At times, investment into solar energy can be intimidating and stressful with a vast number of retailers and components to choose from. In this blog we pass on some tips to help you choose the right solar retailer.
It can be very difficult to determine what products and company will provide the most reliable solution for you. Ensuring that you are backed by a reputable retailer with quality components will ensure that your system will last its lifetime.
Australia had a record-breaking year in 2020 with the amount of solar installed and we are on track to break that record again in 2021. It is estimated that one in four Australian homes now have solar and that trend is likely to increase.
With the significant amount of solar that has been installed, it has been a worrying trend so see many consumers being exposed to predatory behaviour. Customers and being pressured into buying systems with faulty components and/or poor workmanship.
Often when these issues turn into problems and the system failures increase, many solar intallers have no choice but to close shop and begin trading under a new name (known as ‘Phoenixing’). According to a report from the Consumer Action Law Centre, “close to 700 solar companies have gone out of business since 2011, leaving about 650,000 Australians with no recourse if their systems fail.” View this media report on the subject.
Here are key points to bear in mind out when navigating through the information when considering solar.
Being Backed By a Reputable Solar Retailer
Approved Clean Energy Council Retailer
To prevent this from happening to you, there are steps you can take to ensure you are being protected when purchasing solar. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is a not-for-profit organisation that works with the leading renewable energy and energy storage businesses in Australia.
They implement accreditation requirements such as the APPROVED SOLAR RETAILER program to raise the standards within the solar industry. Approved solar retailers are committed to complying with the program’s Code of Conduct which are rules and standards that go above the current government requirements.
Going with a CEC Approved Retailer will protect you from:
- Unethical sales tactics
- Poor installation quality
- Unreliable warranty support
Be on the lookout for the logo below and make sure that your system is only installed through a CEC Approved Solar Retailer.
Choose a Retailer with a Physical Australian Address and Facility
For a more personalised service that is tailored around your specific needs it is recommended to use a solar provider that has an Australian presence and proper facility rather than working out of a call centre. Employing hard working Australians means they are more willing to meet you face-to-face and design a customisable solution for your needs.
Choose suppliers that have invested in their operation and have a proper facility with a showroom. This means they are more likely to be around in the long run to service any warranty issue or provide system upgrades in the future.
Avoid installers operating from pretty websites or running their businesses out of a van simply because they lack the required resources to provide proper after sale service. These installers do offer low price tags because their business model is not built on long term strategy and likely their customers will need to pay someone else to rectify their defects when they are gone.
You may see on their website that they seem to have physical addresses in the CBD areas of the capital cities. Many times, these are a just a serviced office address – which can be leased for as little as $49 per month. Ask them if you can visit their office and meet the salesperson and see what they say!
These companies do this to reduce costs as their only value proposition is selling at a cheap price. If they will not send a consultant to inspect your home and discuss your specific solar requirements, what chance do you stand of them sending a technician if there is a problem? Read our blog on the dangers of cheap solar.
Avoid Door-to-Door or Telephone Sales Solar Companies
By far some of the worst cases of price gouging and unethical practises that we have witnessed are associated with companies that sell solar door to door and over the phone. They often promise “easy” weekly payments that can double the price.
In the case below the customer had signed with a door-to-door sale person. The customer then brought the contract into SolarBright for us to look over. We discovered that the customer had purchased a standard 6kW system with T1 panels valued at $4,000 for $13,000. These companies’ prey on consumer ignorance.
Luckily, they were within the 14-day cooling off period under NSW consumer protection and we were able to help them cancel the contract, and then saved them $9,000 on their new solar system.
Choose Quality Products and Quality Workmanship
Having a solar power system installed is a long-term investment. With society transitioning to smart homes, electric vehicles, and battery storage. It is recommended to choose high quality solar components that can endure the harsh Australian conditions giving you the peace of mind that it will still be performing and saving you money in the long run.
Since our beginnings in 2008, the team at SolarBright have developed strong partnerships and accreditations with industry leading brands. This allows usto provide you with the highest quality products and services in the market.
These manufacturers have conducted substantial research and development, extensive testing, and quality control to offer the highest quality products, warranties and support available. Extremely high standards set on customer service and workmanship has led to SolarBright being considered as one of the most established and experienced solar companies in the country.
If you have any questions about solar or want a customised solar proposal please contact Solarbright today.