What to consider when choosing a solar system?
When choosing a solar system you should find out as much as possible about the company supplying you the system and details on the products being supplied. You should get clarifications on the following - preferably in writing
- Is the company employing full time Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installers or just hires them in as a sub-contractor every time they install a system?
- Is the installation company a member of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and does it follow the new CEC Code of Conduct?
- Are all installers and designers CEC accredited?
- Is the company locally based (much preferred for future maintenance/check-ups or repairs) or have they just come into town with a cheap deal - never to be seen again?
- Is the company who hopes to sell you a solar power system an internet marketing company - with little local presence, who hires in short term subcontractors across Australia for the install?
- How long has the installation company been installing solar power systems and how many systems have they installed locally?
- Ask the company how they will support your solar system in 10 or 20 years time?
- Have they got a long workmanship guarantee (like 5, 7 or 10 years) to go with the installation (the workmanship warranty is the warranty for the way the system is installed)? Naturally such a workmanship warranty is only worth anything, if the installation company will be around in 5, 7 or 10 years.
- Is the installation company in a strong relationship with specific solar manufacturers or do they just buy the cheapest panels on the market?
- Is the solar installation company part of the LG authorised dealer network?
- You do not want to spend time on meter connection issues. They can take a long time to resolve. Is your installation company organising this meter connect job?
Questions on the Solar System:
- Are the panels and inverters from a reputable brand manufacturer?
- Does the company have a service centre and head office in Australia?
- Warranty offered is good but how will a defective panel be replaced if the company is based overseas with no local office- ask the installer to explain this?
- Who pays for the labour when a panel is faulty, with lots of cheap panels you will be out of pocket. If the installer says re-install labor is covered in the warranty – get it in writing.
- Are the mounting and accessories being used certified and of a high quality?
These are some of the key queries you should consider when buying a system.