Show me solar installation companies that have left the industry in Australia
There have been over 500 solar installation companies who have had a change in trading conditions, and gone in liquidation or simply stopped trading since 2011 ( download PDF below to see a list of many of the companies). If we assume that these companies on average existed for 5 years and installed around 250 systems each year then the calculation goes as follows: 500 companies x 5 years x 250 systems pa means over 600,000 solar systems are “orphans”. By orphans we mean when the system owner calls the original installation company – no one will answer the phone and be responsible for the system. That means the owners of such systems have to rely on other solar companies to fix the faults of systems they know very little about. So nearly every third of the 1.6 million systems installed in Australia is unsupported by the initial installation company in early 2017.
The next questions is: Why have so many solar companies left the industry in the middle of a solar boom? The very high number of failed solar companies should ring alarm bells. Is it usual for a thriving industry to see such high numbers of insolvencies over a relatively short period? Anecdotal evidence suggests that a high % of solar companies go insolvent when they are faced with myriad of consumer claims be it for isolators, inverters or panel warranties, and where the manufacturer does not honour these warranty claims, or where the installer was the importer themselves. Then the install company themselves, as per Australian Consumer Law carries the make good costs. When a cheaper built panel fails or an inverter stops, often it is not an isolated issue , but many of these models then fail in a relative short period, so the installation company has 1000 panels or 500 inverters to fix in a relatively short period.
So some operators might decide it is much cheaper to go bankrupt than replace 1000 failed solar panels or 500 failed inverters. These issues have also been faced by smaller distributors who sold product which failed after a relative short period and some of these distributors and importers have now left the solar industry. Interestingly some of these solar companies and distributors then relist as a new entity after a few weeks, operating out of the same or nearby premises. In the meantime the end customers face rejected warranty claims and additional out of pocket expenses. Therefore it pays to buy quality from solar companies who have been in operation for quite some time and who sell quality solar solutions.