First Choice Solar

First Choice Solar Reviews

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96% 0%
4.7

Based on 165 ratings

About

‘We are here for the long haul’ –

First Choice Solar founder welcomes new shareholders

 

In little more than a decade, Peter Berkers has grown First Choice Solar into one of the largest and most respected solar companies in South-East Queensland and Northern NSW.

 

Now he is focused on his next goal – overseeing a succession plan that will see the business thrive well into the future.

 

Founded in 2010, the business started life contracting for other solar companies. However, it was not long before Peter set his sights on becoming a solar retailer and was dealing directly with the customer.

 

“It’s no secret a lot of solar installers come and go and that’s why we’re so proud of our longevity. Solar is a highly competitive industry, but we are here for the long haul,” said Peter, who has invited two of his loyal team members to join him as shareholders in the business – son Josh Berkers and fellow long-term employee Matt McKinley.

 

“Matt and Josh have played an integral role in our tremendous growth during the past five years, and I am thrilled to welcome them as joint shareholders.”

 

Matt has worked with the business for a decade, having started as an installer before climbing the ladder to now being the director of a solar company that employs a dozen staff and has completed more than 10,000 installations.

 

“Josh oversees our installations, which are completed by full-time employees who are focused on quality rather than quantity,” Peter said.

 

“He has been with First Choice Solar since high school and throughout his electrical apprenticeship. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and forms a key part of the leadership team with Matt and myself.”

 

As a proud father, Peter is understandably excited that Josh has joined him as a shareholder in the company he founded. Peter’s two other sons have also worked for First Choice Solar, with one having been onboard since day one and a potential future shareholder.

 

Starting out as Qelec Pty Ltd trading as First Choice Solar, the company has since changed its name to First Choice Solar Qld Pty Ltd (ACN: 144 966 110) after the restructure.

 

“What differentiates us from our competitors is that we don’t employ salespeople,” Peter said.

 

“We realised that customers want to speak with people who truly know what they are talking about and in our case that is Matt, Josh or myself.

 

“We are all qualified electricians, Clean Energy Council-accredited solar installers and have spent many years on the tools and our customers appreciate that we have the time to educate and support them.

 

“I believe there are three important aspects to selecting a solar system that will still be working and saving money for 10 years and beyond - the inverter, panels and installation.

 

“However, it is not just the quality of these three, but the workmanship and support given by the company providing it. We operate out of a factory and showroom in Burleigh Heads in which our customers can come and discuss our products and get advice and support.”

 

Peter added: “We only provide products from companies with proven performance that have offices and support staff based in Australia. I like to call these blue-chip companies where they have been around longer than the warranties they offer.”

 

With the succession plan now in play, the co-owner and mentor has no intention of stepping away any time soon.

 

“I still love going to work,” Peter said.

 

“I remain incredibly passionate about the industry, but it is reassuring to know we have implemented a succession plan that will ensure First Choice Solar continues to deliver quality, service and support to our customers well into the future.

 

“The solar industry is hugely rewarding because of its environmental benefits and we get to help people save money, which is the key driver for most of our customers.

 

“When you rewire a house, a customer can’t see your work. When a car breaks down, people can begrudge having to pay for it to be fixed. When we leave a job though, our customers look at the new solar panels on their roof and are happy because it is going to save them money for many years to come.

 

“My job never feels like a chore. It is an industry I love and when it comes time to retire, I think the boys might need to lock me out to keep me away.”

 

For more about First Choice Solar, visit www.fcsolar.com.au

 

Reviewers report paying: $4,511 - $6,263 for depending on hardware choice and installation difficulty ( how is this calculated? )

Panels, inverter and battery brands

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First Choice Solar Reviews (165)

Show Most Recent reviews from All timeacross Australia

Average Scores

4.7/5

Value for money

4.7/5

Quality of System

4.8/5

Installation

4.7/5

Customer Service

  • 5 star 101
  • 4 star 56
  • 3 star 7
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 1

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Totally professional and efficient.

The quoting process was very efficient and informative.
Installation seemed to go without a hitch in a very timely manner. The whole team were very helpful and personable.
Customer service excellent. Everything went very seemlessly including organising the grid connection
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Great service from start to finish.

Sales person was polite and friendly.
Installation process was smooth and installers very polite and friendly.
Each process was explained to me and all the documentation was finalised by First Choice Solar.
I recommended First Choice to my neighbours who have since had solar installed by them.
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Good system and installer

Quoting was straight forward.
Installers were polite, on time and listened to our questions and requests. Install is clean.
They organised grid connection, we had nothing else to do.

Inverter rating: 4/5
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Very good process with an outcome better than being 'sold' to us.

Very satisfied with installer, very good salesperson who willing to take in all of my questions and suggestions.

The installation team was friendly and working efficiently. They let me know that a couple of tiles had been broken and asked if I had spares, which I luckily had. This is a strong good point as I can imagine someone could have found out this had happened and was discovering this after the first big rain.

The electrician explained the system to me and how it was installed and helped me to install the app and get connected.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Faultless install

First Choice Solar exceeded my expectations throughout the installation process. Their team was not only knowledgeable but also incredibly efficient. From the initial consultation to the final setup, every step was handled with utmost professionalism. Their installers and engineers made sure to include everything I was looking for regarding full battery backup while keeping their quote competitive. The installers were punctual, courteous, and made sure to address any questions I had. Kudos to First Choice Solar for making the transition to solar power a pleasurable and hassle-free journey. I'm delighted with the seamless experience and would highly recommend First Choice Solar for their exceptional service.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
Battery rating: 5/5
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Happy customer

These guys installed a 15kW goodwe three phase hybrid inverter but no battery (yet). And a Tesla wall charger. Also removed an existing 5kW single phase system. So far so good. Matt who came out and quoted was good and wasn’t afraid to have an opinion. I liked that the quote was itemised - the other companies didn’t do that. Left things tidy.
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First Choice Solar did a bang up job 5 stars

The guys at First Choice Solar were great, cheapest quote, also they were happy to accommodate some changes. They arrived on time and had the solar installed in a few hours, they explained how it all works and how the app works. Would recommend them to everyone.
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A Great Experience

First Choice solar provided a great experience and ultimately after looking at other providers came up tops on so many levels.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Fantastic Installer

Jake and the boys did a fantastic job, because I wasn’t here at the start of the job the communication between myself and Jake was very professional, I have no hesitation in recommending first choice solar to anyone thinking of installing solar
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Excellent Service & Product Quality

Peter was fantastic in providing information, advising and guiding us through our system design and customisation during the quotation phase. Kristina and the rest of the administrative team provided thorough and timely communication throughout the process. On installation day, Jake, Scottie and Kye did an excellent job, with meticulous attention to detail, and were very professional, transparent, helpful and efficient. All in all, this was an excellent installation!
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Good customer service

FIRST CHOICE SOLAR
Not possible to tell value for money or quality of the system until its proved itself over several yrs
Price $5200
Recommended retaining current 3.8KW system
Recommended not getting a battery just yet - prices may come down in the new year plus after a full billing quarter we would be in a better position to confirm how much power we generated, put into the grid and thus would have a better idea of battery size required. The inverter they recommended is a hybrid so a battery can be added
Great service and customer communication. Installed within a mth after initial contact
Installed within 6 hrs. Pilotte staff who cleaned up the area prior to leaving
Completed all liaison with Energex to remove off peak power & upgrade meter box
Once a full billing cycle has been completed the owner will recommend which energy company will provide best value connection fees - feed in rates & overall costs

Quotes not Accepted
INGOT Energy - did not come to house. Most expensive quote. Totally ignored our current 3.8LW syst that still works well. Did not follow up with us
HALCOL ENERGY - visited house & was good. Included retaining current 3.8KW system. Price $6650
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Professional Service and Tidy Install

The team communicated well once the sale was done to keep me informed what was going to happen next, on the day of install the team arrived and explained the plan, got the install done and left my property nice and tidy, the system is in and working well thanks.
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Great Experience

Service from start to finish excellent and nothing too much trouble.
Seamless process from accepting quotation to installation.
Peter, Jake and Team very professional service.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Honest, Reliable & Top Quality Products

Andrew was only one of a few that took the time to visit my home and discuss my options.
No pressure to sign and good honest advice using the best products available.
Pat the electrician turned up when expected, explained all our options of installation of cables, switchboard anlterations and where panels and inverter would be placed and promptly completed the job.
Highly Recommended.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Great service

Installation went well, and in less time than was expected.
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Original Review on 30-12-2022:

Solar installed

Came and gave detailed quote and followed up online. Would have been installed sooner but first date I was out all day. Turned upon time and were busy straight away, very quick. Still have to put cover on inverter and screen door to garage forgot to close, could have tidied up a bit better (but that's all tradies it seems). Organised connection with Energex but that is still to happen as Christmas period Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 4/5

10 months later we asked Margaret : "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

Yes, it's fab and I am in credit $108.34 using in last 90 days 60c daily cost compared to $2.15 average daily cost for same period last year when I did not have solar panels. Note I don't use aircon even though it is installed, I find fans enough. Also when at home usually have front door open till dark and other doors, windows in spring/ summBut in winter I like to be warm, maybe a heater while sitting reading, TV etc
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Seems great, just waiting for follow up

Great consultant who worked out a system to suit our situation. Quick install by nice folks. Unfortunately the system has some issues with function, we are waiting for someone to attend and resolve that. Otherwise would have higher customer service rating.
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Precise, Professional, On time, Supper efficient system

I am very satisfied with First Choice Solar installation and customer service. The materials used look and feel high quality, not only the panels and inverter, but the cabling and ducts all well placed and sealed. They discussed the plan and preferences for position of the inverter prior. The technicians were on time and available post-installation to clarify questions and help with anything. A few months after installation I had to contact them with a fault in the hot water relay, and they resolved the issue within the same day by coming to my property and replacing the device at no cost.

In terms of the system itself it is indeed very efficient. Having the Catch Power relay device performing a smart control of the hot water system adds significantly to the energy bill savings. Overall great design.

To sum up, if you are in the Gold Coast area looking for a quality affordable Solar System , look no further.

I just wish I had a little more help with the energy companies, as I had to undergo a metering replacement and this experience can vary depending on which energy retailer you are with.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Original Review on 03-12-2022:

Smooth Easy Affordable Honest

The quote processes were easy to understand, the installers were friendly and cleaned all areas before leaving. The installer also connected the unit into the grid and gave instructions on any future issues. Great service from start to finish. Thanks, First Choice Solar. Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 5/5

10 months later we asked Lena: "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

I am happy with the performance of my system. I do wish I installed more panels and a battery to accommodate living with a teenager that uses power late at night due to work commitments. Great instillation!
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Efficient and professional company from quote to completion

Purchased a property with existing solar system - ends up inverter not working (For quite a while)..called First Choice to obtain information and assistance on upgrading whole system (wanted someone locally based on GC) The team were punctual, professional and informative, discussed a range of options - we decided on an upgrade to a new inverter and new panels. The install was an excellent experience, the install team were very punctual, polite and professional. We had to delay panel install due to high winds and they were extremely apologetic but understandable given the safety issues. I only had to wait a day until they returned and were completed in approx 1.5 hrs for 16 panels, you can tell they have genuine experience in what they are dealing with- they also assisted with Catch Power app set up and monitoring on my phone, just really good guys to deal with. The support and admin staff at the office were also very helpful and we received a followup email with user guides and confirmation of meter registration the very next day. Lastly given we are in a duplex with a flat roof - the old panels were on a tilt and visible from the road, fairly unsightly - the new ones were laid flat and the building aspect looks so much better! I would highly recommend First Choice for your one stop solar needs on the Gold Coast, family businesses are always the best to deal with.
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Working better than my estimate so far

Happy with the system, the panels and inverter and working better than all my estimates that I based my decision on, and better than their estimates too. The only thing I’m not totally happy with is the catch power app is under reading about 5% so far (They are looking into the cause of that). And the Goodwe inverter app only measures production, not power imported and exported, so monitoring is not as good as expected. I would recommend them. I would use them again.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Great installation! Very professional

I would highly recommend First Choice for many reasons; quoting process, great and punctual installation, polite and patient customer service who helped me organise the grid connection after the install.
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Great service from quote to installation

First Choice came to me through Solar Quotes and they were the first to contact me and organise a time to come prepare a quote. Bobby showed up for the quote and spent as much time as needed to answer all my questions (and I had many!). At the end, he planned a system that suited both my needs and my budget.

Installation day came in just a few weeks and was another great experience, with an early TXT message confirming the team’s arrival time. Josh and the team showed up on time and did a great job in positioning the inverter, running wires to and from the roof and installing the panels on my three storey home. The whole installation looks very clean and they cleaned up all the bits of wire and debris after installation was complete.

At the end, Josh explained how to operate the system, use the monitoring app and the Catch Solar Relay settings to control the water heater, and took his time to explain the next steps with my energy provider and to answer my last few questions.

The system is performing flawless and overall this was the perfect experience I’d expect from a professional solar installation business.
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5 Stars All the way!

I recently had Matt and the team at First Choice Solar take care of my solar panel installation. I heard their radio commercial and was hooked by the jingle. From the very beginning, their service was nothing short of impeccable. The quoting process was thorough and transparent, allowing me to make informed decisions about what I needed. The team's professionalism and attention to detail throughout the installation were truly impressive. They ensured that everything was set up perfectly and took the time to address any questions I had. The entire experience was seamless, and I couldn't be happier with the end results, already saving on my power bills. If you're looking for a reliable and customer-focused solar installation company, I highly recommend Matt and the First Choice Solar team."
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Amazing work from First Choice!

First choice was the best to deal with from the start to finish. They were professional and installed super quick. After market support has been great as they have helped to answer any questions i have had,
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Excellent

The entire process from start to finish was excellent and I would highly recommend First Choice Solar
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Very Happy with my new Solar

Super happy with the whole process. Quoting was easy and the installation was really well done. Wasnt the cheapest quote i got but i am super have with the product they installed. Highly recommend the team from First Choice.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Original Review on 24-09-2022:

These guys are the best. I got over 10 quotes... it's not all about the price with solar... these guys were the only ones who offered complete end-to-end project management

Do yourself a favour, use First Choice Solar. The best customer service and experience you can imagine. No question is silly to ask and they always have the time of day for you. Incredibly professional.

We have an older house in Broadbeach Waters (about 45yrs old) and our electrics box AND meter needed replacing. They took care of the whole project, from start to finish. They include USAGE monitoring as standard as that's something every solar customer should have at install, without question.

Local Gold Coast family-run business with an expanding business for good reason with service such as this.
Best value in town, best products on offer. They only offer you products they'd put on their own houses.
Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 5/5

10 months later we asked Paul: "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

Absolutely. Love everything aspect of my setup.
Best advice is Go As Large As You Can Upfront with panels.
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Original Review on 18-09-2022:

Great all round

This is the 3rd system i have purchased from this installer each time i have moved house. Can't fault them and the system does what they say. Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 4/5

10 months later we asked Keith: "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

Yes
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Off-Grid Capability in Suburbia

All aspects delivered as advertised. Would have no hesitation in recommending this provider to others.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
Battery rating: 5/5
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Consumate Professionals

First Choice Solar were absolute professionals in every aspect of our dealings with them. They were friendly, efficient, communicative, and all the interactions we had with them had the crisp feeling of a well oiled machine. We got an extremely detailed and tailored quote immediately after the site inspection which was well explained by their representative, and the install was rapid and looks very neat. I've already recommended them to a friend in the area who is looking at solar too. Thanks First Choice Solar! Thanks to Solarquotes too, what a fantastic resource to get started on our solar journey.
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Expert advice

Thanks to Matt who gave me expert advice to get the most efficient and right system on my house. It wasn't a sales pitch it was the right advice for my house. I would highly recommend. Thanks Cath
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Fantastic service, great down to earth company that understands the needs of a consumer

Sales process was simple, to the point and informative. Salesman came to house and talked through options, provided positives and negatives for both a smaller or larger system. Process was simple and order was well structured, simple to approve and understand.

Installation was great. Connection to grid was all done and we were up and running on the day.
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Great Bunch of people

Very happy with the speed of initial contact happy with the price
Very happy with the ladies calling me for the booking date
Very happy with the boys who installed the system
so far the system is working well

Inverter rating: 4/5
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First Choice. Should have been my first choice.

After many quotes and much research, I should have just looked at the name and gone with them. They were great on price. Excellent on presales questions and making sure all my questions were answered. Best part was they didn't hide anything in the quote. It listed all items.

Installation day came very quickly. The guys showed up on time and bounced up on the roof moving the old system up out of the way for the new one. They were done in short work and ran me though the app installs. Gave me a quick rundown of the system and gone. They even used a dustpan and brush. Not your usual electricians :)

After sales service was great. Plenty of emails to get paperwork signed and then came my questions. Matt was happy to come back out an explain how to get the best out of the system.

Would recommend these guys any day of the week.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 4/5
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Original Review on 10-08-2022:

First Choice Solar was professional from the very first contact.

The person doing the quote was a previous installer and certainly focused more on information than selling. I really appreciated the great communication and friendly contact at the office. The installers were on time and did great job. Only one small hiccup but that rectified from their end very quickly. Now Im saving heaps and enjoying my credits into the system rather than paying them! Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 4/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 5/5

10 months later we asked Tony: "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

The system has been great. Working as expected and saving me heaps.
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Original Review on 01-08-2022:

Quality Job

Knowledgeable sales person. Efficient, on time installation. Only been in service two weeks. System is working as expected. Original ratings

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5
Quality of System: 5/5
Installation: 5/5
Customer Service: 5/5

10 months later we asked Kevin: "Are you happy with the performance of your system so far?"

yes
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First class installation.

I hade used First Choice Solar twice now to install 6.4KW of solar panels. Both times I had a very good experiences with the quality of work, competitive pricing and installers that care. I just can’t say enough about my most recent installation. I would highly recommend First Choice Solar for all your solar needs.
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Perfect from quote to install.

Sale and quoting process was honest and better still, designed exactly for my property and needs. Quote took into account the angles, roof direction and shade, and didn't over-sell a solution just to fill the roof with panels. I was offered 3 different size options, with a clear breakdown of the benefits of each option. Matt wasn't pushy, didn't talk down the competition, and just spoke about the benefits of his company.

Deposit to install process was a little under a week - and was all well-handled by the back-office team without any intervention or prompting. Received my bespoke manual/warranty pack within 2 business days after install with details photos of the components.

The install itself I couldn't have asked for better. This was my biggest worry area considering we had just had our whole house and roof renovated. The team were professional, friendly and knew exactly what they were doing, working extremely well together, and well led by the electrician Nick. Gutter guards protected the paint, used all the right PPE and cleaned up as they went. Would go as far as saying they were the best trades we've had on our whole house renovation over the last 2 years.

The system itself is generating maximum power from the first day, and is more than offsetting my daytime usage (even in some cloudy conditions). Overall very impressed and would highly recommend.

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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100% Recommend First Choice Solar

Over and above what we expected. We didn’t have to do a thing. Fantastic service in all areas at a great price.
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Great Straight up Service at a great price

So Peter knew exactly how to present thew value in his system to me and what I was hoping to achieve, which was ultimately Return on investment. He didn't try to over sell me, just worked out was the best value system and the performance to match. Of all the quotes it was most accurate to what I had worked out using the independent resources I got my hands on.
Also installing a heat pump water system which I ordered late in the piece. this impacted getting he whole system installed but Nick and the guys that installed were excellent and still got me operational. last 10 panels get installed later but I was kept informed the whole time. Great referral from a mate and would happily refer to anyone.
came in well under budget
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First Class Service for a Great Price

We decided to go with First Choice Solar after Matt came round and explained everything without being pushy and their price was the most competitive. We found the whole team from Matt, the Office Staff and installers totally professional, on time, friendly and helpful and also left the site tidy. We feel we have a quality system installed by a first-class company for a great price and cannot recommend them enough.
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Conscientious and honest

From start to finish I had a good experience with Matt and First Choice Solar when they installed an expanded array and replaced a failing inverter on our house roof in Palm Beach. Same with when they replaced some broken isolators almost 2 years earlier. The installers were friendly (even chased down one of our dogs up the street which had bolted through the gate when they were bringing supplies into the property). Only glitch was I wasn't home most of the day and they tried to contact me about getting into my locked Energex box. They had to cut the lock in the end, but replaced it free of charge (about $130 it cost them). I also accidentally paid the deposit twice when I paid the final invoice and they were straight onto me that same day to point out my mistake and asked for my bank details so they could refund it to my account. Honest brokers. I recommend them.
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Friendly and quick service.

Very friendly to deal with. Quick to answer questions. Very quick from quote to installation complete.
Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Great company to deal with!

From the initial quote to installation, this company have been great to deal with. Matt communicated throughout the day and kept us updated.
We had alot of old brittle tiles - so replacements were sourced by Matt and tiles replaced at the time, ensuring the job was completed on the day - and no doubt saving us issues with the next Qld downpour.
We really appreciate the extra effort Matt and his team went to, to make sure they delivered a top quality installation. Great work - thanks guys!
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A wonderful service.

Matt called on 12-1-23 found serious faults with my old system…..great quote on a new system. The tradesmen called next day 13-1-23 and did a first class job in amazingly quick time. The system is outputting almost double what my old system ever achieved and it was installed and operating in less than 1.5 hours. I can check its performance by WiFi easily. This saves going to the inverter.

Thank you, First Choice Solar Burleigh, regards Jeff Simons

Panel rating: 5/5
Inverter rating: 5/5
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Very impressed with the service and product.

Sales and quoting was fast, friendly and efficient. Matt came to our house and helped us choose a set up (many of the other companies just did phone quotes).

The boys on the day of the install arrived on time, we’re friendly and very efficient. It was up and running by 2pm.

It’s already producing and exporting more than I expected.

The Goodwe inverter looks good, seems to work well and has a good rep, but the app is a little average. Works ok, just a couple of bugs and typos, not refined, but it’ll do the job.

Thanks guys
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Good Services

All the communications are prompt and efficient. The system seems to be working good and aftercare is also great.
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Good service, has a complicated scenario and they made it easy

Good service. Had a complicated scenario and they made it easy
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Quickly installed efficient system

Everything was very clearly laid out and quickly installed. Seems to be working fine. A few installation glitches which were solved quickly.
Inverter rating: 4/5
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