SolarQuotes Good Installer Guarantee

Good Installer Guarantee

I’m Finn Peacock – I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer and the Founder of SolarQuotes.

I saw a comment recently on the ‘My Efficient Electric Home’ Facebook group. An exasperated homeowner was asking “how do I find a solar installer I can trust when there are so many sharks out there?”

All I could think when reading it was: “My website, SolarQuotes, has solved this problem!”.

But it’s easy enough for me (or anyone else) to make this claim. How can I back it up?

Enter – the SolarQuotes Good Installer Guarantee.

Here’s the core promise:

Our #1 priority at SolarQuotes is if you choose one of our referred installers, you get a well-installed system. Which means we stand by our installers 100%.

If you believe your system has not been installed to the specification promised, we’ll work with you and the installer to make sure it is.

In the unlikely event the promised installation isn’t delivered, we’ll engage another installer – at our cost – to make it right.

We’re here for you. Good installation – guaranteed.

Why am I offering this guarantee, as a humble solar quoting website with no obligation to do so?

I want to put some more skin in the game. After 12 years (and more than 560,000 quote requests) I’m confident my company can offer – and back – this guarantee.

How can I be so confident? A few reasons:

  • We have a fantastic feedback loop from our customers via our review system. If a referred solar installer client messes up – it doesn’t take long for us to find out and investigate.
  • Our industry-leading vetting process, which has evolved and strengthened every year since 2009.
  • We have put profits aside to cover these expenses.
  • It accelerates the feedback loops that make SolarQuotes better. If an installer we refer does the wrong thing, we want to know about it as soon as possible to fix the root cause – whether that’s removing the solar installer from our system, or helping them fix an issue in their business (even the best installers have issues with staff and sub-contractors occasionally).

What We Will And Won’t Cover

To keep my accountant from having a heart attack, let me define what this guarantee does and does not cover.

What The Good Installer Guarantee Covers:

This guarantee applies where:

  1.  you have had a solar system or electrical vehicle charger supplied and installed by one of our referred installers on a residential premises, using panel, inverter, battery, charger and/or racking brands from our recommended charts at time of installation;
     
  2.  you have approached your installer directly in relation to your concern and given them a reasonable opportunity to respond, to investigate and to rectify any relevant issue, and the issue has not been rectified;
     
  3.   you raise any issue with a relevant system with us in writing to: [email protected] by no later than 12 months after the date of installation of the system;
     
  4.  you permit the installer and/or SolarQuotes to visit the site (and ensure that safe site access can be achieved) within a reasonable period of time to review and assess the system and its operation, during usual business hours; and
     
  5.  after we have assessed the system, we form the view there is a defect or problem with any part of the system or its installation as a result of an act or omission of your installer, a failure in any part of the system due to defective components (as determined by us), or it does not meet the relevant specifications.

If your system is still not working properly after any remedial work (and/or replacement, if necessary) has been carried out by your installer, our obligation under this guarantee will be limited to us engaging another installer to assess and rectify the problem with your system only. 

We do not accept any liability nor responsibility for any consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law or any other relevant legislation (because you have a legal relationship with your installer, and not with us).

What it doesn’t cover

Without limiting the above, this guarantee does not apply:

  1.  to the extent that your system (or any part of it) has been damaged by any weather event, third party, or any other form of damage outside the reasonable control of the installer; 
     
  2.   if the system (or any part of it) chosen by you is not suitable for your needs for any reason; or
     
  3.  if you have sought and obtained a refund or any other remedy from the installer under the Australian Consumer Law.

I’ll use some past examples to illustrate what the guarantee does and doesn’t cover. And let me emphasise – incidents like these happen once in a blue moon:

1) An installation with a paperwork issue

A customer brought to our attention his new solar system wasn’t working. His latest electricity bill was showing no benefit from solar power.

He was unable to reach his installer – our client who we had referred through our ‘get quotes’ process – to investigate and rectify the issue. (This was the canary in the coal mine the company was in financial difficulty.)

It turns out our referred client did not file the necessary paperwork to get the system connected to the grid.

So – we arranged for another client of ours to check the system. We wanted to make sure the installation was to a good standard (it was). They could then fill in the necessary paperwork to get the system up and running.

The end result? The customer was happy, and we removed the original solar installer from our network.

2) An installation not up to scratch

A referred client installed a solar system in Sydney for one of our customers. The customer noticed the inverter’s wiring was messy. So messy they, as a layperson, knew the install was sloppy.

They brought this to our attention, so we asked the installer to go back and fix it. They claimed they did. Further feedback from the customer showed their remedy was not good enough.

So – we engaged an independent solar installer (at our cost) to inspect the system and provide a report. The inspection revealed several problems with the system. We forwarded this report to the original installer who then (finally) brought the system up to a good standard.

We were shocked one of our referred clients (who had been with us for a decade) could perform such a poor solar installation. We paused their account and placed two strict stipulations on their return:

  • Their internal QA (quality assurance) procedures must ensure an install like this never happened again
  • They must do a mandatory self-audit. This report contains photographic evidence all the major installation points are up to standard.

They were humble enough to agree to these terms. It turns out they had taken on a new subcontractor responsible for the lousy install and they haven’t had an issue since.

3) An install where we did not assist due to the homeowner being, in our opinion, unreasonable

A customer’s father contacted us. He was unhappy because our referred installer had postponed his son’s solar installation.

We called the installer – It turns out they had to postpone the installation due to a death in the family. They had informed the customer about this when postponing.

The installer went above and beyond and installed the system as soon as he could – on a public holiday.

But, the customer was still unhappy. They believed the layout of the solar panels was sub-optimal and wanted them moved.

We asked if the panel layout was what the customer agreed to in the written quote – they had. As for the supposed sub-optimal generation issues; the customer’s father was comparing his son’s generation to that of his own system, which was in a completely different area. Not exactly an apples-for-apples comparison.

In this situation, we did not consider the request to move the solar panels reasonable. The installer’s response – to install the system on a public holiday – showed their commitment to excellent customer service.

What The Good Installer Guarantee Means For You

I want anyone considering solar power to know they can trust SolarQuotes to refer them to quality installers who care.

This guarantee is something I want to give Australians confidence we will do what we promise.

Ultimately – I want more high-quality solar installed on informed consumers’ roofs. 

And I want each and every SolarQuotes customer to be left smiling as they admire their brand new solar system installation.

If you’re considering solar power or a battery system, SolarQuotes can help you get quotes from  trusted installers quickly and easily:

About Finn Peacock

I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer, solar and energy efficiency nut, electric car and e-bike owner, dad, and founder of SolarQuotes.com.au. My last “real job” was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009 more than 600,000 Australians have used my site to get quotes for high quality PV systems from pre-vetted solar installers.

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