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 panels 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 price rises 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 power systems can score incredible deals at present, there is significant risk for the unwary. South Australia’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner Paul White recently warned, “People get what they pay for … people need to do their research.”