SolarQuotes Vodcast Episode #5

Last Friday Ronald and I sat down in SQHQ to discuss the previous 7 days on the blog. Here are the posts we discussed, along with links to the relevant place in the video.

0:27 – Canberra Battery Test Centre Update — BYD Battery Comes Out On Top.

While the related blog post gives lots of details of the batteries that were tested, in the video we discuss the batteries that had significant problems when the centre was trying to test them, including Redflow, LG Resu V1, Ampetus Super Lithium and Simpliphi.

We also look at the awful results for the Tesla Powerwall 1, and go on to discuss 2 reports of bricked Powerwall 2’s (following electrical storms) that came in to SQ earlier in the week.

14:20 – SolarQuotes Worst Review (And Best Review) Of The Week

Discover the worst review and best solar installer review that came into SQ this week (as chosen by Ned). The worst one is absolutely awful in so many ways.

17:20 – CEC Flags Changes To Approved Solar Retailer Program

We discuss the Clean Energy Council promising to get tougher on Approved Solar Retailers breaching the code. Ronald quotes Adam Smith. Finn wonders out loud if the scheme risks becoming a club for high margin, low volume retailers.

23:12 – Tasmania Has A New Electricity Retailer

A day after our last vodcast went out (where we bitched about Tasmania only having one retailer) a second Tassie electricity retailer arrived on the scene. But Ronald is not impressed.

24:42 – Craig Kelly Calls SA Big Battery A Failure – After It Works Exactly As Expected

By far the most popular post of the week. Finn explains the difference between a power and an energy battery. Ronald defends his ‘koala with a shaven face’ observation. Read the full post here.

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About Finn Peacock

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

Comments

  1. Vodcast #5

    Im intrigued to know who this bad company is who was recently signed up to the code? I do think that it needs to be strictly monitored and more background checks performed – and I am going to reach out to my contacts to try and find out who this company may be?

    Ref the comment about the code being a club for low turnover – high margin companies – A: I doubt that is the case now that there are literally hundreds of companies signed up – but B: You need to define a high margin – a standard spec 6kW system sold for $6k to $6.5k- compared to a company selling one where they purchased all the products direct from overseas to sell at $4,500? That’s not a high margin? The company that buys from official distributors gives its customers more product warranty security. Yes, another hand (or two) may be out for a slice of profit – but Jeez – the end consumer is soo much better protected!

    Finn – you mention that low margin, high volume is ok as long as the company honours their warranty and will inspect if there are problems – but I can tell you that there is no way that a company selling a 6.6kW system for $4 – $4.5k is factoring in their future warranty service costs. That is why a recent report that you commented on in Choice magazine mentioned 600,000 orphaned solar systems. That number is friggin huge. The no 1 reason why that figure is soo bloody big is that companies either deliberately or through lack of business acumen don’t factor in warranty costs. It’s simply not in their business plan. These cheap and cheerful solar companies are set up to retail only. They are set up to close shop as soon as trade dips. Mark my words gentleman, that 600,000 figure will be dwarfed in another couple of years. Do remember that Australia has the cheapest installed cost of solar in the world. More should be done to push customers to companies who are responsible business owners as they are more likely to have a company look after their issues in 5, 7 or 10 years down the line. We are now into our 10th year of trade and we look after clients all the way back to 2010 when we first started out.

    • Hi Mark,

      Time will tell. All I am trying to say is that I think the CEC needs to be extra vigilant with the ASR scheme to ensure that it doesn’t push up prices.

      I’ve emailed you with details of the company I am worried about.

      Finn

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