Is Sologistics Australia a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer?
Yes. And this is such an important and often misunderstood concept. We say again, yes, Sologistics is an Approved Solar Retailer. And this is very different and much, much more than just being a Clean Energy Council Member. Anybody can be a member. You could be a member.
Unfortunately consumers can get the two confused and often will think a solar company is an Approved Retailer when they are simply a member.
Approved Solar Retailers are companies who have shown their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities, and industry best practice for the sale of solar systems.
“By choosing to buy from a business that has signed up to our voluntary Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, you are choosing a business which has committed to a higher standard of quality and service”
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton.
How long has Sologistics been in business?
Sologistics has been operating for 6 years. We started in the residential space and our residential clients were so pleased with their experience (because we explain things clearly and we’re very analytical which leads to accuracy with our forecasts and less cost for our clients) that more and more of them wanted us to help them with their commercial solar as well. So we eventually launched our commercial solar division as well and now we do around 40 homes a months and usually have 1 or 2 much larger commercial projects running at any given time.
Who owns Sologistics?
We are a private company, originating in Melbourne, Victoria and the founders are still working within the business. In fact, usually one of the 2 founders, Cam Clemens and Paul Cooper, still visit most sites at some point through a project.
How much can I save?
We know nobody loves these 2 words but…it depends! On quite a few variables, actually. We train our people to help our customers to understand their REALISTIC likely outcomes, and no 2 situations are the same.
But we can give you a good insight into the typical outcome right now. Naturally one of the key variables is how much roof we have to work with. So let’s assume we have plenty of roof – and this doesn’t mean we intend to put lots of panels on either by the way – most people get sold too many panels, good for the short-term thinking solar salesperson but no good for the customer, because this simply means your payback period will be much longer than it should be. But that’s a whole other question.
If we’re talking the % of your power bill that you can get rid of, and we’re talking residential, and we have the roof-space we need, most of the time our customers will see around 50% – 70% of their power bill disappear, and we will achieve this with them seeing a payback period of around 3 – 4 years, with the home solar rebate in play, or around 5-6 years if they don’t get the rebate.
We can help you to get rid of more of your power bill if you are prepared to put more panels on, but the payback period will be longer the more panels we add because you will consume a lower % of the solar power produced.
In a commercial setting, again if we have the roof-space to work with, our clients will typically see around 75% of their power bill gone, with around a 3.5 year payback period.
Will you come to my house?
Normally we would! Every time. Actually we would insist upon it. Not because we want to try and sell to you, but because we believe in order to give you proper, genuine solar advice, a person absolutely needs to physically check out a number of aspects of your home. This is because a large part of the cost for you is in the installation process and everybody’s home is unique. You should protect yourself and NEVER engage with a solar company that tries to sell you a system over the phone.
However, right now we need to respect the situation we are all in, and operate within the boundaries of social-distancing. So for the time being we are conducting our initial consultation over the phone with some really helpful and informative digital documents, our website etc to help you to fully understand your opportunity. It is working really well, again our clients tell us, becasue we take the time to PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION, as opposed to trying to simply make a sale.
Nturally our highly credentialed installtion crews (again Clean energy Council accredited solar installers) will come to your home (only 2 team-members at a time most of the time) and they will follow strict social-distancing and sanitation protocols at all times and rarely, if ever, venture into your home.
What is the process when buying solar for my home?
Firstly, we are not pushy salespeople. We engage with you to QUOTE & EXPLAIN in order to help you to understand your options.
- We will inspect a number of things including power boards, roof type, roof pitch, roof access, meters, distances between likely panel and inverter locations, shadow etc.
- We will then answer any and all questions you have and we will also take the time to explain all of the important things about solar, what it can do for you and also what it cannot do. Our clients tell us they really enjoy the experience because they feel very knowledgeable afterwards! As we said, we do not treat these sessions as a selling opportunity. In fact we don’t ever even ask you to buy anything.
- We have built our own automated quoting system and at this session we plug all of your details and the characteristics of your home into our quote generator and it automatically emails you a very detailed quote with an EXACT price to have the selected system installed on YOUR home. You also automatically receive our ‘Welcome Pack’ which is digital version of lots of the information we will have just taken you through. We also email you an image of the virtual roof layout as well as the estimated average daily energy output by month of the system we have discussed together.
The whole process usually takes 1 – 2 hours. And once we’re done, it’s over to you. If you want to proceed to installation, simply contact us and let us know!
How do the rebates work?
There are a number of incentives in play today. And they vary by state and by type of system (residential or commercial) and by system size.
All systems below 100KW (about 300 panels) attract a Federal Government incentive scheme, called Small Technology Certificates (commonly referred to as STC’s). This incentive, equating to roughly around 30% of the cost and increasing as a % the further North you live in Australia, is paid up-front and comes off the price before you buy. It is calculated based on solar production and this is why as a % it increases up North – there is more sun and your solar system produces more clean energy and so you are rewarded with more STC’s!
All systems over 100KW attract a different Federal Government incentive scheme, called Large Generation Certificates (commonly referred to as LGC’s). This incentive, on todays price, equates to roughly around 30% of the cost and it too increases the further North you are. However this one is not paid up-front, but rather in annual instalments until 2030, as a reward for clean power your system produces.
In Victoria, for residential systems, there is another incentive scheme that has been recently introduced by the Andrew’s Government. It is called the Home Solar Scheme and it has 2 parts. A Home Solar rebate of $1,888 and an interest-free 4 year loan from the government for another $1,888.
To qualify, your household income needs to be less than $180K and your home must be worth less than $3M.
Most of our customers only need to invest between $0 – $1300 in total of their own money to have solar installed.
How much does it cost?
You should be paying no more than $325 per KW for your standard, high-quality PV system, fully installed and operational (after rebate).
No 2 situations are ever identical (equipment, installation requirements at your site etc) and so there is variance in ultimate cost, but generally speaking, if your situation is fairly straightforward and you are being asked to spend much more than this, then that’s a bit expensive, and alternatively if somebody is offering you a system for much less than this, we’d question the quality – somebody is cutting corners somewhere.
What equipment does Sologistics sell?
3 key points first of all:
- Sologistics does not represent or act as agents for any particular brands – in fact we can get any product that is approved for the Australian market – and so we genuinely provide you with unbiased advice on equipment;
- Sologistics only works with the highest-quality equipment (but everybody says that right!);
- Sologistics absolutely has a few favourite brands (panels, inverters and balance of system) that we recommend our clients use because they are widely recognised as being the best.
Our most-recommended panel brands are:
Our most recommended inverter brands are:
What makes a good panel?
You can really summarize a highly complex and technical field with a simple statement:
‘In a panel you look for high efficiency and low degradation’.
All the other things that people talk about with regard to panel assessment are simply technical characteristics of the panels that are either designed to increase or decrease these two capabilities.
In other words, you want your panel to be as efficient as possible – more power, less size – and to fall away in production power as slowly as possible through the years.
These first two brands are the best. Simple. They are the most efficient and they degrade the slowest:
Focus on these only if you have limited roof-space to work with and need to maximise the power per sqm because they cost more, which shouldn’t surprise because of-course they do.
Of all of the other panel brands in the world these are generally accepted as the next best. They produce really well and fall away in production by a tiny amount each year (less than 1%). And they cost less than the Big 2, so if you have plenty of roof to work with, be totally comfortable with these:
Does Sologistics sell batteries and should I be getting one?
Yes we do, and right now, probably no you shouldn’t. Let us explain why we say that.
Batteries at this point in time are very expensive. Even though there are more than 40 different battery storage systems to choose from, they are all still too expensive to be a viable option if all you are trying to do is save on a typical residential power bill. The cost dictates that the payback period will be more than 10 years which in our opinion is not a good way to use your money.
We sell batteries, but usually to people who require them for different reasons – say they get a lot of blackouts and they’re wanting to protect an asset when they’re off-grid.
Revisit the battery scenario in around 3-4 years.
Does Sologistics have its own installers or do you sub-contract out the install?
Over the journey we have built a stable of 6 crews who we ONLY EVER USE to install our projects, all 40+ residential installs each month as well as the much bigger commercial projects. They are the best of the best and we never stray from them – because we want to know the people on your roof. Whilst they are fully accredited Clean Energy Council Solar Installers, they are not ‘on our payroll’ full-time (it would cost too much to employ them full-time – that’s how good they are!) but we do so much work together it’s really just like we’re a partnership, so you might as well think of them as our in-house crews.
We never sub-contract out to people we don’t know.