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10 Crucial Tips To Choosing An Australian Solar Panel Installer

Home solar is now slowly becoming the norm, with many Australian families and businesses deciding to make the switch. However, it is vital for those deciding to make this switch to choose the right solar panels and solar panel installer who can offer the best after-sales support and maintenance. We have put together a list of 10 crucial tips for homeowners and businesses looking for guidance in choosing a solar panel installer to help you out:

1. Selecting the best solar panel for the job

When it comes to deciding the best solar panels for your home or business, the choice is definitely not easy. There is such a range of options on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it is vital to choose solar panels that are best suited to the Australian climate. 

With this in mind, it is crucial to ensure the installer you are using knows the area well. Therefore, they can recommend the best panel for your needs and your environment. Here at All Green Environmental Solutions, we offer only the highest quality panels for the Australian climate.

Here at All Green Environmental Solutions, we offer only the highest quality panels for the Australian climate.

The panels we use include: 

  • Jinko Solar Panels – 
    • This company is a global leader in the solar panel industry. 
    •  They distribute their solar products, solutions and services to a diversified international commercial and residential community.
    • Historically voted the best value for money (based on price and quality) by CSIRO and Choice Magazine. 
    • The brand has a buy with confidence reputation and the lowest fail rate out of all panels. 
    • When making price comparisons, most people compare with Jinko panels as they are the most offered panel. 
  • TINDO Solar Panels – 
    • Tindo panels are manufactured and designed in Australia for Australian conditions.
    • The Tindo Karra photovoltaic module is also covered by a 25-year performance guarantee for added peace of mind.
    • Development and testing of the panels have been done for some time with help from The Australian National University.
  • LG Solar Panels
    • While presenting at the high end of the market at a premium price, unless you have limited roof space, the added cost is often replaced with the batteries. Although, if you had to argue a point, they are definitely a better panel.
    • LG solar panels have been awarded the winner of the Most Trusted Brand 2020 by Readers Digest, voted by a survey of over 3,000 Australian customers.
    • They offer high quality and long-lasting solar panels with a 25-year product warranty. 

2. Choosing the best solar panel warranty

When it comes to solar warranties, it can get pretty confusing! People are often sold into the cheapest panels without looking at all the warranties and what they entail. 

It is essential to know that if your installer goes bust, the warranty is the manufacturer’s responsibility, so you can still get them replaced if within the proper window. However, before installing the panels, ensure that the company has an Australian Office and an Australian contact number to ensure that your warranties are backed by an Australian Entity. This will protect you from those cheap deals that state that to claim the manufacturer’s warranty, the owner must post the panels back to China at the customer’s cost to get them tested! 

It is also vital to understand that solar panels come with four separate warranties, each covering different issues. Many people get into the trap of thinking that the 25-year “performance warranty” will cover them for everything. However, the manufacturer can easily wriggle themselves out of this by claiming that any defect in the panels falls under the ‘panel warranty’, which is sometimes only 5 years!

What to look for from a solar panel installer: 

  1. A 10-year warranty for your inverter
  2. A 10-year warranty for your solar panels
  3. A 5-year warranty for the workmanship
  4. A 25-year warranty for performance

3. Ensure your solar panel installer has the appropriate licencing and insurance

Only the holder of a building or electrical contractors licence can contract in NSW to install solar panels on the roof of a residential property or premises. 

Before commencing any installation work, you must be provided with:

  • A written contract
  • A copy of the Fair Trading publication Consumer building guide if the work is worth more than $5,000.
  • A certificate of cover under the Home Building Compensation Scheme when the contract price is over $20,000 including GST or, if the contract price is unknown, the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is over $20,000.

For more information around this, visit the home building contracts page.

The Home Building Act 1989 states that the maximum amount of deposit you can be asked to pay is 10% of the contract price.

All residential building work must be done with due care and skill and comply with the relevant legislation, codes and standards. 

The statutory warranty provisions of the Home Building Act 1989 apply to the installation of solar panels and are in effect for six years for major defects and two years for any other defect, starting from the date the work was completed. 

The installer must be accredited by the Clean Energy Council of Australia for you to get the solar panel installation rebates. 

Your household must have an advanced “Smart” Type 4 or Type 4A electrical meter before the solar installation. So, if your existing meter does not meet those standards, it will need to be replaced. Your solar installer should liaise with you to ensure that the electrical retailer has been informed of the proposed solar installation works and the need for the meter replacement to be undertaken. 

4. Check out their financing packages

Making the switch to solar is a big decision, and although it will save you massively in the long run, it can be a hefty investment. Therefore, a company offering finance packages is vital for many.

5. How much experience do they have?

When choosing solar panel installers, it is vital to get a company with plenty of experience in the field. A company that has only been running for a few years may seem superior at the time. However, they may not have the range of experiences that a long-standing company will have.

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6. Check out their online reviews

When looking for a new restaurant, do you check its Google reviews? What about when looking for a new personal trainer or washing machine? I’m guessing that at some stage, you would look at reviews for your significant investments. Well, this should also include your solar panel installers! Look for a company with at least a 4-star Google rating and 30 good quality reviews. This way, you know that it’s not just their mates writing reviews for them! 

You can check out some of our reviews here. 

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7. Get expert advice! Don’t get sold what you don’t need

There are some seriously dodgy salespeople out there! You can easily get sucked into getting a system that you won’t need. We get so many people coming to us after receiving massive quotes and wonder why ours is cheaper or different. 

The answer?
We are experts in our field so we have a good idea of what you will and won’t need. 

An excellent example of this is a recent quote that we did:

The client is currently building a childcare centre and was getting solar quotes for the building. We were their second quote, and when we gave them a quote for a 60kw system, they asked us why it was so small when the other company had quoted them for a 100kw system. We know they didn’t need a system that big for the extra cost. And, if it turns out we are wrong, then they can install more panels. We don’t want you wasting your money on a system that you don’t need.

To get a quote from us visit here. 

8. Look for companies that use employees not contractors

When a company delegates work out to contractors, it becomes increasingly difficult to communicate and know who to talk to. You won’t necessarily know who you are supporting and if they are as experienced as the original company. Therefore, when looking for solar panel installers, it is vital to ensure they use just employees and NOT contractors. 

9. Keep a lookout for local companies to help support your community

There is a deception that choosing local means choosing more expensive, but this is simply not true! Supporting local businesses is so important to your community. Using a 100% Australian-owned and run business, you know that you are supporting Australian families and your local economy. 

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10. How much
after-sales service do they offer?

What will happen if you get your solar system installed, and then a few weeks later, you find out that you don’t know how to read your meter? Or something keeps beeping, and you have no idea what it is trying to tell you? Who do you contact? The installers or the product developers? 

This confusion gets so many people, and therefore, reliable after-sales service is vital! There should be no confusion on who to contact when there are problems. 

At All Green, our after-sales and maintenance service is well regarded by our existing solar customer base. It is frequently mentioned in our reviews and testimonials. Our clients know that we offer the best solar service warranties around and have no hidden charges

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