number of categories like technical performance, quality, service and support, insurance and so on.

What should I ask the installer about the solar parts?

If you want to find out more about the solar parts and why you’ve been quoted for a particular part, ask the retailer or installer the following questions:

  • Does the quoted part add to the energy output and efficiency of the system?
  • Is the system more reliable?
  • Does it contribute to the maximum output without increasing the overall  maintenance of the system.

Get a quote and buy a PV system from a CEC retailer so you can be sure you’re getting the best parts and a quality workmanship.

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