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Most common solar panel problems

By Sarah Ingrams / Which? / 24 August 2018

Inverters, feed-in tariffs and broken roof tiles – has your solar PV system had a problem?

Solar panel owners say that inverters cause the most problems for their solar panel systems, exclusive Which? research reveals.

Overall, just over a quarter (27%) of the thousands* of solar panel owners we spoke to said they have had a problem with their PV system. Of these, 36% said the problem was to do with their inverter.

The next most-common problems were loose or damaged roof or roof tiles and electrical problems.

Separately, 20% of all of our solar panel owners told us that they have had a problem getting their feed-in tariff paid. The feed-in tariff gives cash to households producing electricity using a renewable technology.

Keep reading to see other common solar panel problems and what to expect with your inverter. Or check our in-depth factory audit and customer ratings to reveal which solar panel brands are built to last.

Solar panel problems Below

We list the most common issues experienced by solar panel owners who had problems with their system.

How long will your inverter last?

Solar PV systems are expected to last for at least 25 years, but during that time you should expect to replace the inverter.

Surprisingly, 28% of those who have replaced their inverter did so two years or less after their system was installed. One in ten replaced their inverter within a year after installation.Feed-in tariff payment issues

The vast majority (95%) of solar panel owners we surveyed get the feed-in tariff – a cash payment to households which produce electricity using renewable technologies.

A fifth (20%) of them have had a problem getting it paid.

Most commonly, the problem was their payment arriving between one and three months later than they expected it. A quarter (27%) of these people said it had happened only once. But 21% said their payment had been delayed between one and three months more than three times.

However, the feed-in tariff will close to new applicants in April 2018. This means that, unless a new incentive is announced by the government, householders who install solar panels after this fate won’t be paid for the power they put into the grid.

What to do if you’re having problems with your feed-in tariff If you’re having problems getting your feed-in tariff payments, contact the company that pays you. All companies should have a complaints process set out on their website. If you haven’t reached an agreement after eight weeks, or you’re unhappy with the company’s final response, you can refer it to the Energy Ombudsman.

If you wish, you can change the energy company that pays your feed-in tariff; your payments will stay the same whoever pays them. It doesn’t need to be the same company from which you buy electricity, but it must be a feed-in tariff licensee.


Energy Stuff provides a full range of new solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. We also provide smart energy management systems which will continue to deliver energy saving benefits into the future. We only use CEC accredited installers and we fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://ongrid.energystuff.com.au/new-solar-system/

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