We cannot overstate the importance of buying your solar power system from a good quality, trusted and well-established company.
So, you’ve got the products, you know what’s good quality – let’s just go and find the cheapest price for a Fronius inverter and LG panel, right? Wrong.
Choosing the correct company is probably the most important part of buying a solar power system.
If you think back to the pink bats insulation disaster, you’ll remember that suddenly – anyone and everyone was selling bats because the government was funding them to do so. It led to horrible installations all throughout Australia, and sadly, even a few deaths.
Unfortunately, the same type of people have been drawn to the solar industry. They sell a system, then hire the very cheapest sub-contractor to go and whack it on your roof, wipe their hands with the customer and count their money. The companies then close their doors after 12 months and the poor customer is left high and dry with no warranties or after sales service.
This is so frequent in the industry – most people can’t even grasp the scale of it. I can almost guarantee you have a friend or family member who has bought a solar power system from a company that is no longer operational.
Just to prove that I’m not exaggerating, this is a list of solar power companies that have gone into liquidation since 2011…Spoiler alert – there is over 500!
When buying a solar power system, it is crucial to check the installer’s history and experience. Ideally, choose a company that uses their own well-trained, full-time staff to do the installations, as they’re able to maintain their quality of workmanship in-house. Using sub-contractors can be a lucky dip for the customer. Sometimes you’ll get a good one, but if you get a bad one, it could be too late before you realise.
You can perform a few checks before going ahead that are simple to do:
- Ask to see if the company has a Queensland Electrical Contractors Licence – this will let you know straight away if they’re a proper licenced electrical contractor, or just a sales company who will be selling you a system and getting some other contractor to install it.
- Ask to see their Clean Energy Council accreditation. This will let you know if they have accredited solar installers and designers as part of their staff.
- Check their ABN and see how long the company has been trading – easily done online. This will give you the peace of mind that the company has been trading a few years and aren’t likely to disappear overnight (leaving you high and dry).
- Ask to see photos of previous installations, testimonials from previous customers and check the company’s online reviews on Facebook, Google and other online platforms. This will give you actual evidence that the company is doing day-to-day good work and giving good customer service.
If you can tick all the above boxes, that’s a pretty good start.