CHOOSING A SOLAR INSTALLER – WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR?
A guideline for choosing Solar installers. SEIA Vic believes that our industry should be trusted and respected. People who act on behalf of our industry need to treat our industry with that same respect. So if you are interested in a Solar system we have set some guidelines for you to follow when choosing the right Solar Installer.
You are contemplating spending a substantial amount of money so ask the questions and get it right.
Have they been in business long enough for you to feel confident?
Are they close enough to be able to give you good after sales service?
THE SALES PEOPLE
Are the people trying to sell you a solar system employees of the company?
Commission only salespeople often have a focus on their commission rather than what you need. They are also more likely to apply high-pressure sales tactics and they may exaggerate the benefits.
Does the sales person have design and/or installation experience?
If they haven’t been trained on design and/or installation, they may not be able to realistically assess your situation and therefore provide the right advice and quote on an appropriate system.
Are the solar installation crew employees of the company or long term contractors?
If they are employees or long-term contractors on an hourly rate, they are more likely to ensure a quality installation. If they are fixed price contractors, usually poorly paid, their only interest is getting the job done as quickly as possible and moving onto the next job so they can make a decent living. This often results in poor quality of installation and they may cut corners to get the job done quickly.
Is there an accredited solar installer on the installation team or supervising your job?
Without an accredited person on site, it is illegal to claim the STCs (your deduction on the job). Ask for the accreditation number of the person who will be on site, and check that they actually turn up.
THE PRODUCTS- PANELS, INVERTERS and for some jobs BATTERIES
Does the manufacturer of each product have an office in Australia?
If they do, then the after sales support you expect for your system is likely to be available. If the manufacturer is overseas but has appointed a distributor in Australia with a long history in the industry and is an authorised warranty agent then you are also likely to have good after-sales support. If there is no manufacturer, and/or the warranty is provided by the company selling you the system, then fingers crossed, because when the company stops trading the warranty disappears. The Australian solar scene is littered with companies that are here today and gone tomorrow and have left behind a lot of upset customers with a warranty not worth the paper it is written on.
AFTER SALES SERVICE
Is the person providing your after sales service within reasonable travel distance?
If you have a system problem and the person responsible for looking after you is too far away, then it may be weeks or even months before you have someone able to check your system.