We received a message on our live chat facility a few weeks ago, to alert us to the fact that although we have now added pre-order dates to our selection of panels, our current stock holding on panels is pretty barren at the moment. All of us at iJo, now say the phrase “unprecedented supply issues” about a dozen times in a day. Stock is not even landing on our shores, before it is pre-ordered and sold – it is a real bun-fight out there for the rarest whiff of a solar battery. Our super sleuth on live chat, with the alias of “None of Your Business”, got to the bottom of an issue, which is very much our business; demand is currently outstripping supply.
So why is this the case? This issue is as you can imagine, is not just a UK problem but is subject to global forces, as well as domestic issues. From the demand side, we are seeing customers very much focusing on the cost of energy. Latest predictions show energy prices could rise by 46%, a staggering £2,879 after October’s energy price cap review. People are looking to invest in renewables to not only make a dent in their energy bills (our customers see an average cost reduction of 75-80% off their bills) but also to make a difference to the environment. With our customers seeing a return on investment within 2-3 years, as well as futureproofing themselves against energy price shocks and supply interruption, for some who can make the investment,, solar and battery storage feels like a no-brainer.
The soaring cost of energy is a global issue and as such, has seen a dis-proportionate demand for solar and battery storage.
What are the supply issues affecting solar and battery storage?
There are a multitude of issues, which are affecting the supply side of the equation; from global chip shortages, to Covid lockdowns in China, to the war in Ukraine. These factors are all causing major issues to manufacture and transportation. As a direct example, we have used Renusol as our roof mounting manufacturer of choice, until recently, when it was announced that stock has been discontinued with immediate effect, as manufacture has been directly affected by the Ukraine war. Unprecedented indeed.
So what is the future looking like?
Looking at the stock arrival dates for the next 3 months, supply issues do not look like they are going to stabilise anytime soon. Price hikes can be expected in the short term, as manufacturers pass on the fuel and energy cost increases to wholesalers and retailers. The industry seems to predict a stabilising of the situation next year but our advice would be to not sit on a quotation for your project, if you are keen to get going on it. The sooner you let us know, that you are keen to go ahead, the quicker we can go to battle on your behalf and ring-fence the stock for your project. We will keep you updated when stock is due in but please don’t be frustrated, if we let you know that delivery times have slipped – it is completely out of our control and just as frustrating for us, as it is for you. However, we are delighted when our customers are able to show off their finished installations and get in contact with us, for help with their remote configuration – that definitely is our business.