How to shortlist Solar Companies in Melbourne, and elsewhere?

shortlisting-solar-companies

Honestly, to many living in Melbourne, solar companies are still a mystery: from everything they say to what they sell. The amount of information can get overwhelming very quickly.

But before you pick up that phone, take a moment to prepare questions for these solar companies. What I mean by that?

Not all solar companies are created equal. So, what questions can you ask them that’ll help you shortlist?

That is what I will be discussing in this post. To guide you through the process, I have created a list of five questions that will help find out…

  • How old is the company and what kind of track record does it have?
  • How hard are they willing to work to get your business?
  • Does it have a happy customer base?

Ready? Let’s start….

1.   Melbourne solar companies: Are you Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited?

 

solar-retailers-installers-CEC

This is important to claim your rebate. As I mentioned earlier, CEC is a peak body for renewable energy in Australia.

CEC sets the guidelines for product, design, and installation of solar panel systems. The purpose is to enforce safety standards of installing solar in your home as well as protect consumers from greedy solar companies.

 

council-approved-solar-modulescec-approved-inverters

2.   How long have you been in solar panel business?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question. Better, do your own research before you pick up that phone.

Keep this ABN look up tool handy. When solar companies register for Australian Business Number (ABN), some of the information such as registration date, and business location is made accessible to the public. It is available to you at no cost.

You can use the look up tool to cross check the sales people as well. So, save it in your browser’s favorite right now.

abn-lookup-solar-companies

But don’t get too obsessed filtering solar companies by their age. Sure, experience is good, but none of it matters unless you can trust them with your own experience.

3.   Ask for reference.

I don’t know how well this works anymore. When I worked in sales, we only gave references of people who were more likely to “help” us. It was a setup and I had no choice.

Nevertheless, you should ask each solar companies for more than one testimonial.

If you want quotes from five different companies, 2-3 references from each is going to be 10-15 references, a major pain point.

Instead, save them until you narrow down to one or two solar companies; then make some calls.

Even if you don’t make those calls, at least you know that these companies didn’t refuse to give out references. 

4.   Site-inspection

solar-home-site-inspection

I can’t stress this point enough. Give no choice to any solar company.

If they want your business, solar companies will visit your property and put a magnifier all over it. Any good solar company in Melbourne (or somewhere else) will do this without you even asking for it. Filter out solar companies that don’t make an effort to come see you in person. They are not serious enough.

Granted, your house may be the same shape and size as most others. However, few things can be different, such as…

  • The condition of your roof,
  • Shading risk,
  • Available open spaceon-site-report
  • Accessing difficulty,
  • Condition of electrical switchboard,
  • Utility meter (is it bidirectional? which is what you’ll need with solar), etc.….

 

All of the above (plus more) can be unique to your situation. And make no mistake; every details have to be carefully considered at the earliest to finish the job without any setbacks.

Google map is helpful to measure your roof space, and determine the roof orientation. For everything else, you need someone to be physically present at the property for assessment.

solar-rooftop-google-map

If you requested the site inspection before you receive quote, it will give solar companies an opportunity to be very specific in their pricing.

And, having someone there face to face will give you a chance to find out more about the company. Remember, a good solar company always wants to make a good first impression: Does the salesperson arrive on time? Does he answer all your questions with confidence? Does he spend enough time with you?

So, go ahead and ask for it. Never commit before this gets done.

5.   Do you require payment upfront?

I know that few solar companies ask for large sum of payment upfront before the actual work begins. Sometimes they trick you into believing that the stock is running out and that they want to lock you in for lower price.

You know that is just a baseless high pressure sales pitch. You are not a fool.

If you have to, though, do not pay more than what seems reasonable to you.

But you can do better than that by clearing the air out a bit more at an earlier stage and shortlisting the only ones you think are reasonable. That way, nothing comes as a surprise later on.

Summing up….

If you bring up these questions to your meeting with solar companies, it will give good solar companies an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Less than satisfying answer on any of these questions will be your opportunity to narrow down your choices.

Make it about you, your questions, and your need. Because, it is your money.

Here is the thing: You can spend weeks and months to prepare for your solar journey. But nothing prepares you more than talking to real people and asking these questions.

If you know what you want, you can receive multiple solar power quotes from our shortlisted solar companies that work in your area . Simply fill out the form in the link below and send it to us. We will find three installers and arrange to contact you. The service is free and there are no obligations attached.

Get 3 solar power quotes

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