Suntech supports research into removing consumer barriers to solar PV installation

Solar panel manufacturer, Suntech, continues to support research in the field of solar photovoltaics. While Suntech’s support is more commonly associated with technological developments in solar PV, their involvement in the research of University of NSW student, Roland Kiel, shows the importance of identifying barriers to investment, or ‘customer caution’,  regarding solar PV systems. The geographic area for the research was NSW as a whole, although the respondents themselves can be roughly classified as potential customers for solar power in Sydney.

The starting point for Roland’s research was the lack of Government feed-in tariffs available to customers in NSW. This assumption is still valid, despite recent updates from the Department of Trade and Investment allowing existing solar PV owners to expand their solar PV system, without losing the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme payments. Roland has operated under the additional assumption that households are required to understand their own electricity consumption patterns and, the technology of the system they want to install prior to making contact with installers.

While it is advisable that customers do undertake their own research prior to investing in a solar PV system, many of the questions identified by Roland as part of his research can be answered by Solar Choice – either through our blog or by one of our experienced Solar Brokers. Solar Choice  can provide assistance to customers when working out what size of system best suits their needs, what Federal and State incentives are available to them and what they can expect from their system once installed.

Solar Choice also performs due diligence on all the installers on our network, so customers can be sure they are working with a reputable company, we can also provide mediation if there is any aspect of the install the customer is unhappy with. However, this is a not a common occurrence.

With the exception of the service offered by Solar Choice, Roland identified an information gap relating to customer’s performing their own research into various aspects of owning a solar PV system, including: the buy back mechanism, solar technology and other installation/operation concerns.

Roland Kiel is a recent graduate from UNSW, with a Bachelor of Engineering in Photovoltaic Engineering. A full version of Roland’s report can be downloaded as a PDF.