Selecting A Licensed Installer
How do you discriminate between a great solar installation company and an average solar installation company?
This can be broken down into five basic criteria.
Has the solar company made an effort to educate you on all of the options available instead of trying to sell you the largest solar system? Has the solar company been open and transparent about exactly what panels, inverters & hardware they are going to install on your property? Have they advised who they are, how long have been in the industry and the after sales process including a point of contact so that you know how to find them if something goes wrong?
Education and customisation are the most important parts of informing the clients on the right size system and the right products. Without asking the right questions of the client a consultant cannot design the right system. We highly recommend a site inspection is completed before installation and indeed system design as well. Your designer will need all of the relative information to accurately design the most appropriate solar system.
It seems like common sense and a given that communication should be the highest priority in making sure the client has the confidence in your ability to install your solar system. If it is a challenge to communicate with the installation team before the installation is even completed, you can imagine how hard it may be to communicate with the installation company if there were ever any issues in the future.
Documentation does not equal a good or bad installation but it does give a good idea on whether the company that you’re dealing with is organised and professional. Quoting documents should always specify the products and hardware to be installed, you should be aware of all the warranties and any applicable rebates well before any installation is ever completed. Spec sheets on the data show that the company has nothing to hide and a layout of the panels is essential in making sure you are comfortable with the layout.
In Victoria there is also a pre-approval and a solar provider statement that should be completed prior to any formal signing to confirm the installation will meet the requirements of the client.
The client should be engaged during the process of the installation and be aware of proposed installation of inverters panels and any hardware required. A good installation company will show you their work go through the installation of the system and explain how to read the production and any other relative maintenance required. Installation should be clean and tidy with all rubbish cleaned and removed and formal document discussed and completed as soon as possible after installation.
When picking an installation company it is of high importance to confirm you’ll be receiving a workmanship warranty in line with the warranty on the products. Confirm whether the installation company or the manufacturing company hold the warranty on the products. Confirm exactly how many years the warranties are and what limitations may apply.
It is hard to answer all these questions before signing with the solar installation company however independent personal reviews and information found on the internet should give you a good understanding and trust of which ever solar company you look to for installation. Recommendations and referrals are often a good way to go.
Clean Energy Council: Approved Solar Retailer
As of July 1 2020, you may be able to claim with the Victorian state government incentive which allows the client to claim $1850. The company must be a clean energy retailer.
To be an approved solar retailer you must meet stringent criteria. The initiative was created to give clients the peace of mind that any installation company on the clean energy retailer list has met very high standards and ethical practices.
Some of the criteria required to apply to become a Clean energy council Approved solar retailer include:
- Operating for min 1 year in solar industry
- Min 5 year whole of system warranty on workmanship and all products
- Explaination of any dealing with ACCC
- Provide all documentation that clients receive.
- Submit integrity / financial checks – any directors or managers of a failed solar company will not be approved.