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Industry insights: why are there so many dodgy systems in Australia?

Around 12 years ago, I moved from selling residential and commercial solar, into the wholesale world. It remains the single biggest insight into the industry that I could have ever had.

Why you ask? Well, during that time I worked as a National Sales Manager for the largest wholesaler of Solar goods in the country, among others. This meant that I sold to everyone, from the biggest companies and corporations to the small one-man bands. And, got to learn everyone's tricks of the trade!

One of the things that stuck out to me was the quality of goods sold, and how the poor ones made up the majority of the market. This was primarily because most operators really only wanted to get a few extra dollars, and, most importantly, be able to win the sale from an uneducated public.

Many also believed that putting on an expensive inverter with cheap panels was the go. When I would point out the issues that would come from installing the gear down the track, most said "she'll be right mate", and/or that their terms and conditions would protect them...

This mentality leads to so much cheap crap being dumped into the market from China. We had the cheapest market in the world and used cash to pay for systems, which doesn't happen around the rest of the planet. We became the dumping ground for cheap crap that no other countries would touch due to our desire for a quick bargain. That, and those "buy 24 panels for this much" ads on tv.

Unfortunately, solar is not one size fits all, and if you are doing it, you do need to spend some time on it. Nothing drastic, but some basic homework will pay huge financial dividends down the line.

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