What the hell is ‘The Good Solar Guide’ and why did I write it?



A lot of people who follow this website work in the solar industry. If that describes you, then you’ll have been asked the same question every solar worker gets asked when you tell a new acquaintance what you do:
“You work in solar? Cool. I’m thinking of getting panels, what should I know?”
If you’re in no mood to talk solar basics all evening, you’ll probably simply name and shame the shonky companies that they should avoid, give them a few solar company names they can trust then quickly turn the conversation back to the footy.
If you are feeling happy to talk shop, you can no doubt bang on for hours, starting with the basics, moving on to their roof, paybacks, panel & inverter brands etc.
That’s normally my approach, and to my continued surprise most people do not make their excuses and shuffle off to talk to someone less boring, but actually hang around and lap up all the information I can throw at them.
After about the millionth time this happened, it occurred to me that people are seriously interested in this stuff and will happily invest their drinking time in understanding how to buy solar well.
I also realised that I miss going to BBQs and talking about normal stuff.
At this point I should explain that I own and operate a very popular solar website that answers almost every question anyone could have about solar. So why don’t I just say to these people: “Here’s my website – everything you need to know is on there”?
Well, because that just sounds a bit rude. Besides they’d have forgotten about it in the morning and be back to square one: another potential solar owner lost because they simply don’t have the confidence that they’ll make a good choice.
Then at a BBQ 2 years ago someone said to me:
“You should write a book on this stuff.”
The next day I scoured Amazon. Surely someone had already written such a book? I found a ‘Dummies Guide’ to installing solar – but it was aimed at DIY-ers in the USA. There was an English book that talked way too much about lead acid batteries and charge controllers.
What was missing was a physical reference book that explains how to buy solar well I Australia. Something that people can hold in their hands. Something that will sit on their kitchen table staring at them, reminding them that those high bills they stress about are optional.
The book had to cover everything in easy to read language. It had to be step-by-step so they could simply follow the instructions to gain bulletproof confidence in solar and its payback.
Above all it needed to be a book that would show them how to get the security of low bills for decades. Because people don’t buy solar panels. They buy the promise of low bills.
So I sat down 2 years ago and started to write it. I found a publisher, worked with editors, illustrators, typesetters and cover designers.
It is called “The Good Solar Guide: 7 steps to tiny bills for Australian homeowners” and it was launched last week in Adelaide.
Is there a demand for a physical book about buying solar in Australia? It seems so. Four days after our book launch the paperback became the best-selling book on Amazon.com.au.
It seems Aussies really are hungry for good information on buying solar and are happy to pay for it. That’s great news for the solar industry. The more we can educate consumers and encourage them to buy high quality solar from reputable companies the better.
If you want a copy, the book is available here for $24.99. Or if you don’t want to drop the cash, simply bump into me at a BBQ and ask me about buying solar. Instead of us both losing the evening in a fog of solar advice, I can now just reach into my bag and politely hand you a paperback book.

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