Making the switch to solar power is a savvy choice for a number of reasons. From reducing your electricity bills and your household’s carbon footprint to increasing your energy independence and the value of your home, there are numerous benefits to switching to solar.
Nevertheless, making the switch is an investment, and like any investment you need to select the best providers and products for your situation. As one of Australia’s longest operating solar providers and one of the first Clean Energy Council (CEC) certified installers in the country, we have the experience, the knowhow and the products to help you make your dreams of energy independence a reality.
Having successfully navigated our way through every upturn and slump the industry has thrown our way, we’ve learnt what’s required to make a solar power system worthy of your attention and how to deliver excellent customer service. The following ten questions are designed to help you choose the best provider for your solar project.
1. Are Your Products Sourced from Australian Suppliers?
Despite most products carrying a 25-year warranty, many solar providers fail to last anywhere near this amount of time. This is why it’s imperative to purchase solar products from Australia-based companies, because if you purchase products from a supplier abroad and your installer went bust, you’d find it very difficult, not to mention expensive, to make a warranty claim.
In fact, it could prove more affordable to purchase a new solar power system because you’d have to ship the defective products back to the original supplier. Ask your provider:
- Who manufactures the solar products you supply?
- Is the manufacturer Australia-based and do they have a strong presence here?
- Where is their office in Australia?
For our customers’ assurances, Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth’s solar products are sourced from the world’s top manufacturers, all of which have a strong presence in Australia.
2. Can You Provide Evidence of Your Commitment to Quality?
What exactly does ‘quality provider’ mean in the solar power industry? To provide evidence of their ‘commitment to quality’, a provider must hold internationally recognised ISO 9001 certification. This certification shows they’re committed to providing quality products and services and regularly participate in independent quality auditing to prove this. Ask the provider:
- Do you have ISO 9001:2008 certification?
- Are you AS/NZS 4801 certified?
We’re proud to have held both ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 accreditation for many years and our commitment to quality is demonstrated by our willingness to participate in independent audits.
3. Are Your Past and Present Customers Happy with Your Services?
Which solar provider wouldn’t say ‘Yes’ to this question? To research prospective providers and
truly understand what their past and present customers really think of their products and services, search online forums and product review websites like Product Review and Whirlpool. These websites are a great source of discussions, opinions, ratings and reviews and can help you decide whether a particular solar provider is the right choice for you.
With an average star rating of 4.5/5 from over 140 reviews on Product Review, Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth has built a reputation among our past and present customers that you can confidently trust.
4. How Long Have You Worked with Your Present Product Suppliers?
Solar providers that are constantly changing their suppliers aren’t the best choice to work with as they are usually struggling to find a balance between quality and price. On the other hand, solar providers that have had a long affiliation with a particular manufacturer/supplier and have installed many of their systems, will have:
- A working knowledge of the manufacturer/supplier’s products and how they perform over time
- A good understanding of how they respond to customer warranty claims
- When discussing solar systems with a prospective solar provider, ask them:
- How long have you been affiliated with the manufacturer/supplier?
- What are your experiences with this particular product?
- What is the supplier/manufacturer’s warranty claims process like?
With well-established relationships with many of our manufacturers and suppliers, Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth can provide you with informed advice about the best solar products on the market and the manufacturers and suppliers that provide them. We’ve installed more than 120,000 ReneSola solar panels and can confidently recommend their products and vouch for the customer service they provide, as we can with Fronius, an industry leader whose inverters we’ve been installing for over eight years. We choose our products and providers wisely and believe you should too.
5. What Else Can I Do to Reduce My Electricity Bills and Carbon Footprint?
Most people switch to solar power for the two big reasons – to save money on their electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprint. However, there are further ways to reduce your electricity bills and carbon footprint in addition to installing solar panels, so ask the following questions to have a solar provider help you identify further ways to reduce both:
- How energy efficient are my electrical appliances, hot water system and lighting?
- What can be done to make my home more heat efficient?
- What about my future power requirements, can you design a system that can be expanded upon in the future?
- With battery storage soon to revolutionise the solar power industry, can you advise me on inverter and wiring provisions so I can incorporate this technology in the future?
Providers that use high-pressure tactics, or don’t even visit you in person, are just trying to sell you their products and aren’t interested in helping you achieve greater energy efficiency. At Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth, we take the time to visit your home and go through everything with you because we want to prove to you that we’re the best choice for your solar project. Our solar experts provide accurate information and fair quotes to help homeowners understand the options they have available without any pressure to sign up on the spot. We want you to make the best choice for your situation.
6. How Much Power Will This Particular System Produce?
A common mistake when comparing the performance of solar power systems is focusing on peak kW production instead of kWh output. The latter is more accurate, plus studying a detailed breakdown of how many kilowatts are produced per hour in an average month enables you to gain a thorough understanding of the natural peaks and troughs in solar production that occur throughout the year.
To compare the performance of solar power systems, we’ve developed an automated system which accurately estimates solar yield, based on system size, shading conditions, and panel location, pitch and orientation. Developed in close consultation with CEC guidelines to ensure accuracy, we use this system to determine your system’s average monthly power production which empowers you to verify your year-round solar production.
7. Is This System Upgradable?
No one knows for sure what the future holds in store, but it’s still important to factor in potential changes to your future energy use when deciding upon a system. The addition of a new family member, a carport conversion project, or a rise in household energy use, all have the potential to increase your need for more solar energy, so think about your future energy needs and plan ahead. Ask prospective providers:
- Can this system be upgraded to meet my future energy needs?
- Do I have sufficient roof space to install additional panels in the future?
Most of our product range is expandable and we can also design a system for your home that’s configured to grow in size along with your household energy needs.
8. What Payment Plans and Finance Options Can You Offer Me?
Regardless of what you’re told, there’s no reason why you should provide payment in full before your solar power system is installed. Most homeowners make use of payment plans and finance options, so ask about your financing options and when payment in full is required.
At Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth, no deposit or payments are required until after your system has been installed and we offer a variety of payment options to suit every homeowner’s budget and lifestyle.
9. Are There Any Hidden Costs Involved?
Hidden costs are not uncommon, with some providers including clauses in their contracts that allow them to charge extra for upgrades and other things. Check for hidden costs once you’ve received a quote and ask the provider:
- Is this quote inclusive of everything I could be charged for?
- Is this exactly how much I can expect to pay?
When you receive a fully comprehensive quote from Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth, you can rest assured that it’s free of any hidden charges.
10. What Post-Installation Support Do You Provide?
Post-installation support is often the difference between a mediocre solar provider and one that delivers an outstanding service. So you know exactly what measures are in place to support you after the installation of your solar power system, ask the provider:
- What’s your warranty claims process like?
- How quickly will you respond to my after-sales care enquiries?
- Do you have a dedicated customer service department in-house?
Our work doesn’t conclude with the installation of your solar power system, we continue to work with you by delivering the kind of after-sales care that we’d like to receive.
Why Choose Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth as Your Solar Provider?
At Solar Hot Water Repairs Perth, our aim is to provide the very best solar power experience Australia has to offer. By offering premium-quality products from leading manufacturers, excellent installations and superior customer service, we’ve developed a solid reputation among Australian homeowners. This is backed up by ISO 9001 accreditation, the highest standard of accreditation it’s possible to achieve, for your complete assurances of our commitment to you as a valued customer.