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Why $0 Cost Installations Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up to Be

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When it comes to $0 cost solar installations the old adage “free is expensive” can really ring true. There’s no controversy surrounding the fact that in a free country businesses can put forward whatever kind of offer they want to the market, provided it doesn’t break any laws. But that doesn’t mean a lot of the offers out there are actually a good idea for people to take up. Unfortunately, many keen to get solar products at a cut-price cost have been stung by this reality.

It’s not hard to understand why. While most solar installers in Australia are quality businesses that seek to really deliver for their customers, unfortunately, there’s a small but noticeable number of operations that engage in some questionable practices. For any reader currently considering a solar installation, it’s important to know some of the issues that can exist surrounding $0 cost installations. 

A Cloudy Future With Low-Quality Solar 

Australia is right now in the midst of a massive solar installation boom. We’ve seen installation records broken from one year to the next. It’s held that we have the highest uptake of rooftop solar globally. But sadly for no small number of Aussies who’ve encountered a dodgy installer, there’s been little cause for celebration. 

With a new rooftop solar system in place, you should be looking forward to all the benefits that can flow from having panels generating power on your rooftop. But for those who’ve gotten a low-quality rooftop installation from a questionable installer, a different journey can unfold. 

Often before long – and sometimes even immediately following – a low-quality rooftop installation, a painful process kicks off. One where the system fails to perform properly – and perhaps even at all! – and the installer is no help in addressing the customer’s concern. This can effectively leave the household stuck with a junker of a system. 

Sometimes a quality solar installer may be able to step in and help correct some problems. But often, the only way for a household with a low-quality solar product to have one that performs well is to simply rip out the previous installation and get a new one in its place from a quality solar installer. This is not a pleasant path, but it’s commonly the only option available if the customer is intent on (finally!) getting a solar installation that works properly.

Questionable and Quality Solar Installers Compared

Low Quality Panels in Sydney

There’s a number of signs to watch out for that could point to a questionable solar installer:

  • If $0 install offers are tied to low-quality products. 
  • If the business is flippant or disinterested when it comes to any queries about meeting electrical standards. 
  • Also, if the customer service is poor. 

Unfortunately if any of these signs – and certainly all of them together – are present, it’s an indication the solar installer could be sub-standard. 

By contrast, a quality solar installer will:

  • Offer quality solar products exclusively. 
  • Look to ensure their customer service is great all the way through – not only when they’re discussing a sale! 
  • Be happy to answer any questions. 
  • Be pleased to tell you about how they’re a Clean Energy Council accredited installer. 

Finally, if there are any issues that arise after the solar installation – and this can happen in very rare instances due to an installation mistake or a manufacturer’s defect that results in improper performance, leaks, or similar issues –  a quality solar installer will be happy to discuss the ways to try and address it.

The Pandemic Exception 

It’s necessary to note there can of course be exceptions to the rule here in certain instances. For example, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly resulted in substantial disruption to the solar supply chain globally and daily operations. It’s caused considerable turbulence to the ‘business as usual operations of many quality solar installers, given lots of their staff have had to switch to a work-from-home model just like our readers in other industries have. 

As a result, it’s fair to keep in mind during this time a quality solar installer may take a little longer to return a call if a customer has something they’d like to discuss their solar setup. An instance like this by itself certainly shouldn’t see a good business cast into the sin bin! 

Just the same, ideally in this circumstance a quality solar installer would look to be proactive with customer communication. For example, sending out a mass email to let customers know the team has to work from home due to a sudden lockdown, and they’ll be in contact to follow up on all inquiries ASAP. That’s why if common sense and gut instinct say something isn’t right about a solar installer – for instance, one that isn’t just a challenge to contact during a lockdown but at all times! – then it’s prudent to be cautious, and seek to have any concerns allayed before proceeding on.  

The Foundations of a Great Solar Installer

Quality Installer in Sydney

Some people are tempted by a $0 installation because they’re keen to get solar, but find the upfront commitments a challenge. In such circumstances, it can be useful to learn about green loans. A number of them exist across Australia. They could offer a household an avenue to explore in seeking to obtain a solar installation while avoiding the issues that can accompany a $0 installation offer.

At the end of the day, a quality solar installer will not cost $0. But that’s the whole point. They deliver excellent service and products. What they will not deliver is constant headaches and frustration to solar buyers. So in an industry where “free is expensive” can really ring true, a quality solar installer will always represent great value. 

Check out more solar news stories here.

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