knowledge article

Beware of SolarZero: Consumer Magazine asks "Is it worth it?"

09/07/2024

Solar panels have become increasingly popular. They offer a sustainable and cost-effective way to generate electricity. Many companies like SolarZero advertise "free" solar panels, but are they truly free? According to a recent article by Consumer.org.nz, the debate surrounding the true cost of SolarZero "free" solar panels is gaining traction. If you have not seen the article yet, you can read it here: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/solarzero-is-it-worth-it 

The Caveats of "Free" Solar Panels

Consumer.org.nz sheds light on a popular offering from SolarZero, a company running a door-to-door sales campaign across New Zealand. Their pitch is enticing: they offer to install solar panels with no upfront costs, including a battery system to reduce reliance on grid power. While this sounds appealing, there are important caveats to consider.

Is it free?

In the article, James Le Page writes that the business model of SolarZero is to provide solar panels without charging any upfront costs. However, these panels are not actually free. Instead, homeowners enter into a long-term lease agreement, typically for 20 years, where they pay a fixed monthly fee for the use of the solar panels.

Ownership and Long-Term Commitment

One major drawback highlighted by James is that homeowners do not actually own the system installed by SolarZero. This means that if the property is sold, the new owners will either have to take on the agreement or the original homeowner will have to pay out the remaining costs—a potential burden that could complicate the sale process.

Limited Energy Providers and Hidden Costs

Consumer say those who opt for SolarZero's offer are locked into using a single power retailer, limiting their ability to shop around for better deals. Additionally, while the installation may be advertised as "free," the reality is that consumers pay for it over the system's lifetime. This underscores the importance of carefully evaluating the long-term financial implications before committing to the offer.

The Benefits of Choosing Harrisons Solar

On the other hand, companies like Harrisons Solar stand out with their transparent approach and key selling points. As the number one retailer of solar panels in NZ, Harrisons Solar prides itself on being a trusted solar installer, offering quality systems from top brands such as Fronius and Tesla.

Personalized Service and Convenience

With a focus on customer satisfaction, Harrisons Solar sets itself apart by conducting roof checks in person, emphasizing the importance of tailored solutions over the phone-based approach offered by competitors like SolarZero. In addition, they provide financing options, including 3 years of interest-free plans and assistance with bank finance, making solar energy more accessible to a wider audience.

Trust and Community Involvement

As a family-owned business with a strong commitment to the community, Harrisons Solar supports the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, further demonstrating its values and dedication to making a positive impact. Unlike companies like SolarZero which may have hidden costs and limitations, Harrisons Solar remains transparent about their pricing and the quality of their offerings.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the allure of "free" solar panels may seem enticing, it is crucial for consumers to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. By choosing a reputable and established provider like Harrisons Solar, individuals can ensure they are investing in a sustainable and reliable solar solution without compromising on quality or long-term benefits. Remember, when it comes to solar panels, the true value goes beyond the initial cost.

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