THURSDAY 07 MARCH, 2013 |
The Low Price Solar Love Affair On The Rocks?
We've come to expect the prices of solar panels to keep dropping - but that
could be about to change.
The cost of going solar has reduced substantially in recent years and coupled
with continuing increases in the price of mains-supplied electricity; the
decision to install solar
has become a "no-brainer" for many families that have been
struggling with power bills.
However, dark clouds may be gathering for the "down, down" trend.
Prices can only go so low and wafer thin margins have seen many solar panel
manufacturers and installation companies go to the wall.
Nigel Morris, Director of Solar Business Services, says over the last few weeks,
he's seen four
from PV manufacturers shipping into Australia.
"At some point the bleeding had to be quelled and it seems that point has
arrived," states Mr. Morris.
Another possible trend adding to the pressure to maintain low pricing points is
the situation with the Australian dollar. While the Aussie dollar is likely to remain strong
overall over the coming years, it has lost some ground recently; which could amplify the effect
of PV manufacturer price increases if it continues.
Even a shift of just a few percent as a result of these two influences can add
hundreds to the final cost of a solar power system - and every day the decision
to install solar panels is put off, it's another day when the potential savings
are going into electricity company pockets rather than the consumer's.
While those shopping for solar panel systems can score incredible deals at
present, there is significant risk for the unwary. South Australia's Consumer
Affairs Commissioner Paul White recently
, "People get what they pay for ... people need to do their
Power Consumer Guide.
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