Buyer Beware!! Home Battery Offer Letter In The Post
Have you ever had an offer that seems too good to be true? As the saying goes, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. This is a cautionary tale, a buyer beware tale, about a certain solar company that invites you to join a trial or a test case. They say, if you have solar panels a letter may have been sent to you in the post. This letter contains an offer to take part in a limited and exclusive trial to access a home battery. However, the home solar battery is with a name you probably have never heard of at a price you have no idea whether it is good or bad.
My dad (86 years young) received one of these letters and after reading it, he was pretty excited about joining the sample pool. To me, it looked like a well-written scam from the get-go, but to keep my dad happy I rang the company to check it out, and this is what happened…
The first thing that was said is “due to the high demand all the 300 allocation was sold out is it ok if I put you on hold so I can check with management to see if I can allocate an extra system?..”
This was the first red flag for me..
Then surprise, surprise, “We can fit you in but you will have to act quickly..”
After a long drawn out process asking the standard questions
How big is your solar system?, single-phase?, where is the meter box? how much is sent back to the grid?, etc etc..
More hold music…
Then guess what, “I’m happy to say your Dad still qualifies”… It’s amazing…
So I then asked for the price.
Still had to listen to a huge blurb about the battery than on hold for another 5 minutes.
Finally, I got the price of $10,280 but because I qualified for the (bogus) trial it’s $7680 for a 5.8kWh battery. (Which is equivalent to $1324 per kWh for a Chinese made battery with no brand name).
Considering you can get a world-famous Tesla brand for around $1000 per kW it seems a little expensive
I then asked what would be the expected payback time and after a lot of talk like it depends on a lot of factors, like the way you use the power blah, blah, blah the girl said 10 years…
I calculated at a best case scenario 5.8kWh per day at .21c per kw = $1.22/day = $444 per year = a 17 year payback not 10.
Then I read the reviews online and boy oh boy they have some very bad reviews. If you are looking at buying a battery make sure you do your homework. For this company, around 30% of their reviews were negative ones. Please make sure you check out all reviews of a company yourself.
There is an endless list of complaints and negative reviews found on Google regarding the practices of unscrupulous solar companies like this one.
The other thing I found strange about this company, is that they trade under a few different names. If they were an honorable company, why would they need different names?
So what is wrong with buying a cheap home battery anyway?
It’s important to look back in time to predict the future.
Power electronics is a tricky business, and many companies have come and gone in the inverter/battery business.
So we think it’s a huge risk buying a no-name home battery from an eastern state company, with a dodgy reputation. At best, you will lose thousands of dollars. In the worst-case scenario, it could even burn your house down! So it is important to stick with the big and trusted brand names and a reputable local supplier/installer. Do your research…