Solar Power Installations: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Western Australia is enjoying the same solar installation boom as the rest of Australia, but it’s not without its problems.

According to WA’s Consumer Protection body, complaints about solar panel installations have increased as well.

Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard says more than 200 people have reported issues following solar installations in the last year.

Common solar installation complaints

Consumer Protection WA warns that because of the booming market, there are companies “coming and going” from the industry. It says to avoid having your solar installer disappear overnight, check their industry accreditation.

A company that is a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer agrees to a code of practice with ethical sales practices and warranties.

According to Consumer Protection, customer complaints include:

  • Performance of the solar system.
  • Panels and inverter faults.
  • Responsibility for repairs.
  • Unsolicited agreements.
  • Companies going broke.

These problems are not uncommon in an industry where product quality and solar installation practices vary from company to company.

Always get it in writing

“Be aware that different parts of your solar panel system may come with different warranties – one for the inverter, one for the panels and one for solar PV system output, for example,” Hillyard said.

“Claims made during the sales process about the system’s performance and benefits relating to reductions in power bills should be put in writing so you have a case if the claims prove to be false or misleading.”

Consumer Protection WA recommends the following before signing up for a solar system:

  • Get several quotes for the total cost.
  • Make sure your preferred supplier is accredited by searching the Clean Energy Council website.
  • If a supplier’s verbal claims are influencing your decision, have them included in the contract.
  • Understand the contract’s terms and conditions.
  • Check with your insurer as your home insurance may need to be extended to cover the system.
  • If you live in a strata scheme, check that you have approval to install a system.
  • Read online reviews and feedback about the retailer.

Further information can be found in the Clean Energy Council publication Guide to Installing Solar for Households.

If you would like to talk with one of Australia’s most respected solar power installers, call the Solaray Team. We will help you size up a system for your household to get you saving money on your power bills with solar power in 2020:

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