We’re all familiar with the old adage “buyer beware,” but when it comes to choosing a solar retailer, it’s more important than ever. According to a recent report on 9 News Adelaide, there has been a rise in the number of unscrupulous solar retailers looking to make a fast buck and leaving customers high and dry when they go out of business.
With high electricity prices and some great government incentives, it has never been a better time to install solar – but how do you avoid the cowboys and pick a reputable solar retailer? Here are our 5 tips to choosing the right solar retailer for you.
1) Do your research
There are lots of ways to find out which companies are reputable and which ones aren’t. You can start by checking out reviews online – sites like Trustpilot are useful for this purpose – or speaking with friends and family who have had solar installed in their homes.
2) Get quotes from several different companies
You should always get at least three quotes from different solar retailers before deciding who you want to go with. This will give you an idea of what kind of prices they’re charging and what kind of deals they’re offering. If one company is significantly cheaper than others
1、Check to see if the retailer is a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Retailer.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is Australia’s leading authority on responsible energy use. They ensure that all of their Approved Retailers adhere to the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, which is authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
All CEC Approved Retailers have demonstrated their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and solar industry best practice; and agree to adhere the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, which includes:
Ensuring that sales representatives act ethically at all times
Not engaging in any dishonest or misleading advertising or sales tactics
Upholding consumers’ legal rights relating to cooling-off periods and refunds
Providing a minimum five-year warranty covering the operation and performance of the entire PV system
Providing consumers with all required documentation after the PV system is installed
Having a fair and transparent complaints process
Adhering to all existing legislation and regulations
2、Do your research on the company!
If you’re looking for a great business to work with, you’re in luck! YOUTHPOWER has been around for decades and is still going strong.
You can easily verify that by checking out customer reviews on their website and/or Facebook page, Google and comparison sites. You have reason to be suspicious if the company has no reviews displayed or ALL of them are glowing recommendations. Reading great reviews is reassuring but don’t immediately discount a business because they have a few adverse comments (depending on what they are of course!). You want to have confidence that if a problem does occur, the business will do the right thing and fix any issues in a timely, professional manner.
3、What is the price?
If you are looking at solar power for your home, you will want to make sure that you don’t just go with the cheapest option.
The saying “you get what you pay for” really applies to solar power systems. In other words, if a system seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can guarantee that your system will perform better over the long term if you choose high quality brands with substantial warranty periods installed by a long-standing company with fully qualified installers.
Of course, you don’t want to be paying too much either, so it is always a good idea to shop around and get a few quotes; but make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Check if the price you have been quoted is all-inclusive – you don’t want to be stung with some additional, unexpected costs come installation time.
4、Has the company won any awards?
If you’re looking to install a solar system, it is important to know that the company you choose is highly skilled and experienced. A company that has won awards in their industry is an indication of how well they are perceived by their peers – giving you peace of mind that you are partnering with a highly skilled, experienced team that know how to deliver projects ranging in size and complexity.
A company that “thinks outside of the box” is not going to provide you with a standard ‘off the shelf’ solar system, but a bespoke solution that exactly matches your requirements and maximises your return on investment.
5、Avoid being sold to.
Buying a solar system can be confusing, but there are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
One thing to look out for is the “hard sell.” A good solar consultant should firstly not just send you a quote but invest the time to come and see you and then take the time to get to know you, understand your energy usage and site specifics; and recommend a system right for you – not their wallet. You should feel completely confident that you understand how the system will work and the benefits it will offer.