Solar supply chains are under pressure – here’s what this means for you

We’re taking steps to ensure we’re able to deliver the products we sell, as promised and on time

At Zenernet, one of the things that’s always set us apart is that we help homeowners customize a solar system based on their unique needs and budget, component by component, from a variety of top brands – instead of just selling “cookie cutter” systems. Recently, however, users who’ve been checking out our pricing calculator, as well as homeowners who’ve been talking with our energy consultants about going solar, have noticed that the options for solar components that we offer have become much more limited. We want to be upfront with potential customers and explain why that’s the case.

It’s well known by this point that the pandemic has severely disrupted global supply chains in almost every type of industry. Many of you reading this have probably seen the impacts in your own jobs. Unfortunately, the solar industry hasn’t escaped unscathed from these supply disruptions. Solar system components and the raw materials used to manufacture them have become more expensive to procure and more logistically difficult to ship. This was a major factor in the recent decision by LG, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, to exit the solar panel market.

At Zenernet, this has left us with some tough decisions to make. We want to be able to give homeowners choices in designing their solar system – but it’s even more important that we are able to deliver the products we sell as promised. We want to avoid a situation where a customer selects certain components during the initial consultation process, and then weeks down the line we have to tell them that their install will be delayed or that they have to select different components, possibly affecting the price of the system, because their picks are no longer readily available. You simply don’t need that type of aggravation in the process of buying a product that’s supposed to bring you greater peace of mind.

That’s why we’ve concluded that the best thing for our customers is to temporarily limit the selection of components we offer to models that we can guarantee we’ll be able to install within our standard timelines. It’s not a decision we’ve made hastily or lightly, but we think it’s the correct decision in view of our goal to deliver the best customer experience in solar – ensuring that homeowners can be confident they’ll get the system they paid for with a minimum of delays or complications.

You might be wondering: Am I losing out if I choose to go solar while my choices in components are limited? Obviously, we think there’s value in giving homeowners options. However, homeowners should understand that residential solar is a mature technology. There are improvements in solar component design and manufacturing currently being studied that could lead to exciting advances in the future, some of which we might cover on this blog. However, as it stands, the differences in performance, efficiency, and cost between the leading solar brands are fairly marginal. We believe that the curated selection of components we can currently guarantee to customers still represents top-flight quality, durability, and value. We also believe that in spite of the current supply chain disruptions, now is still a great time to go solar, considering factors like the decrease in value of the federal solar ITC incentive at the end of this year.

We hope this article has been informative in explaining the reasoning behind making the decision to temporarily curtail the range of solar component options we offer. If you’d like to know more, one of our energy consultants would be happy to discuss it with you and help you customize a system that fits your needs from our current curated range of solar products.

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