How to choose a solar installer

Published: 18 January 2018

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of solar installers out there, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a checklist of the basic things you need to keep in mind when selecting a solar installer to help make sure you get the most out of your installation.

Finding and selecting a solar installer with so many available options out there may seem overwhelming at first. Here we will give you some basics and factors that you should take into account when selecting a solar installer. 

1. Clean Energy Council certification

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is a non-profit organisation that acts as the main body or regulator of the solar industry in Australia. 

The certification of CEC is a reference to the quality of design and installation of the PV system. Choose only solar installers certified by CEC, as that is a basic requirement here in Australia.  Check this tool to find a solar installer accredited by CEC close to your location.  

2. Experience in the market

Maybe the first thing you should pay attention to is the experience of the company. Installing solar power systems is not rocket science, but is not a piece of cake either.

Even though the solar installer may be certified by the Clean Energy Council, leading a solar company in Australia is about much more than having the technical knowledge to install the PV system. 

It is also about providing reliable and friendly customer service, meeting deadlines and installation times, staying up to date with the latest trends and standards of the industry and the quality of the staff. Remember after all, that your solar system should last at least 25 years. 

If your installer only has one or two years of experience, it’s simply not possible to measure the quality of their previous installations and find out how the installer acts in the face of a system failure. 

Besides, the number of years in the market is also a sign of the stability, which will guarantee that you will be able to claim your product warranty in the future without any major complications.

This doesn’t mean that you should only choose solar installers with 25 years of experience, but it is preferable to choose one with at least 5-10 years of experience. 

3. Performance and product warranties of solar products

One of the most important factors to take into account when choosing a solar installer is the warranty they offer. There are two types of warranties: performance and product warranties. 

Performance warranties are related to the efficiency of solar panels that should be available across different years. Most solar panels have a guaranteed performance of at least 80% by the end of the 25 years of operation.  However, the industry looks forward to increasing the guaranteed performance above 80%.

Solar panels with a performance warranty over 80% might be a good indication of trust in the quality of the product.

Product warranties are related to malfunction of the solar panel, inverter or battery itself. Times for solar panel warranties are generally 10 years, for inverters at least 5 years and for batteries between 7-10 years. 

Some top quality solar panels may offer 12 years of product warranty and 30 years of performance. 

When discussing with your solar installer, ask them what the performance and product warranty of the solar products are and what the procedure is to claim it through the company. 

Keep in mind that CEC certified installers must guarantee at least 5 years of warranty for the whole PV system.

4. Available financing options

Capital costs of PV systems may sound high to some homeowners. 

However, a good solar installer will always offer you the chance to apply and obtain solar energy through financing options.

Signing a fixed payment plan on a monthly basis that covers the installation costs spread over a time period of 5-7 years will allow you to avoid elevated upfront costs.

5. Request several quotes

The best way to measure the true cost of the PV system you need is to request quotes for the installation of a solar panel system from different installers with similar experience and quality products. 

Some might offer you better benefits than others and that is an important factor to consider. All solar installers will offer you a free quote, so why not try multiple options? 

Remember that your PV system should last at least 25 years, therefore quality is a big deal here.  If a quote sounds too good to be true when compared with other quotes, then it probably is.

Conclusion

When selecting a solar installer you must also measure the customer service that the company will provide. 

That feeling you get when asking many questions of the solar installer and receiving good feedback from them is a very important indicator in how you will receive your customer service. 

Everything can be nice if there is no issue with your PV system, however, true solar installers are those who can answer the requests of their customers and provide solutions for them to solve issues with their PV systems.

As a top certified CEC solar installer in Queensland, Instyle Solar offers you the best deals and PV designs with remarkable customer service. 

Request a free quote and calculate your solar savings!

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