🌞 Key Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer | Topproperty
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🌞 Key Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer

Simon Whitlock
4 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

Buying a solar power system is a substantial, long-term decision that will have both a positive impact on your carbon footprint and a financial impact for years to come. It’s vital to choose the right solar installer for your home or business, because the effectiveness, efficiency and longevity of your installation will depend a lot on the installer’s skills and reliability. Here are some questions you can ask your solar installer to help you make the right decision and select the right system for your situation.

1. How much experience do you have in installing solar, and what licences or certifications do you hold?

The experience of the installer is key. Ask how long they’ve been in business and how many installations they’ve done. You should also confirm licences and certifications to make sure that the installer meets the industry standards and legal requirements. In Australia, solar installers must be certified by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to ensure that they follow best practice installation methods.

2. Do you have references or reviews from previous customers?

Testimonials or reviews from previous customers can provide insight as to the reliability and service quality of the installer. If the installer does a good job and maintains good relationships with customers, they should have no problem providing references. Check online reviews and feedback as well to gain a broader perspective on the installer.

3. What are your warranties for equipment and installation?

Understanding the warranties for your solar system is crucial. Most solar components come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but you need to ask for it:

  • Panel warranties are typically 25-30 years for performance (with a shorter period for materials and workmanship).
  • The warranty on the inverter will typically be 5 to 15 years.
  • Find out what, if any, workmanship warranty the installer offers on their portion of the work. This can vary widely and is a component you want to understand clearly (including the term of the warranty).

4. What kind of system and what capacity would be most appropriate for my energy needs?

Based on an assessment of your household’s energy needs, your roof space and its angle and exposure to the sun, the installer should be able to recommend to you the most appropriate system size and specifications. Insist on being told why they recommend a particular type of system, and whether it will be easily expandable in the future should your energy needs increase.

5. What will it cost and what is the return on investment?

Make sure to inquire about the total cost of the system, including hardware, installation and any other charges. It’s also smart to know the payback period which is the time it will take for the savings from your solar system to pay for the cost of your investment. A detailed breakdown will help you compare it to other quotes you’ve received and make an informed decision.

6. What government rebates or incentives are available?

In Australia, there are a number of government incentives that can bring the initial cost of going solar down. Ask the solar installation company about the federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which provides small-scale technology certificates (STCs), and which can be sold to recoup up to about a third of the cost. There could also be state-based rebates and incentives available, depending on where you live.

7. How will my system be monitored and how can I view its performance?

Performance monitoring systems enable you to track the real-time performance of your solar installation. Ask about the monitoring technology and whether you can access it through an app or website. Knowing how your system is performing can help ensure it is operating as it should.

8. How will the system be installed, and how long will it take?

It’s helpful to know the timeline and procedure for installation, and what to expect. Ask about the steps involved and how the work will be arranged to minimise disruption to your normal activities. Also, ask about the processes for connection to the electricity grid, if applicable.

Conclusion: Finding the right installer is as important as picking the right solar system. Armed with these questions, it’s possible to have a rich conversation with any potential installer, and walk away knowing what you need to know. Investing the time to properly vet your installer and the specifics of your solar installation will ensure a pleasant, profitable experience with solar for years to come.

Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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