Integra Solar is Australia’s leading residential solar energy distributor. Founded in 2010, Integra Solar aimed to bring the best solar panels from all over the world to Australia’s market. Today, with over twenty-five thousand solar energy systems successfully installed, it may be safe to say that our mission is going as planned. Even so, the fight against climate change is far from over, as is the struggle to achieve energy sustainability. As solar energy gains popularity and as solar panels proliferate across multiple markets, it is becoming more and more important for customers to be able to differentiate between high-quality, mediocre and low-quality solar energy system manufacturers. This is where we come in. Integra Solar is one of Australis’s most trusted solar energy system providers with over a decade of experience. But you do not need to take our word for it. In this article, we are going to walk you through a step by step process on how to identify the best solar energy provider. You can then see for yourself where Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group stands and whether we live up to our claims.
Identifying Solar Companies
The first step in choosing a good solar energy systems company is in identifying the various types of companies that are in the market. Identifying the types of companies is essential to understanding how they function and whether they are ideally placed to give you the best advice on which components to choose for your energy system.
1- Solar Energy System Manufacturers
Manufacturers are the companies that manufacture the actual products, be they solar panels, inverters, battery systems, electric vehicle chargers or mounting equipment. These components are then installed on individual residences and/or commercial properties. The parts mand systems manufactured by solar energy manufacturers are essential for installers and distributors to conduct their businesses.
As you may imagine, some solar manufacturers are better than others. Similarly, some are more expensive than others. Solar manufacturers are usually not the best place to go to if you want an independent assessment on whether to purchase their panels. Sure, this predicament can be resolved with careful and methodical research, but not everyone has the time for that. So, taking a manufacturers word for it, especially if they are not based in Australia, is not an ideal solution. So, does that mean that Australians should avoid any solar manufacturer that is not based in Australia? Certainly not! Some of the world’s finest solar manufacturers like RECOM do not have direct offices in Australia. Yet it would be a shame if Australian customers were to miss out on these wonderful products.
Where does integra Solar Fit In?
Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group is not a solar manufacturer, nor do we have contracts with specific brands. Therefore, we are not inclined to unduly praise a substandard product while ignoring another, better one. We have no interest in, and nothing to gain from deceiving our customers, aside from tarnishing our impeccable reputation.
2- Solar Installation Companies
Solar installation companies are those that install solar panels on the customer’s property. These companies are the ones that most customers interact with on a day-to-day basis. These companies function by purchasing mounting brackets and other equipment needed to safely install a solar energy system. These teams have specialised experts who install the solar panels and other systems like inverters and batteries on the customer’s property. Solar installation companies send over experts who conduct site surveys and take all the necessary measurements on where to install solar panels and other systems. Installers will also determine if a sight needs any special considerations, like shade analysis.
Where does Integra Solar Fit In?
Integra Solar Australia is a solar installation company, but that is not all we do, nor is it prudent to call this our primary function. Furthermore, a solar installation company should not be your first choice if trying to determine which solar panels are the best to install. This is because while installation companies do install panels, they may not be aware of the best panels in the market, and they may just be exposed to a handful of brands and may not have a coherent understanding on which panels are the best under a particular set circumstances.
3- Solar Financing Companies
Solar financing companies focus almost single-mindedly on providing customers financing options for their solar energy systems. While solar panels are an order of magnitude cheaper than what they once were, they are still relatively expensive pieces of equipment and not always easy to procure for everyone. This makes financing companies necessary and vital to the solar ecosystem. However, solar financing companies are not always ideal when considering which panels to buy. They are extremely useful because people who have financial constraints may have limited choices, but with companies offering direct financing, and with the Australian government still handing out liberal rebates, there are more financing options available now than at any time in the past.
Where does Integra Solar Fit In?
Integra Solar Australia offers some of Australia’s best financing options, coupled with some of the best solar energy systems. Integra Solar believes that the best solar PV systems should be available for everyone, and not just for those who can afford them. And while a financing companies are not ideal when considering which panels to buy, it is often best to find out which solar energy system suits you, and then try and find which companies offer financing for them. What separates integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group from so many other companies is that while we always encourage customers to make the best choices, we also do our best to source solar panels and systems that a customer may specifically want.
4- Solar Lead Generation Companies
Solar lead generation companies are usually associated with a company or companies in the solar energy industry. The lead generation company is responsible for finding customers for its partner companies. It puts together contracts and appointments, which are sold to dealers, installers and solar service providers. As you may imagine, solar lead generation companies are not the best sources for an impartial evaluation of solar energy systems, as they have an interest in selling one product over another.
Where does Integra Solar Fit In?
Integra Solar is not a lead generation company.
5- Solar Energy Dealers
Solar energy system distributors are companies that have permission to distribute solar panels and other assorted equipment to the public. These companies typically focus on the sale of sourced equipment, but some also have in-house teams which can install the system at third party locations. Solar energy dealers can be reliable sources to compare various PV systems, but one must keep in mind that they may have an interest in representing a particular brand. While there is nothing wrong with this, we always encourage our customers to be sure to weigh all their options before settling for any singular brand.
Where does Integra Solar Fit In?
While Integra Solar is a dealer in solar energy systems, this is not entirely what we do. We are not primarily a solar energy dealer. This is just part of the many services we offer.
6- Full-Service Solar Providers
Full-service providers are companies that to everything aside from manufacturing and assembly. The services offered by these companies include:
- The procurement of solar panels and other related equipment like inverters and batteries.
- The sale of solar energy systems and equipment.
- Financing options for solar PV systems.
- The installation of solar PV systems on third party locations.
Full-service providers are usually well placed to help consumers evaluate various solar PV systems and make a choice that best suits their needs. However, it is best to consider various solar panel systems before settling on one. Also, there are a number of ways to evaluate if a solar provider, and we will walk you through them step by step and give you a brief insight on how Integra Solar stands on all these metrics.
Where does Integra Solar Fit In?
Integra Solar is one of Australia’s premier solar providers. All our systems are top-of-the-line and offered at the most affordable prices available in the market. While it is not secret hat solar energy in Australia is no longer a fringe concept and is now widely seen by Australians as a viable, reliable and green alternative to fossil-fuel based energy, it is also a fact that the Australian market is flooded with low-quality panels. This is unfortunate, because these panels, while still an improvement over the current coal power, are not as long lasting, nor as efficient as the more premium options that Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group recommends. This has potential ling term consequences, because not only do high-quality solar panels last longer, they will also contribute to the accumulation of solar waste. Though waste from solar panels is far less than from conventional power sources like coal and gas, there are still materials in solar panels that can become toxic if not disposed off properly. Now, this is not an issue at this point in time, but in the future, it will be. We can mitigate it now by investing a little bit more in high-efficient solar panels. While they will be slightly more expensive, the financing options are excellent, and the panels are far more resilient, efficient and longer lasting. Nevertheless, Integra Solar also sources panels and other systems for customers on demand.
The Pros and Cons of Local and National Solar Companies
When choosing a solar service provider, it is best to weigh the pros and cons of local and national companies. Both options have their pros and cons.
The Pros of Choosing a National Company
Generally, national companies tend to be much larger than local companies. They are usually well established in the market and offer comprehensive warranties. The stability that comes with a large company is not something a local company can offer. Remember that a warranty is only as good as the company’s ability to honour it. If a company is not financially profitable, or if it is one price-hike away from bankruptcy, then chances are that they may go out of business before your solar panels expire. With a large national corporation, this is not usually a worry. Integra Solar, for instance, provides panels from some of the world’s largest and fastest growing companies. Companies like RECOM are well respected and have been established in the market for decades. Quarterly profit reports filed by RECOM show that it is in excellent financial health, and only getting stronger. On the other hand, we also have companies like Jolywood, which is the fastest growing solar power company in the world. Jolywood has launched projects in many nations including Oman, China and Indonesia. The benefit of choosing such a company is very clear. These companies not only provide top-of-the-line hardware, but also extended support that you can rely on. With a company like this, you know that you and your solar energy systems are in safe hands.
The Pros of Choosing a Local Company
Local companies do not offer the same safety nets as national companies do. Their panels may not have gone through the stringent quality assurance methods of a national company, and for the most part they will not offer the kinds of warranties and financing options that national companies do. Nevertheless, there are some benefits to choosing a local company. They are as follows:
- Familiarity: Local companies are going to be more familiar with local laws, rebates and permitting requirements.
- Speedy Deliveries: Local companies cater to much fewer customers and locations in comparison to national companies. They can, therefore, move their process along faster. Customers of local companies will get appointments and pricing quotes faster and have their panels installed sooner, in all likelihood.
What We Recommend
There are pros and cons to either option, and ultimately, the customer will have to decide what best suits their needs and what they’re willing to compromise on. For our part, Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group strongly recommends choosing national companies, since their products fit in line with our philosophy of continued and unparalleled after-sales support, as well as our dedication to high-quality products. Therefore, we strongly recommend doing business with companies that not only provide you with solar energy products that will last as long as possible but can also uphold their warranty claims.
Warranties are essential to the solar energy industry. A good solar energy provider will give you options that are respectable and industry leading. Aleo, for example, offers a twenty-five-year guarantee for their solar panels. This makes them the only Solar PV company in the industry that makes such an offer. This kind of support suggests that the company is not only supremely confident in their products, but also willing to honour its commitments with its clientele. So, while almost every brand offers some form of warranty, the length and type of coverage is usually an excellent indication of the quality of the products on offer.
Where Does Integra Solar Stand?
A good solar energy distributor will offer companies that not only have good warranties, but companies that are able to honour them. Integra Solar, for instance, offers solar panels from Aleo, which as we mentioned, is the only company in the world that offers a guarantee for its panels. Other companies like RECOM and Jolywood also have industry leading warranties.
More on Warranties
Warranties are of three types:
- Equipment Warranty: It usually covers ten to twelve years.
- Performance Warranty of 90%: It usually lasts up to ten years.
- Performance Warranty of 80%: it usually lasts up to twenty-five years.
Most solar panels (especially high-quality panels) will go for decades without any hiccups, but even so, being covered by a warranty is important. A solid warranty covers your purchase just in case something goes wrong. The above warranty lengths are the bare minimum, and any company offering less than this should not be considered, even if they offer cheaper solar PV options. You can probably guess why their panels and other energy systems are cheap.
The cost of going solar has been dropping steadily in the past decades, and this trend is only now hitting a speedbump because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, solar panels have shed over a third of their price in the last decade alone and once the current supply chain issues are sorted out, the trend in lowering prices will continue. While this is good news, it bears mentioning that solar panels are still expensive, and most people cannot purchase them with a single payment. In addition, equipment like solar inverters and battery storage systems push the price of a solar PV system up considerably. Given that inverters (and increasingly batteries) are vital to the performance of a solar PV system, financing options are very important for the average consumer.
What We Recommend
Fortunately, Australia has some of the world’s best rebates for solar energy, and Australians have been taking advantage of them for decades. However, in recent years, there has been a trend towards purchasing low-quality and cheap solar panels. While cheaper solar panels are easier to pay off in a shorter amount of time, they are also liable to fail sooner and be less efficient during their lifetime. High-quality panels, on the other hand, will not only hold their efficiency rating for far longer, but they also have longer lifespans, albeit at a higher cost. Nevertheless, with Integra Solar’s extensive financing options, state-of-the-art panels are now more affordable than ever. Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group strongly advises customers to choose quality over affordability. Why? Because in the long run, slightly more expensive solar panels will last longer and incur a higher return on investment than cheaper, short lived panels, even if they do take longer to recoup their cost. In the long run, it is better to take a bit longer to recoup your initial investment and save a lot more later than to do the inverse. This makes financial and environmental sense, given that panels will not have to be replaced as often. This will further reduce your footprint on the environment and minimise solar waste.
Scouring the Internet for Reviews: How Reliable is it?
Before settling on a solar PV system provider, it often seems like a good idea to go online and look for reviews. Today, we are so interconnected through social media and so dependent on the internet that going online to check up on reviews comes naturally to most of us. In an ideal world, this would be excellent, but we do not live in an ideal world. The fact of the matter is that most customers do not leave reviews on online platforms, meaning that solar companies can be held hostage by competitors, who can just hop online and leave negative reviews. This is why relying on online reviews is not always the best option. In this case, word of mouth is the best way to ascertain reliability.
You could contact customers of an organisation to ask them how their experience was, if you’re so inclined. We understand that this may be difficult, but it really is one of the best ways to find out about the legitimacy of a solar distributor. Or you could just call up Integra Solar directly and have a chat with our courteous and experienced representatives. You do not need to make a sales commitment and we are happy just to be able to help answer your questions!
Where Do We Stand?
Customer satisfaction is where Integra Solar Panels Integra Energy Group shines. We say this without reservation. Customers want to work with a company that is respectful, helpful, approachable and considerate. We are all these things. We believe in respecting people, in being helpful and in doing the best we can to make our customer’s experience as comfortable and as fulfilling as possible. We do not deal in transactions; we deal in partnerships. We build relationships that last decades. Integra Solar has Australia’s best after-sales support and this is something we are immensely proud of. But don’t take our word for it, pick up the phone and give us a ring! We guarantee that you’ll agree.