03 Aug The Importance Of Onsite Inspections
Written By SolarKraft Energy Consultant – Jack Fuller.
One of the most common questions we get asked at SolarKraft is:
“Why do you need to come to my house for a quote?”
It’s an understandable question. Accommodating various people taking a look at your roof, meter box and electricity bill can be a hassle (side note, if a company does not do all three of the above, stamp their file with a big fat do not bother. Explanation to come).
Often, the follow up to the aforementioned questions is:
“I just want a ballpark figure.”
Again, understandable. If you haven’t the slightest idea what solar systems are going for these days, you may simply be curious. Here are ‘ballpark figures’:
3kW : $4,000 – $6,000
5kW : $5,000 – $9,000
10kW : $10,000 – $15,000
Average residential solar PV system prices:
Average commercial solar system prices:
Why such a difference in cost?
Aha! Herein lies the importance of an on-site inspection of your property. It’s the same as asking a real estate agent what a ‘three bedroom brick home in Sydney’ is worth. There are too many variables to consider. Here we go.
WHY ON-SITE INSPECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR US:
- We can sight the condition of your roof. Google Earth and Nearmap can only do so much. A recent storm may have broken tiles, or the roof may just need general repair. You may not even realise it at the time, but it’s important to know exactly what we are working with so additional costs don’t arise at a later date.
- You may need to upgrade your meter box. Power distribution companies like Ergon and Energex are very strict on you having a meter box that is up-to-date… You may need more space, a backing board switch from wood to Bramite, or a replacement of the box completely. We won’t know until we look at the vintage and condition of the box.
- We can plan where everything will go. This ranges from the orientation of the solar panels to the placement of the inverter and the installation of cables. With a fundamental understanding of where everything is in and around your home, we can remove much of the hassle come installation day.
WHY ON-SITE INSPECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR YOU:
- Remove the element of surprise. While just as important for us as it is for you, questions you may not have even thought about will arise from a simple conversation. The more in-depth the conversation, the better we will understand your needs, the less chance there will be of any unforeseen circumstances, and the happier you will be with the entire process.
- Know who you are dealing with. Solar is a serious investment. You will get peace of mind from being able to meet with representatives of the company, and understand if they are genuine. If a business is either unwilling or incapable of sending out a consultant to meet with you, it’s a pretty fair guess that they’re not somebody you want to deal with in the first place.
- Get the right sized system. When a consultant comes to see you, they should be looking through your electricity bills, asking you questions about your usage and understanding how the system will be used. This is vital. Without this step, the entire process is based on guesswork, and it will become clear to you that the company is not invested in saving you money; they’re more invested in helping you spend it.
Overall, having on-site inspections can be a nuisance. But if you deal with a professional company, with a genuine consultant, the process will seem as simple as having a coffee with a new friend. And who doesn’t love new friends?