☀️ Why Investing in a Cheap Solar System Is a False Economy | Topproperty
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☀️ Why Investing in a Cheap Solar System Is a False Economy

Simon Whitlock
3 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

Solar power has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners who want to save money on their energy bills and make their homes more environmentally friendly. But the lure of low-priced photovoltaic systems can be especially irresistible, given the large initial outlay involved in setting up a system. Unfortunately, this skimping on costs often turns out to be a false economy, as the savings made on the outright purchase can very quickly be offset by a range of hidden extras, operational problems and health and safety issues.

If You Cut Quality You Lower Efficiency

One of the biggest drawbacks of installing a cheaper system is that its components will be inferior in quality. The reduced price tag is achieved by using lower-quality raw materials and simpler manufacturing techniques, both of which typically result in products with lower efficiency. That means they will produce less energy than equivalent, higher-quality modules under similar sunlight conditions. This translates to less savings on the utility bill compared with more efficient, but more expensive, systems.

Furthermore, low-cost solar panels are likely to be of lower quality, with a shorter operational life. They might be more prone to wear-and-tear from environmental factors such as UV rays and rain and temperature fluctuations, leading to more frequent breakdowns for repairs and replacement, thereby eliminating any savings made in the purchase.

Greater safety risks

As well as the lack of a warranty or a decent performance guarantee, other problems can arise by having a cheap solar system. Electrical insulation and wiring can be skipped due to the lower costs, and the lack of proper installation by an underqualified installer can increase the risk of an electrical fire or failure, which can pose a serious safety threat to your home and family. The risk of electrocution or other system malfunctions is a constant threat with systems that do not come with the necessary safety codes and standards.

Warranty and Support Issues

Another problem with inexpensive solar systems is the lack of comprehensive warranty protections and reliable after-sales support. Poor quality systems will often have very short warranties that cover very little in the way of potential damage or failures, and the companies that sell low-cost solutions typically aren’t financially strong enough to stick around long-term, so warranty claims or technical assistance may not always be there in the future.

False Economy: Cumulative Total Cost of Ownership

The apparent saving in the initial price tag of cheaper solar systems can be beguiling. However, cumulative total cost of ownership, after factoring in increased operational costs from the reduced efficiency of the system, plus costs related to maintenance, often-unforeseen safety problems, and earlier-than-expected system replacement, can add up to considerably more than a smart investment in a higher-quality system at the outset.

Cost vs value: Choosing Wisely

For a customer planning to purchase a solar system, the objective is to choose the one that offers the best value for their money. And the value is not just the upfront cost but the total value over the solar system’s lifetime. To assess value properly, buyers must look into several factors, including efficiency, durability, operational safety, warranty coverage and the manufacturer’s reputation. While it is tempting to opt for a cheaper solar panel system from a product brand with a less-than-stellar reputation, long-term benefits of choosing a slightly more expensive but significantly more reliable system will outweigh the upfront cost savings of the cheaper system.


The savings from a less costly solar system can be very tempting at first, but more often than not, the long-term implications show that such an investment is actually more expensive. The associated risks cover everything from unsatisfactory performance and constant repairs to serious safety hazards and insufficient customer support. Homeowners should take these factors seriously, and consider quality, reliability and safety in their decision-making process rather than just the cost. Investing in your solar system wisely will enable you to enjoy sustainable savings, reliable performance and peace of mind for the lifetime of your system.

Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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