Don’t Get Fleeced by the Solar Cowboys

In the 1970’s some Australian companies started to research solar energy for use in the home but unfortunately the technology just wasn’t there.  At about the same time in China they were also researching solar energy and managed to produce some electricity producing solar panels.

A few Australian companies, believing in the future of solar energy, persisted in their research.  Eventually one of the most successful was bought out by the Chinese, and is now the biggest producer of panels in China! How short sighted could Australian investors be?

Now with the dramatically revived interest in solar energy and the Government’s renewable energy plan offering grants and rebates many companies are jumping on the bandwagon to proclaim loudly “Green is Good”. Some of these companies are fleecing customers for the best part of $20,000 for a 1kw Grid Tie system, simply because the poor consumer can’t find another solar installer who has the time or resources to give him a competive quote!

Be warned, many of these companies are vastly inflating their prices and they, not you, are reaping the benefits of the governments funding program. These government funds were set up to help householders pay for the installation of systems designed to save you money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the good of the planet (and get them re-elected – let’s not forget…)

When looking for a solar energy company to install your new system look carefully, ask them lots of questions. Will they help you obtain government funding? Are they certified to fit the new system? How much exactly will it cost? Will they perform an energy audit on your house? Above all, make sure you get 3 quotes for this expensive and important purchase.

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.


  1. Generally the biggest culprits collectively are the CEC electricians charging $2000-3000+ for install only for a day’s work. Try buying a kit to save money – the sparky will charge several times normal electricians hourly rate for the privilege. Even if you put the panels up yourself you will still get charged $1500-2000.

    Is it worth my while contacting the ACCC to complain about regular electricians rates and those of CEC electricians… haven’t the time or energy.

    Moral of the story – the ordinary bloke trying to save money is screwed by effective price collusion of market forces and greed. We need regulations to keep these greedy bastards honest.

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