Cheap Solar Panels — Is it Worth the Risk?

Cheap solar panels are not as durable

Buying solar panel energy is an effective way to save on electricity bills and to protect the environment from carbon emissions. The prices of solar energy systems seem to be decreasing over time which could potentially bring more people to transition to renewable energy.

While using cheap solar panels may seem like an advantage at first, it may actually be the downfall of getting people to transition permanently to renewable energy. Cheap solar panels are not as durable which could potentially make people transition back to nuclear energy.

Having reliable renewable energy in South Africa is vitally important. Buying solar systems that will last could have a long term positive impact as it’s essentially an investment for individuals and the environment. Will we prevent cheap solar energy options from ruining the positive outcome we hope to enjoy?

What Could Happen if you Buy Cheap Solar Panels?

Purchasing solar panels should be a positive change for you, especially in South Africa. If you’re off the grid it means you won’t have to deal with potential load shedding. Renewable energy should bring back simplicity to your life as there are many advantages to using solar energy such as:

  • Cheap electricity
  • Hot water all the time
  • No power outages
  • Decrease in CO2 emissions
  • Safer lighting options

Installing discounted solar systems can cause havoc in your life more than Eskom has over the years. Knowing the difference between reliable solar energy systems and cheap versions is important in the long term. You don’t want to land up forking out more money for replacements.

Cheap Solar Panel Systems

If you install solar panels on your roof they’re going to be exposed to harsh weather conditions throughout the year. Strong winds, the baking sun, snow and hail can damage cheap solar panels as they’re not durable enough to withstand weather conditions long term.

Over a short period of time, the low-quality panels will potentially break which will leave you with no lights, no hot water and a huge dent in your bank account. You’ll have to pay to replace your solar panels and have them reinstalled which is extremely expensive & a tedious task.

To save on costs by purchasing inexpensive solar systems is therefore not the best value for money. The only advantage is saving a bit of cash when buying the system. However the long term implications could potentially cost you more money, effort and frustration.

Solar Panel Installation Costs

You pay for the installation as well as the kilowatts you need for your house to run off the grid. You’ll be paying for:

  • Sales costs
  • Solar inverters
  • The solar panels
  • Mounting hardware
  • Cables, fuses and conduits
  • Labour

Now imagine having to pay for all of this twice simply because your first system broke down soon after installation, because you settled for cheap solar panels.

The Importance of Quality Installation

The labour that goes into installing solar energy is quite the task. The cost of installation could range between R63 000 and R200 000 depending on the size of your house & the output requirements. So if you’re offered a deal for R35 000 chances are the installation company is going to cut corners.

The installation is the foundation of a reliable solar system. You could have top-notch solar panels but if the installation isn’t done right you could experience problems down the line.

Final Thoughts—Get it Right the First Time

South Africa has 2 500 hours of sunshine a year. The total radiation reaching the land area amounts to one kilowatt per square meter by noon. This is double the solar radiation produced in Europe, making South Africa the perfect place for roof installed panels.

A quality solar panel system is designed to last for more than 25 years. If your solar panels are installed correctly and they’re of a quality brand little maintenance is required to keep them running. You can potentially save up to R503 000 in electricity bills over 25 years depending on the system you’ve opted for.

To ensure your solar energy purchase is the best value for money, ensure the following:

  1. The company you’re buying from is reliable and trustworthy.
  2. They come out to inspect your house and furnish you with a quote of everything that will be done to install your solar energy system.
  3. Make sure they give you quality solar panels.
  4. The company should offer you full warranty support.
  5. They offer reliable servicing systems.

Reliable solar energy systems should be an asset and not a liability. While the cost of installation may make you hesitant, paying a higher price now will give you long term stability and peace of mind. It’s worth it.