How to Background Check Your Solar Installer

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Choosing the right solar installer is crucial for your system’s performance and longevity. Start by verifying the company's credentials on the Australian Business Register and checking their local presence. Research their reputation through online reviews and ensure they have Solar Accreditation Australia (SAA) approval.

Evaluate the quality of products they use and ask important questions about their business practices. Avoid high-pressure sales tactics and seek personal recommendations. Utilize online resources like Your Energy Answers for comprehensive information.

Lastly, ensure they offer robust after-sales support. A thorough background check now can save you time, money, and hassle in the future.

Can You Background Check Your Solar Installer?

Choosing the right installer is crucial in the solar energy industry. It can significantly affect the performance and lifespan of your system.

The installer you choose will determine how well your solar PV system works and how long it will last. It’s important to do a background check on your solar installer with so many companies competing for your attention. This guide will help you navigate the process and ensure you make an informed decision.

Why Background Checking Your Solar Installer is Essential

Before diving into the specifics, let’s understand why it’s essential to background check your solar installer. Installing solar panels is a big investment. The quality of the installation affects how well your system works and how long it lasts. Choose a good installer to reduce problems and get the most out of your investment.

Steps to Checking

1. Verify the Company’s Credentials

The first step in your background check is to verify the company’s credentials. Start with the Australian Business Register (ABR) at abr.business.gov.au. Here, you can search for the company’s ABN (Australian Business Number) and check how long they have been in operation.

Many companies claim to have over ten years of experience, but a quick search might reveal they’ve been around for much less time. Ideally, look for companies with at least five to seven years of experience.

2. Check for Local Presence

Choosing a local installer has its advantages. A local company is more likely to provide personalised service and quick support.

Visit their showroom if they have one. A face-to-face conversation can give you insights into their customer service and professionalism. Additionally, seeing the products (solar panels, inverters, batteries) in person can be reassuring.

3. Research Their Reputation

A company’s reputation is a strong indicator of their reliability. Start by checking online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and industry-specific forums.

Pay attention to recurring themes in the reviews. Positive reviews about customer service, installation quality, and after-sales support are good signs. Conversely, numerous complaints about similar issues should be a red flag.

4. Look for SAA Accreditation

The Solar Accreditation Australia (SAA) in Australia maintains a list of Approved Solar Retailers who adhere to a strict Code of Conduct. This accreditation indicates that the company commits to a higher regulatory standard than the minimum state or federal criteria. You can verify if a company is SAA-approved by visiting the SAA website.

However, remember that SAA accreditation alone is not foolproof. Some companies manage to obtain this certification but still deliver subpar services. Therefore, use this accreditation as one of several criteria in your decision-making process.

background check installer

5. Evaluate Product Quality

The quality of the solar products used is as important as the solar panel installation itself. The number of solar panel models approved by the SAA has drastically reduced from over 10,000 in 2014 to less than 3,000 today. This reduction highlights the importance of selecting high-quality products. Ensure your installer uses reputable brands known for their durability and efficiency.

6. Ask the Right Questions

When engaging with potential installers, ask specific questions to gauge their expertise and reliability. Some important questions include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you use your own installers or subcontractors?
  • Can you provide references from recent customers?
  • Do you offer a site inspection before providing a quote?
  • What brands of solar panels and inverters do you use?
  • What warranties do you offer on your products and installation?

7. Avoid High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Be wary of companies that use high-pressure sales tactics, such as limited-time offers or aggressive follow-ups. Reputable companies provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision without resorting to pressure tactics.

8. Seek Recommendations

Personal recommendations are invaluable. Ask friends, family, and neighbours who have installed solar systems about their experiences. Word-of-mouth referrals can lead you to trustworthy installers and help you avoid potential pitfalls.

9. Utilise Online Resources

Take advantage of the plethora of online resources available. Websites like Your Energy Answers offer podcasts, FAQs, recommended companies, product listings, and comparison calculators to help you make an informed decision. Spend time researching and comparing different options before making your final choice.

10. Evaluate the Company’s After-Sales Support

After-sales support is crucial for the long-term performance of your solar system. Ensure that the installer offers comprehensive after-sales services, including maintenance and troubleshooting. A company that stands by its work and provides robust support will ensure your system operates efficiently for years to come.

Conclusion

Conducting a thorough background check on your solar installer is crucial to ensure you receive a high-quality installation and long-term support. By following these steps, you can confidently choose an installer that meets your needs and provides reliable, efficient solar solutions. Remember, a little research now can save you significant time, money, and hassle in the future.

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