What to consider when choosing a solar system?
When choosing a solar system you should find out a as much as possible about the company supplying you the system and details on the products being supplied. You should get clarifications on the following - preferably in writing:
- Is the company employing full time qualified solar installers or just hires them in as a sub-contractor every time they install a system?
- How many solar systems has the installer installed?
- Is the company locally based (much preferred for future maintenance/check-ups or repairs) or have they just come into town with a cheap deal - only never to be seen again?
- Is the company who hopes to sell you a solar power system an internet marketing company - with little local presence, who hires in short term subcontractors across NZ for the install?
- How long has the installation company been installing solar power systems and how many systems have they installed locally?
- Ask the company how they will support your solar system in 10 or 20 years time?
- Have they got a long workmanship guarantee (like 5, 7 or 10 years) to go with the installation (the workmanship warranty is the warranty for the way the system is installed)? Naturally such a workman ship warranty is only worth anything, if the installation company will be around in 5, 7 or 10 years.
- Is the installation company in a strong relationship with specific solar manufacturers or do they just buy the cheapest panels on the market?
- Is the solar installation company part of the LG dealer network?
- How long has your installation company been installing solar power systems and how many systems have they installed?
- You do not want to spend time on meter connection issues. They can take a long time to resolve. Is your installation company organising this meter connect job?
Questions on the Solar System:
- Are the panels and inverters from a reputable brand manufacturer?
- Does the company have a service centre and head office in NZ?
- Warranty offered is good but how will a defective panel be replaced if the company is based overseas with no local office- ask the installer to explain this?
- Who pays for the labor when a panel is faulty, with lots of cheap panels you will be out of pocket. If the installer says re-install labor is covered in the warranty – get it in writing.
- Are the mounting and accessories being used certified and of a high quality?
These are some of the key queries you should consider when buying a system.