IQ Solar is focussed on offering you a high-quality alternative to the many cheap systems that are available
The cheap systems available in the market are built to be an appealing price, but almost universally use low to medium quality equipment. The offering will also change according to what is overstocked at the time (and therefore discounted). Rather than what is really a good choice. The installs are typically rushed, with many errors in installations. The bad news for buyers is that they often don't know the compromises that have been made with equipment or installation... they think they have scored a bargain. What they have is a system that will work, perhaps for a while
Solar should be a long term asset. The panels have a performance warranty of 25 years. The inverters typically have a 10 year warranty. It is common to see installations that are barely performing after 5 years. So the buyers save money, but have in fact wasted money. Many people are re-purchasing systems and having old systems removed.
Our goal is to offer you a high quality system at a fair price, and make sure it works.
Knowing what a system should do for you starts with a system design. This is done using software such as Helioscope which takes into account Bureau or Meteorology (BOM) data about your location, the tilt and orientation of the panels, and any shading that will impact the system. This model is built using the actual choice of panels and inverters that we are proposing for your premises, so it’s as accurate as we can be. We also look at how much power you are using, and ask you about when you are using that power, so we can determine how much of the power you will be using, and how much will be exported. We look at your power rates, and potential feed-in-tariffs that you can get from a retailer, and this gives us the ability to confidently say what you save from solar.
This process is the same level of care that goes into a commercial solar system design.
It’s not a back-of-envelope calculation.
It gives us the confidence we need in order to offer you a system performance guarantee.
There’s a range of elements that goes into a solar system.
In simple terms:
Panels (that convert light into DC power)
An inverter (that convert DC power into AC power)
Balance of system (cables, rails, isolators…)
There’s over a hundred brands of panel available in the Australian market. All of them have passed some level of testing to be approved by the Clean Energy Council (They need to be on the approved list in order for you to get the STCS, or upfront rebate, with your solar system).
And there’s dozens of brands of inverters.
One of the common frustrations of buyers is that they don’t understand what they are being offered. And this makes total sense… people don’t buy solar often. Typically they buy it once! With almost any other buying choice, people are more informed. Even if you are not a car enthusiast, you have a feel for different products and qualities… you understand the difference between a Kia and a Toyota. And you’d also understand that Kia is better now that it was 10 years ago. You’ve got some reference points.
But with panels… there’s names you’ve never heard of… Trina, Risen, JA, Jinko, Q-Cells… Then there’s brands you know but not in this context, such as LG and Hyundai (yes, both brands of solar panels). In fact, Mitsubishi also makes panels (but not for Australia any more), and Sharp (also no longer sold). Then, within each of these brands there are multiple models.
Then you have different technologies… polycrystalline v monocrystalline. There’s new ‘half cut’ cells which some love, and some hate.
Even within the industry, people can’t keep up.
And we’ve only mentioned panels so far. When we talk about inverters there’s discussions about:
Size (why you can have more panel capacity than the inverter capacity)
Single phase or three phase
Country of origin... this one is made in Germany, this one is made in Austria, this one is made in China. Is that OK?
It gets worse. It’s possible to compare equipment, and specifications. But the missing ingredient is the installation. This is the part that specifications can’t quantify. The same way two chefs can make vastly different qualities of food from the same ingredients, the same is true of the installation part of solar. We are working on your house. You want everything to be high quality, and you want a high level of care to be applied. You want your tiles looked after. You want the best solutions, not the fastest solutions for the installer. So, we are incredibly fussy about what we offer you. And we will happily explain our choices.
When people buy solar, they are expecting to benefit from a series of savings on their power bills.
The issue is that what you save from solar isn’t shown on your bill.
So, people who want to know what solar did for them can’t see what they saved. Their bill might go down, but they can’t see by how much. Often the only piece of information that have available to them is the value of the feed in tariff paid by the retailer, and they look at this as the savings (It’s a useful amount, but it’s only part of the savings… ). The real saving is the amount of power that you used as it was being produced. This information isn’t on the power bill.
So, if you have a monitoring system you can see the total production of the solar panels. Hopefully you can also see this represented visually with a graph on a daily basis, if you want to.
But you still don’t know if it is doing what it should.
So, we can offer you a reporting mechanism that will inform you what it is doing compared to expectations, and we’ll fix it (or pay for lost savings) if it is not performing.
The guarantee is that it will perform at a minimum of 90% of the intended output from our proposal to you, for the period of time offered in your proposal. This will be 2 years or 5 years depending on what you have chosen. This is done through quarterly reporting. This is the same level of care that a commercial customer would want.
We want you to have that same level of certainty.
Solar is confusing because people don’t buy it often. So there’s no need for them to understand how it works, or what makes a system work well.
But when you decide you want to look at it, you’ll want to get up to speed enough so you can make an informed decision.
So, we want to help you with that.
We certainly don’t want to bore you with things you don’t need, but having had literally thousands of conversations with customers about what is on their mind, we have a pretty good idea about the things you’d like to know.
We want to offer you the resources to look at some frequently asked questions. And, for anything that is still unclear we’ll happily explain what you need. (If we explain too much, feel free to tell us to stop!).
Please check out our frequently asked question section to see what we mean.