Solar panel installation: Selecting a solar installer
Tips for selecting a solar installer
- Suitable accreditation
- A tailored solution
- Realistic ROI calculations
- Quality products
- Competitive warranties
- After sales service
- Business longevity
- A CEC accredited designer must design and install your system
- Look for industry affiliations
- CEC accredited solar retailers
Ensure a CEC accredited installer fits your systemCEC accreditation is a must for the installer charged with overseeing the installation of your solar panels. If a CEC accredited installer does not install your solar power system, you will not be entitled to the Federal government rebate, costing you thousands of dollars. On top of the financial hit, an accredited installer has received specific training to carry out solar installations competently and safely. Often installers are subcontractors of the retailer so you need to check.
CEC approved solar retailersAnother form of accreditation to consider is the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Solar Retailer program. The accreditation is awarded to solar companies that apply and adhere to the program’s code of conduct. CEC approved retailers provide a 5-year total install warranty. It is not mandatory to become a CEC approved retailer, and many excellent solar installers do not belong to the program.
Industry affiliationsYou should also consider the industry memberships and affiliations of your installation company. The affiliations may indicate the installers commitment to industry best practice. We have compiled a list of memberships below:
- CEC Approved retailer
- CEC Member
- Smart Energy Council member
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
- Australian PV Institute
Reputable installer companies
A tailored solution for your property
System size guidanceYou should be able to get a good idea how many panels you need on our website, but your installer should back up this information with an additional investigation of your property’s suitability for the system size that you desire. Your installer should look at your electricity bills, obtain interval consumption data and design a system tailored to your needs. Watch out for installers that are pushing a 5kW system because they happen to have a large quantity in stock.
Perform a site inspectionWe always recommend where possible that your installer performs a site inspection, particularly if you are concerned about shading issues or have an east/west roof orientation.
Look for realistic ROI calculationsYour solar installer should provide a realistic return on investment calculation for your desired system size. If the projections are wildly different between companies and installers, you should be concerned about being mislead by product, performance and outcome and do your due diligence by asking installers various questions about any projections. Questions to ask installers about their ROI calculation:
- What percentage of power will your system export to the grid?
- What is the annualised electricity price rise?
- What is the level of system degradation?