Here’s what you need to know when you’re looking for a reliable solar installer.
Not all solar installers are created equal and since you’re making a long term investment, it’s best that you don’t cut corners.
You’ve decided to join the solar power club and have probably decided on the solar power system you want. After choosing the right kind of solar power equipment, the next step is getting it up and running and this is where a solar installer enters the picture.
Working with a reliable solar installation company can make all the difference between a hassle-free process and prolonged misery owing to incorrect installation. Knowing just what to look for in your hunt for a solar installer, as a result, is more important than you might imagine.
This is the most important aspect to consider. When you’re making a shortlist make sure the names have accreditation from the Australian Clean Energy Council (CEC). You can check this by simply asking for a company’s accreditation number. Know that getting CEC accreditation is not particularly easy, given that it requires that companies train their personnel in multiple disciplines surrounding the working of solar power systems.
If the company you shortlist has ISO 9001 certification and Safety Advisory Services (OHSAS) certification, you’ve got reason to feel all the more secure. Ensuring that the installer has knowledge of city specific building codes is also important.
The price of going solar has reduced noticeably in the recent past, but this does not mean you can expect the services of a solar installer to come cheap. Reliable solar installers should give you comprehensive quotes listing out the cost for each component and service, and should also expect to receive a clear indication of how much energy the system will generate along with corresponding savings.
Since solar installations can vary significantly from one site to another, ensure that the installer accounts for your specific requirements. For example, if the process requires scaffolding or some kind of work on your roof, check if the quotation includes its pricing.
Make sure the quotation you receive includes costs for installing, connecting, servicing and maintaining the system. Typically, installing a 5 kW solar system costs in between $10,000 to $25,000, and this depends on the type of installation, panels, connection and inverter.
Know that just how well your solar power system works depends considerably on the technology your solar installer employs. Solar modules should be in compliance with IEC/EN 61730, AS/NZS 5033 and AS4777 testing standards. Panels should make use of anti-reflective high energy-yield glass.
Your solar installer should source all components like panels, cells, inverters, meters and logging devices from reputable manufacturers and these components should work at optimum levels in tandem.
Speed of installation
The size of the solar power system you choose along with the complexity involved has a direct impact on how long it might take to install. If you’re looking at installing a basic 5 kW system, the process should take less than 48 hours. On the other hand, if you’re considering covering a large estate, installation can take noticeably longer. Once you decide on the kind of system you wish to go with, your installer should be able to give you a clear indication of how long the installation process would take.
In addition to comprehensive invoices, instruction manuals and specification sheets, you should also expect to receive a Solar Credit Small Technology Certificate from your solar installer when the installation is complete. Components should come with manufacturer warranties, and you should also receive installer’s warranty to cover the installation. While warranties of around 12 years are quite common for solar installation, some installers offer extended warranties of up to 25 years.
It is crucial that you find out who services your warranties, and also check if you’ll have to cover costs for shipping components back to manufacturers or for the fitting of replacement parts.
Going the solar power way is a definitely a good idea, but the overall outcome on any such system depends largely on the efficiency of the installation process. Compare your options well in advance before picking any solar installer.