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Choosing a solar company is a decision worth making carefully as it can impact whether you end up with quality solar panels and solar PV system. In WA, over 36% of WA homes and businesses have now invested in a rooftop solar PV system – and choosing a reputable solar panel installer is important.

If you’ve been considering installing a solar PV system at your home or business– or upgrading your older system – here are some tips to help you in choosing a solar company.


Start with your Synergy electricity bill

Residential solar – or solar for your business – can help you embrace renewable energy and reduce how much electricity you draw from the grid. This could help to lower your electricity costs – but your Synergy electricity bill won’t disappear altogether, so beware of any solar energy sales pitch which tries to suggests otherwise. Here’s why:

  • Your solar PV system can only generate solar power when the sun is shining. 
  • When the sun goes down, or on cloudy or rainy days, you’ll also need to draw power from the grid, unless you’ve invested in battery storage.
  • Network charges apply too, regardless of whether you have a solar PV system or a solar battery.

The amount you could save on your Synergy electricity bill will depend on a range of factors including your electricity usage, how much solar power you’re generating and using or whether you’re exporting solar power to the grid.


Take your time when choosing a solar company

When you’re choosing a solar panel installer, don’t feel pressured to sign up within a certain time to take advantage of any special deal, rebates or credit offers. It’s worth taking the time to make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be getting when you purchase your solar PV system from a certain supplier. 

Look beyond the sales pitch and make sure you ask any questions that you have about the solar PV system to work out whether you’re getting quality solar panels and system components. Check the fine print, details about warranties and ensure you understand who and what is involved in the installation process.  

The solar energy industry is competitive – and some companies doorknock for new business. This isn’t necessarily a bad sign – but it’s good to know that if you sign a contract that has arisen from an unsolicited sale (such as a salesperson knocking at your door), a 10 business day cooling-off period applies. During this time, you can change your mind and terminate any agreement by providing the supplier notice.

Some suppliers may offer a cooling-off period in their terms, even if your agreement with them was not an unsolicited sale. Be sure to check.

If your potential supplier is not happy to answer your questions or shows any of these solar panel installer red flags, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.


Take the solar panel installer’s reputation into account

Look for a solar supplier  you can trust. Take some time to look into their experience, reputation and whether they use products approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and what warranties are offered. 

Check reviews, such as Facebook and Google reviews, to see what current and past customers say about their products and service. 

You may also want to check your chosen solar supplier is a CEC accredited installer – and it’s also worth checking whether they are also a New Energy Tech Approved Seller


Look for quality solar panels and installation

Find out which brands your solar installer offers with their solar power systems. Many solar retailers and installers choose to work only with certain brands, so if you have a preferred brand in mind, check whether your chosen installer offers it.

Solar panel installers should be able to discuss your options, the products available and the most suitable size solar PV system and orientation for you. You don’t want a one-size-fits-all approach!

Look into where the products are made, if the products are CEC approved and whether the installer offers custom designed solar panel systems. You might like to ask:

  • What brand of solar panels do you use? Is this a premium or budget brand?
  • What brand of inverter are you using? Is it a premium brand or budget? 
  • If I have to deal with the panel or inverter manufacturer in the future, do they have an Australian office?

Investing in a solar PV system and choosing a solar company are major decisions – so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good deal and a solar PV system suited to your requirements. 


Shop around for residential solar quotes

It is a good idea to get a few different quotes when choosing a solar company to make sure you get a solar PV system suitable for your individual needs. 

Don’t just settle for the cheapest price.  The quality of the products and solar installation services can vary hugely, so the cheapest won’t necessarily be the best option.

Once you have done some research, and read reviews to narrow down your options, it’s time to talk to the solar installers. Ask them questions to help you understand what’s involved and get some detailed quotes. 

Solar companies will generally visit your home and speak with you to understand your requirements and your electricity usage patterns. By choosing a solar PV system that aligns with the way you use electricity, you could become a solar super user and make the most of your investment in renewable energy.


“What should I look for in a solar company?”

As with any major investment, it’s worth making sure that you know exactly what you are paying for and who you are buying from. 

Here’s a checklist to help you when you’re choosing a solar company:


    Are they CEC accredited or a New Energy Tech Approved Seller? Will the installation be done by their own staff, or do they subcontract the installation to other companies or independent contractors? Are those people also accredited solar installers?

    Does the company have a local office? Do they have a customer service phone number? Are they easy to get in touch with and responsive to emails and phone calls?

    Have they been in business for several years? Can they refer you to previous customers reviews to learn about their service before and after installation? 

    Someone from their solar team should visit your home to work out what your home needs, based on your household electricity usage habits, the location, the roof condition and aspects, whether an upgrade will be needed for your electrical meter, and so on.

    You should understand the design of the system, including all the components and how they'll be located and installed, plus any related electrical work, before you sign any contracts.

     Your quote should be detailed and fully specify the proposed system design, installation, expected generation, warranty terms and an itemised list of components/products.

    Make sure you have a clear understanding of the warranty terms. Individual products may also come with additional product warranties from the manufacturer.

When you are ready to take the next step in your solar journey, you can explore the 5 things to do after your solar PV system is installed in our new solar owner’s guide.