So you’re thinking about switching to solar, but don’t know which retailer to choose?
There are a lot of solar retailers claiming to provide the best deal. But when it comes to transitioning to solar energy for your home or business, you need to find the right balance between cost, quality and customer service.
At Sola.io we believe that every customer has the right to make an informed decision when setting up solar. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled a list of 5 essential questions you can throw at solar retailers (including us!) when shopping around.
1. Are they registered with the Clean Energy Council (CEC)?
When choosing a solar retailer, look for this logo:
The CEC is authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to regulate solar retailers. They ensure retailers are operating above board and work to industry best practice standards, producing systems that are safe, reliable and meet customer expectations. The Clean Energy Council accreditation is a must-have qualification for anyone in the business of selling and installing solar in Australia.
2. What are the upfront costs?
It’s tempting to base your decision on the lowest cost, but it’s important to make sure you’re also getting a quality product. A solar system can last up to 25 years. You’ll also get the best value out of your system if it’s working as efficiently as possible. So it’s wise to value quality and performance before price. That said, it is possible to transition to solar with no upfront cost.
3. What can I save on my energy bills?
Switching to solar should save you money, which is why we won’t sell someone solar if it’s not financially viable. A good solar retailer should assess the cost of your current electricity bills and demonstrate how you can save money each month. Your retailer should also help you access the government rebates, which can help reduce any upfront costs. Which brings us to our next question…
4. What rebates and incentives can I access?
There are federal and state government incentives available to help make solar more affordable. Your solar retailer will be able to determine your eligibility for these rebates and help you access them. The value of the federal government rebate is calculated based on the size of your solar system, where you live (different climate regions are assigned different values), and when you purchase your new solar system (market value and the year of purchase impact rebate value).
Here’s an example: An average household in Victoria with a quarterly electricity bill of $500-$600 might install a 6.6 Kilowatt solar system. If this is installed in 2020, they would receive a federal government rebate of approximately $3,000. Until December 16 2020, Victorians can also access a state government rebate of $1,850 plus a government funded interest-free loan of $1,850. So the total saving for this household is approximately $6,700, which your solar retailer will deduct from the cost of your solar system. Solar retailers will be able to calculate the value of any incentives you are entitled to and explain in detail how the rebates work. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or for a free quote.
You should know: the federal and state governments are constantly revising and reducing the rebates, so it literally pays to get solar sooner rather than later.
5. What warranties are there and what do they cover?
Any good retailer will source panels that come with a warranty that covers both the product (minimum 10 year warranty) and performance (minimum 25 year warranty). Be sure to ask your retailer questions about the warranties and make sure you have a clear understanding of the terms before purchasing your system. Plus, approved solar retailers offer an additional warranty which covers the entire solar system. This includes, workmanship and installation as well as the performance and operation of the system.
When choosing a solar retailer, remember to consider cost, quality and customer service. You want to go with someone you can trust, who is transparent and easy to deal with. A reputable solar retailer will provide you with a detailed quote which includes a proposed design, expected energy generation, warranty terms and an itemised list of components and products. They should also be upfront about any incentives or rebates you are eligible to receive and provide a breakdown of all costs and savings.