The 2 main reasons a solar energy system might fail

2 Reasons why solar energy systems fail

Despite the complicated inner-workings of complex technology that make up the individual components of solar energy systems; from solar panels to inverters to smart meters, where your solar energy system is most likely to fail is not where you might expect.

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The two largest failure points for a solar energy system are:

  1. Disappointment from a customer who has purchased an energy system that doesn’t meet their expectations or demand.
  2. Poor installation by an installer.

Solar products, especially those sold in Australia are (now) of high quality and consumer protection bodies like the CEC supply a list of approved products and manufacturers that meet Australia’s high standards. So incidents of failing technology, products and equipment are decreasing. Where customers can find their biggest disappointment or system failure occurring is either through a system not performing as expected or through poor installation by a low-grade installer.

In order to sign up a customer, some installers use under-handed sales tactics. This is most likely to include underpricing and over-promising on output. It may be tempting to accept a quote from a solar energy installer that offers the cheapest price, but in the solar energy market; the cheapest is not always the best option. You could be sacrificing on essential parts of the service, like installer experience/knowledge, product quality, unsafe installation and warranties.

“Clean Energy Regulator inspections of residential solar installations show that about 16% of units are underperforming or not configured correctly and 4% are unsafe.” (source).

How to ensure you don’t select a scam-installer:

  • Choose an installer with CEC accreditation
  • Opt for products that are CEC approved
  • Read reviews
  • Check warranties

We have a blog post on top tips for selecting a solar energy installer here. Opt for an installer who has the time and budget to take care when installing your solar energy system.

You can also opt for a smart meter connected to your inverter. This will help you understand how your solar energy system is performing. So if previous energy costs were $500 and they’re now $650 you can check your inverter to assess why. Perhaps your energy demands are higher and your energy system isn’t meeting them, or perhaps there’s a problem with your energy system that needs addressing. It might be as simple a matter as adjusting when you use your energy-heavy appliances so your solar energy system is supplying energy at appropriate times. Without a smart meter, this would be much more difficult and likely to involve some guesswork.


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According to information obtained by Fairfax media from the CEC, of around 4100 residential solar systems inspected last year approximately 800 systems didn’t meet the Australian Standards. Reasons varied but a common fault was water found in electrical components which can lead to a fire risk.

Some installers will opt for cheap contractors and jobs are auctioned off to the cheapest bidder. At Energy Makeovers we use in-house certified electricians and CEC Accredited installers with decades of experience to complete installations. We do not offer out installations to contractors, we manage the quality of the installation directly with you.

We have been in business since 2008 so when we offer a 12 year workmanship warranty you can feel reassured that we will be around to honour that warranty, should it be necessary.


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