0% Interest Solar Loans?

What do you mean there is no such thing as interest free solar?


An insight into interest free solar loans and why you should run for the hills.


We can wrap this article up pretty quickly by explaining how the 0% interest system works…

The finance company providing the ‘interest free loan’ to the consumer charges the solar company a fee depending on the length of the loan. That fee, believe it or not isn’t absorbed by the solar company, it’s passed onto the consumer.

For example –

A solar company quotes a client $10,000 for a solar panel installation. Of that $10,000 the finance company charges the solar company up to 25% (4 year loan term). That’s $2500 in fees! Do you really think the solar company will cop the full brunt of that cost? Unfortunately not, it’s passed onto the consumer resulting in a $10,000 system costing $12,500.


On top of the ‘interest free loan’ fees passed onto the consumer, they hit you with this!

  • $3.50 monthly Revolving Credit Account fees (even after you have paid off the loan – until you close the account)
  • $2.95 Fortnightly Payment processing fees
  • $35 to $90 customer establishment fee (depending on the deal the retailer gets)
  • $15 Late payment fees
  • $15 Change of details fees (for changing any of the details around your arrangement, such as payment dates etc.)
  • $30 Collection fees (on top of a late payment fee!)
  • $22 Repeat purchase fees. (Consider it a customer loyalty fee).
    Up to 40 months

There is an honest and ethical way to offer finance..

It’s called a fixed interest rate with a company who is regulated and governed by the “National Consumer Credit Protection Act.”

Australia has legislation in place to protect consumers who borrow money. It’s called the  “National Consumer Credit Protection Act.” However, because of the interest free loophole, some finance companies like Certegy are not regulated by the NCCP Act.

Who do we trust? (for now)

After countless meetings and phone calls with various finance companies we have decided to partner with Brighte. Brighte have introduced their ‘Green Loan’ at a fixed rate of 7.99% with 2-7 year terms. Brighte is backed by one of the big four – NAB and we feel confident in offering Brighte’s Green Loan to our clients.

Brighte Green Loan Fees

  • 7.99% fixed interest rate
  • No upfront/setup cost
  • No account management fees
  • There are no fees and charges for making extra payments or paying your account off early.
  • $4.99 late payment fee

The end all example to finish any argument between a ‘fixed green loan’ and an ‘interest free loan’. Unfortunately the 0% interest loan is simply a selling tool for what I consider unethical solar retailers.

Loan amount – $10,000

Loan term3 years

0% interest loan fee passed onto the client$2500

7.99% fixed interest loan over 3 years$1310

Total amount paid with 0% interest loan option$12,500

Total amount paid with 7.99% fixed interest loan option$11,310.

You pay $1200 more with 0% interest loans!



This article should not be considered financial advice. I’m just a sparkie. Contact the lenders to get accurate and up to date figures.

Article by Jye van Waelsden – Managing Director



Grab The Popcorn, Summers Coming!

Another ABN, another Solar Cowboy!

April – June 2018 – 57,351 installations.


April – June 2019 – 70,238 installations

Supply and demand – The Home Insulation Program

“The reality is that the Australian government conceived of, devised, designed and implemented a program that enabled very large numbers of inexperienced workers — often engaged by unscrupulous and avaricious employers or head contractors, who were themselves inexperienced in insulation installation — to undertake potentially dangerous work,” the commissioner wrote.

The Solar Industry hasn’t learnt much..

In 2018, 3,678 systems were inspected. Of these:

  • 2,850 (77.5%) were assessed as compliant.
  • 748 (20.3%) were assessed as substandard.
  • 80 systems (2.2%) were assessed as unsafe.

You don’t need to be an electrical contractor with any solar experience to own a solar company..

In QLD, the company selling you your solar system does not need to hold an electrical contractors license. This means that your solar system could be designed by someone who not only has never installed a solar system but has never been on a roof before in their life! The cascading impacts of this can be horrific. If your solar system is designed by an inexperienced individual working for a sales company the following can become very costly :

  • Sub contractor/installer doesn’t care – Unfortunately the solar sales companies selling these systems work off very small margins, meaning the solar panel installer is paid very little by the sales company. This can result in very poor workmanship and a sub standard installation. Majority of the time you’ll end up paying twice!
  • Over promising amount solar panels – Believe it or not, there is a huge difference between designing a solar panel system from a desk using satellite software and actually measuring up a roof in reality. This mistake partnered up with a sub contractor/installer not caring can result in 18 panels being installed when you’ve paid for 22. The worst part is, you’ll never know unless you get up on the roof and count!
  • No after sales support – Sales companies are renowned for low margins and a high turnover of sales. As you could imagine, there is no incentive for taking care of their previous sales. Try and call a ‘sales office’ for support and you’ll be left in the dark. I guess you can’t blame them.. they’ve got to put food on the table right?

Summer is coming..

With Summer approaching you really have to steer clear of the cheap ‘bill crusher’ deals you see every day in your facebook feed. The marketing from these solar companies will increase dramatically, just like the number of new ABN’s.

3 key things to look for :

  1. Does the solar company employ in house CEC accredited electricians or do they sub contract?
  2. Do they use reputable solar panels and inverters?
  3. Read their reviews. Hint – Read their worst ones.

The amazing movement towards a renewable energy future isn’t as amazing as it sounds. Just like ‘The Home Insulation Program’ the ‘Solar Panel Rebate Scheme’ is poorly designed and has attracted unqualified, inexperienced and negligent contractors to undertake dangerous work.

I hate to put a negative article out like this as I truly believe that real change occurs when a positive narrative is told but when it is impacting great small businesses who genuinely care about their clients it’s hard not to.

Article by Jye van Waelsden – Managing Director



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