One in five rooftop solar systems are deficient due to dodgy operators!

A staggering new report has found one in five installed solar systems are not performing how they should be or are simply not working at all, where Australian property owners are being denied the promise of lower electricity bills. 

The Clean Energy Council is facing strong calls for tougher sanctions on solar energy operators in order to eradicate the unreliable companies and ‘cowboys’ whose sole purpose is to make a buck.

In advance of these revelations, the Council has actively cancelled 13 Australian solar installer accreditations and suspended 153 this financial year.

Thousands of complaints have been lodged around Australia about faulty solar energy systems, but has decreased over the past year. This is despite the rapid increase in solar pv and battery storage installations in recent years (with March posting a record amount of rooftop solar installations in Australian history).

These installation increases have coincided with a dramatic decline in rooftop solar costs and continual improvements in solar energy technology. As a result, 6859 megawatts of small-scale solar was installed across Australia, which is enough capacity to power every home in Sydney. Australia’s solar uptake is the highest per capita across the globe, and is forecast to exceed 20,000 megawatts by 2035.

But, this rapid increase can only come as a positive if the solar system you install on your property is complying with industry guidelines and performing as it should be.

What are the common problems with poor solar installations?

4,140 solar systems inspected over the past year, with 822 of these systems assessed to be ‘substandard’, meaning they did not meet Australian requirements and are at risk of premature failure. Equating to just below 20 per cent, this is far too high in regards to the current technological standard of the modern solar system.

Common problems found with the systems assessed include:

  • Installers not using heavy-duty plastic coating for wire protection
  • Components not mounted or installed correctly

Although these seem like minor issues, but having installers who lack the conviction to ensure everything is perfectly fitted, and the products they are using are at industry standards could mean a lack in energy generation of your system by 40% to the point where they are producing zero electricity whatsoever. What’s worse is some systems were even deemed to be dangerous as water had penetrated the electrical components, posing both a fire and electrocution risk.

Bad solar installations can not only mean your system won’t be functioning properly, but it can cause serious damage to your home or business. Source: www.inmyarea.com.

As a result, the households who made this investment are not receiving the return from having solar to cover the cost of the system.

Senior lecturer at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, Anna Bruce, said they could be saving a huge amount more money from electricity bills and we could be reducing more greenhouse emissions if those systems were properly performing.

“We need to be watching and making sure the systems are properly maintained,” Dr Bruce said.  

What you should do to avoid these problems

Selecting a professional, accredited and trusted solar installer is the best way for you to ensure your solar system will be working as it should be. To make the quality and performance of your solar installation a certainty, the Energy division at AICA have been supplying Western Australians with trusted and highly performing solar energy systems for over a decade now. Having completed over 10,000 successful solar installations, AICA needs to be your first choice if you’ve decided to invest in solar energy.

What you can do to ensure your system is always working properly

Maintaining your rooftop solar system is essential to get the most out of your investment. Although a solar system has very few moving parts, keeping an eye on it is highly recommended.  

These include the simple tasks of:

  • Cleaning your panels a few times a year to inspect and remove any dirt or debris (it’s recommended that a qualified solar company is to do this for you)
  • Using a monitoring device to track energy production and consumption
Maintaining your solar system is a rather simple task, but can have great benefits in doing so. Source: www.quora.com.

According to Chief Executive of Solar Analytics, Stefan Jarnason, only a tiny proportion of solar households monitor their systems performance.

“Although installers are very good these days, there are still some shonky ones around,” Mr Jarnason said.

Having analysed over 6000 solar sites that aren’t actively monitored, his company found 11 per cent were likely generating less than half their expected output.

After purchasing a monitoring device, some homeowners were shocked to find that the device was reading ‘no electricity produced’. But, as a result they were able to deal with the issue and address their particular installation company with the problems.  

Who you should trust

To ensure you don’t suffer the pain and frustration of poor solar energy systems and untrustworthy installers, be sure to put your trust in AICA.

Helping thousands of Australian homes and businesses take back control of their power bills with the top of the range solar systems and premiere installation services, we believe in our quality so much, that a 25 year warranty is included on every installed solar system.

To find out more or to make an installation enquiry, call our friendly team on 1800 242 228.