It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Promote a product by promising to be part of a ‘Trial’ at a discounted rate in return for providing feedback, data or access to the performance of the system.
‘Subsidised Trial’, ‘Testing Phase’, ‘Battery Program’, ‘Group Testing’ and so on.
And we have seen this dodgy sales technique being used around Australia over the last few years to sell solar batteries, often at inflated prices, by companies using high-pressure sales practices.
Unsuspecting customers who already have solar panels installed receive letters in the mail with offers that sound fantastic and encourage homeowners to be a part of this exciting program.
To be clear, there are a number of battery trials always going on in Australia at the moment – but they are never mass promoted (otherwise it wouldn’t be a trial!) and are almost always only done by the battery manufacturers themselves (to help them develop their product) or funded by govt agencies such as ARENA or the CEFC in partnership with the large energy companies. In fact, as at the time of writing, a google search for ‘battery trial’ does not mention any private company trials promoting products (but we gave up after about 5 pages of search results).
Solaray itself has a number of batteries and other technologies installed as part of testing and trial programs with manufacturers, but these are never available to the mass market – as they usually cost us more to participate than any potential savings.
So, watch out for this type of sales promotion.
If you search for any of the energy forums, you can find more information.
One of the most popular ones is: https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/143 and just use the search bar at the top.
Installing a battery is often a great way to maximise your existing solar system’s benefits but make sure you do your research, and only deal with companies that at the very least are a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer, and are open and transparent about what batteries may do for you.