12 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing Solar Panels
Updated: Feb 11
As a new solar owner, it’s essential to understand your system so you can yield the greatest return, and start saving on your electricity costs.
Often, we come across customers who aren't too sure how solar panels work, or what questions to ask their installer. There’s no shame in not knowing what to ask, that’s why we’re here to help!
Here are a few essential questions you should ask your local Sunshine Coast solar installer before purchasing solar panels, to make sure you are getting the information you need. That way, you will understand what to expect from your new solar panel system.
1. What is the estimated daily, monthly and annual production in kWh of my system in its installation position?
Asking this question will ensure you are aware of the energy capacity your system will generate. It will provide you, and the installer a precise understanding of where the panels are located on your roof, and your installer should have taken into account any shaded spots.
2. What is the estimated solar electricity production in the best and worst months of the year?
Knowing the answer to this question will mean you’ll never be surprised by low production months, like winter, when you are more likely to experience cloud coverage. Keep in mind unexpected circumstances like bad weather can also reduce your energy production.
3. Who will service and maintain my solar system?
Your solar installer should offer this service or provide you contact details of someone local who can help you clean and maintain your system.
4. What are the responsibilities of each party?
Understand what each party is responsible for, including the installer, manufacturer and yourself.
5. What is the process for connecting your solar PV system to the electricity grid?
Again, it is essential to understand who is responsible for any given task. Who is responsible for connecting your solar? Is this Energex or your electricity supplier? When will it happen? How long does it usually take?
6. Who is responsible for your meter change?
Is this Energex or your electricity supplier? When will it happen? How long does it usually take? It is also essential to understand what will happen in the meantime between your meter changing.
7. Ask how your installer will credit your solar incentive (STCs)?
Understanding your rebates early on will save a lot of hassle later on. Most solar installers offer the rebate as an upfront discount off the price you pay for your system, so the client pays for the panels after the deduction of the incentive price.
8. Ask for a detailed handover manual.
The solar installation manual can assist you if you experience any issues with your panels. You may also need the manual if you need to deal with a different company in the future or if you need to know your exact model number.
It’s also essential to have in writing the various component of your product warranties including installer workmanship guarantee, a schedule of when deposits and final payments are due.
9. Who is responsible for your solar system warranties? Ask the difference between the performance warranty and the product warranty.
In reality, the most robust and claimable warranty is the product warranty. Some companies state the 25-year performance warranty in their advertising when they know the performance warranty is challenging to claim on. So, be sure to read the contract and ask your installer to clarify any details that concern you.
10. Does the company offer an installation warranty?
Some solar panel providers offer a 5-year installation warranty others provide longer. Again clarify the installation warranty details with your installer.
11. How do I know if this company is legitimate and will provide quality panels?
Conducts an ABN lookup online and search for Google or Facebook reviews.
12. Is the company a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer?
A Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer means your installer is a signatory to the Solar Code of Conduct. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the peak body representing Australia’s renewable energy and energy efficiency industry.
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This eBook is full of useful information, tips and things to avoid when it comes to solar. It is an excellent resource for anyone looking to purchase residential solar panels. Be sure to keep these 12 questions handy as you research and enquire about solar panels in the Sunshine Coast region.
If you would like to find out more about what solar power systems SolarWide recommends, please call us on (07) 5309 5871 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.