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The Risks Of Cheap Solar

Many people are attracted to the idea of solar panels and want to install them in their homes. The cost is generally high, but some companies offer cheap options, which they advertise as being more affordable than a traditional utility company.

However, these inexpensive solar panel systems often have hidden risks that make them more expensive in the long run. In this blog post, I will discuss some of the most common pitfalls of low-cost solar panels and how you can avoid getting scammed by a cheap system. 

Here are some of the risks associated with cheap solar panels:

Low-quality Panels

A lot of advertising for inexpensive solar panels is misleading. The ads claim that consumers will be saving money by buying these systems, but the low price comes from a cheaply made system. While some companies sell high-quality products at discounted prices, most only offer inferior quality products at a discounted price. This lack of quality will be made apparent in the following ways:

Poor performance 

The cheap solar panels may not produce as much energy as advertised or stop working altogether after very little use. When you see ads for inexpensive solar systems that proclaim 70% efficiency, it’s more likely than not that they’re referring to the output, not the input.

In other words, while this panel may be 70% efficient when compared with a standard 60-watt incandescent light bulb, it is more likely than not that it would only produce 40 watts of energy on your roof. That’s because, in order to make a panel that produces 70% of the energy of a regular light bulb, you would need to make it bigger than a standard 60-watt unit. And since panels are generally only sold in 12-volt increments (which is 72 watts), that means that the more efficient panel would have to be quite large and cumbersome.

sunlight over a residential solar panels in Newcastle

May overheat and burst into flames

Cheap solar panels are much less resistant to heat. When there is a particularly hot day, they can overheat and burst into flames. Solar panels are made to be light and portable; these cheap solar panels are neither of those things. In some rare cases, the insulation on the wires can begin to break down when exposed to sunlight for too long. This causes it to short circuit, and sparks may come out. These sparks can cause your cheap solar panel to catch on fire.

It May not be suitable for the environment

On a more positive note, one company that specializes in cheap solar panels has a very clear message on their website: “Cheap is not always green .” While there are numerous ways to buy environmentally friendly and sustainable products, you might be surprised to find out that buying cheap solar panels is not one of them.

It May cost more in the long run

For example, if you buy a cheap solar panel system for $500 and it breaks down in a year, you’ll have to take care of it or throw it away; even though that was a small sum to spend on the solar panel, it will still cost you more than if you had paid $5000 for a top-quality solar system.

The reverse applies to high-quality solar panels that come with an average lifetime of 20 years and beyond; they cost more at the beginning but will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Cheap solar panels are likely to break down sooner, so while they’re cheaper initially, you’ll have to replace them or repair them frequently – which eventually costs you more than if you had installed high-quality panels.

Electrician installing solar panels in newcastle residential property

Easy to install = low quality

It’s pretty simple: If something is easy and cheap, it is probably not of the highest quality. That’s one thing that people often forget when they purchase a cheap solar panel. While it’s tempting to go for the least expensive option, you should be aware of the risks involved in doing so.

For example, if you choose a solar system that is cheap and easy to install, then you risk getting one that may not be 100% safe and secure – which can be a severe problem. One of the most common mistakes customers make is to choose the cheapest photovoltaic panels they can find because they believe that it’s all about saving money and getting more value for their money.

If you want to learn about the 7 Reasons Why Now Is The Right Time To Install Solar, check our previous post.


One of the most significant risks with cheap solar panels is that they may be counterfeit. These companies will use more inexpensive materials to make their product and sell it for less than the average price.

The other risk, which might not even occur until years down the road, is that there could be an issue with safety or durability. If you’re looking for quality at a low cost, get your research done beforehand!