Misinformation in the Solar Industry – what residential and commercial customers need to know

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Residential and commercial clients looking at turning to solar power are being met with a deluge of misinformation, putting them at a disadvantage from the start.

We recommend customers do their due diligence and check out the company for certification and a track record for quality before solar panels are installed.

The best thing to look for when buying solar is to ensure the company is a genuine electrical contractor.

Make sure the company’s owner is involved in the business and is a qualified installer and has the necessary experience.

This way you know what you’re getting is not only a quality product, but also that it’s been installed correctly and you’re getting the proper usage out of your system.

Customers need to closely examine the product details they are offered before buying, as some industry operators are simply using clever marketing to entice customers to pay a higher price.

All of the panels should come with a minimum 10-year product warranty, and the inverters with a five-to-10-year product warranty.

There are some ‘premium panels’ being offered in the market that come with a 25-year warranty.

Some companies use long warranties as a marketing tool, but this does not always mean higher quality rather it creates more sales opportunities.

Many companies chop and change panel brands depending on price.

We’ve been using the same panels for nearly five years and we stick with one of the biggest panel manufacturers, Canadian Solar.

Advice for solar customers –

  • Do your research – Don’t just settle for the cheapest price. Look into the products used and make sure the brand is well-known and used by others in the industry.
  • Only use qualified and certified companies – Make sure the company is a genuine electrical contracting company both qualified and experienced. Installation is often outsourced.
  • Don’t be tricked by marketing – Some companies will offer long warranties and clever tactics to get you to pay more or offer an inferior level of quality.
  • Understand rebates – You don’t need to provide your postcode or details to find out if you are eligible for rebates. This is just a scheme to get your details.
  • Crunch the numbers – Regularly look through your bill to see you are getting the most out of your solar system. Reputable companies can assist with ongoing management and service to make sure your system is operating efficiently and to its potential.

The biggest mistake both residential home and commercial solar clients make is not servicing their system regularly – we recommend annually.

Solar works just as hard as the family car, which is regularly serviced, but solar also gives you a return on investment.

Many people have also had systems installed by companies that are no longer around.

Things like hail damage, soiling, shading, bird droppings, or mice and possums nesting all have an impact on your system.

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