If you’ve been looking into solar panels for your home or business in Queensland, you may have heard tier levels 1, 2, and 3 used to describe different panels. You’re probably wondering what these tiers mean and what impact this has on each product.
Before diving into an investment as big as solar energy, it’s important to gather as much information as possible. So, read on to learn more about solar panel tiers, what a Tier 1 solar panel is, and help you decide whether Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 solar panels are the best choice for you.
About solar panel tiers
The solar panel tier ranking system comes from BloombergNEF, a strategic research provider in the sustainable energy field.
Bloomberg doesn’t rank the solar panels themselves, but their manufacturers. To achieve a Tier 1 ranking, a brand and business must prove to be financially stable and invest consistently in the technology.
In other words, it is confidence in the quality of the brand and the likelihood that the particular brand will be around in years to come to honour their warranties if needed.
Tier 2 and 3 rankings go to smaller, lesser known-brands that may have only recently entered the industry.
Tier 2 and 3 solar panels aren’t necessarily bad—their manufacturers simply haven’t been in the industry long enough to establish a solid reputation.
Their processes also may use less automated machinery on a large scale, which means that there is a higher chance for human error in the manufacturing process.
So, how can you know the tier rating of the solar panels you’re looking to buy?
Usually, solar panel retailers will list their solar panels’ ratings on their websites. If not, you can ask the retailers to verify the tier level of their panels when you request a quote. Otherwise, check with the manufacturer.
Tier 1 solar panel characteristics
So, how does Bloomberg define a Tier 1 solar panel?
To meet Tier 1 criteria, a solar manufacturer must provide solar products to five different projects. Five different banks must have financed these projects over the past two years.
Tier 1 solar manufacturers must also produce products within their own manufacturing facility to qualify.
Basically, tier rankings reflect a manufacturer’s financial stability rather than the quality of its products. But keep in mind—banks are likely to invest frequently in manufacturers that produce exceptional products.
Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 or 3 solar panels
Essentially, a Tier 1 solar holds reputation and trust. When you purchase Tier 1 solar panels, you’ll know you have done what you can to ensure you are investing in quality.
But Tier 2 and 3 solar panels may do their job well, too. Boutique brands could still produce high-quality panels—but come with higher risk.
With established companies, you’ll have higher confidence that the brand will be around in the future to offer repairs and replacements. Smaller brands can’t always offer this guarantee.
If you don’t have the budget for Tier 1 solar panels—which can be expensive—Tier 2 and 3 panels can still be a great choice. Just remember—the lower price may indicate the quality.
Ready to invest in Tier 1 solar?
Tier 1 solar manufacturers have long-standing, positive reputations in the solar industry. Investing in Tier 1 solar is a little more expensive—but you’ll have peace of mind that you’re likely buying the best quality product currently on the market.
Inverters need to be monitored like any household electrical device, but panels are generally very hard wearing and can last for many years.
To get started and install high-quality, Tier 1 solar panels in Brisbane or at your home or business in regional Queensland, contact Big Sky Energy today to discuss your needs and organise an initial consultation.