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True Value Solar Reviews

Based on 420 reviews

  • 5 star 44
  • 4 star 249
  • 3 star 81
  • 2 star 28
  • 1 star 16

Average Customer Review

  • Value
  • System Quality
  • Customer Service
  • Installation

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About True Value Solar, Solar Installers

True Value Solar is one of Australia's largest solar installation companies. But big is not necessarily better, and in my opinion they are nowhere near to being the best.

They don’t have the worst reputation of a large solar installation company in Australia. But my opinion of True Value Solar is still not good.

While they are better than they used to be, as recently as April 2016 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) took action on account of their business practices.

They still have long way to go before SolarQuotes would ever recommend them as an installer.

When reading reviews and looking at ratings for True Value Solar, be aware that they have been investigated by the ACCC for paying customers for positive reviews, so there are definitely grounds for suspicion about any review rating totals you see for them.

True Value Solar Today Tonight Exposé

The True Value Solar company was founded in 2009 and did not get off to a good start. This Today Tonight segment from 2011 exposes True Value Solar forging signatures and performing incompetent and potentially dangerous installations.

True Value Solar Improperly Claimed 9,661 Renewable Energy Certificates

On the 2nd of June 2011 the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator required an enforceable undertaking from True Value Solar for creating 219 Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) they were not entitled to between 22 January 2010 and 26 August 2010.

True Value Solar was required to:

“...compensate for the creation of the certificates.”

I presume this means they were required to surrender 219 certificates that had been created.

True Value Solar was hit with a second enforceable undertaking for the creation of 9,442 Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) they were not entitled to between 13 October 2010 and 23 March 2011.

The Office Of The Renewable Energy Regulator stated:“True Value Solar (Vic) Pty Ltd was not entitled to create those Certificates - namely, the units were not designed and installed by the person who was nominated as the accredited installer for the purposes of the creation of the Certificates.”

True Value Solar was required to have an independent accredited installer return to check the installations in question and ensure they met the requirements for the issue of certificates.

True Value Solar ACCC Infringement Notices For Misleading Advertising

In January 2011 True Value Solar advertised a 1.52 kilowatt solar system as being a 3 kilowatt system. In other words they stated it was twice as large as it actually was. That is like a butcher giving you one kilogram of steak and charging you for two.

As a result, they were investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and issued with infringement notices totalling $13,200.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated:

"Companies need to ensure that their advertised claims accurately reflect the product or service being offered."

The ACCC has reported that True Value Solar has acknowledged its advertising was likely to have contravened Australian Consumer Law. Personally, I am sure as hell that selling one kilogram of steak as two kilograms and selling a 1.52 kilowatt solar system as a 3 kilowatt system contravenes Australian Consumer Law. As far as I am concerned there is nothing “likely” about it. It is bloody obvious.

True Value Solar also undertook a court enforceable undertaking regarding misleading advertising, which means they would be in more trouble if they did something similar again. But it appears they did not learn their lesson and were investigated by the ACCC again in 2016 for paying customers to provide favourable reviews.

True Value Solar Is Owned By German Company M+W

In 2011 the German engineering firm M+W purchased 65% of True Value Solar and in 2013 they acquired the remaining 35%. Why they did this I do not know. But M+W started off in 1912 making ventilation systems, so maybe they are just nostalgic about things that suck.

The letters M+W used to stand for Meissner and Wurst. As True Value Soar has improved since the Germans took over it appears that taking a turn for the Wurst has made things better. However, they have not improved nearly enough to rehabilitate their reputation as far as I can see.

M+W is a large engineering firm involved mostly in electronics but also in both solar and nuclear power, which is an interesting mix. As a large multinational company they definitely have a vested interest in maintaining a good reputation, so I would like more people to be aware that True Value Solar is owned by M+W and its behaviour reflects upon them.

True Value Solar ACCC Investigation Into Paying For Positive Reviews

In 2015 True Value Solar began offering a free solar system servicing for which they would normally charge $199 to customers who wrote reviews. They only made this available to people who said their experiences were positive and they did not disclose that these reviews had been paid for.

After being contacted by the ACCC in April 2016 True Value Solar discontinued this particular example of paying for positive reviews. Of course it would have been nice if they didn't need the ACCC to tell them they shouldn't be doing this kind of thing.

True Value Solar Fake Reviews From Eastern Europe

The SolarQuotes site has received fake positive reviews for True Value Solar from Eastern Europe. There is no way to know that anyone at True Value Solar had anything to do with these fake reviews, but it is not a good sign. Sending fake reviews about solar companies to Australia is probably not the sort of thing Eastern European teenagers do for a laugh.

True Value Solar Bosch Inverters

At the time of writing in July 2016 True Value Solar advertising prominently features German made Bosch inverters. But while they were German made, they are no longer made anymore as Bosch has discontinued them. This is not to say they aren’t good inverters and Bosch will still back its 5 year warranty, but people should be aware that Bosch inverters are now a thing of the past. It appears that True Value Solar has bought a very large consignment of them at a low price and it will be interesting to see how long they can manage to keep using them.

True Value Solar Panels

True Value Solar Panels include quality, tier 1 brands. However, they have also used panels that are not tier one on any list that I am aware of. If you use True Value Solar, make sure the panels they install are of good quality.

Servicing True Value Solar Panels

True Value Solar recommends having their rooftop solar systems serviced every two years and as of writing they currently charge $250 for this service. In my opinion no rooftop solar system that is competently installed needs to be serviced every two years. For peace of mind I'd recommend getting it checked every 5 years, but every two years is a waste of money and suggesting they need such regular servicing is fleecing the customer in my book.

True Value Solar Prices

True Value Solar's prices are low. This is how they bring customers in. While bringing down the cost of solar power is a wonderful thing, it only makes sense if quality is maintained. In my experience a low cost system is often a false economy that results in more expenses down the line.

The good news is the average quality of True Value Solar's installations appear to have improved since they were taken over by M+W. Their prices are also no longer quite so low, compared to the competition, as they were. If the extra expense is going towards more competent and reliable installations, and better service then that is all for the good.

True Value Solar Is Not A SolarQuotes Client

SolarQuotes has never recommended True Value Solar as an installer through our ‘Get Quotes’ service. Our goal is to make sure people have a great experience buying solar and, in my opinion, recommending them won’t help us achieve that.

The good news about True Value Solar is that they seem to have become better over time. But they can’t seem to shake off all their bad habits. They were dinged just recently (April 2016) by the ACCC for paying for positive reviews.

If they could lay off the unethical behaviour and continue improving the quality of their installations and service then I’d encourage them to do that. But they are still a long way from becoming an installer I’d recommend to friends.

Full Disclosure: SolarQuotes is a commercial site, albeit one run by a solar enthusiast. We make money by referring you to installers we trust, if you ask for quotes through this site. When we make a referral we get paid by the installer. We have about 200 solar installer clients throughout Australia that we've built up slowly since 2009. These clients pay us every month for those referrals whether they result in a sale or not. True Value Solar have asked about becoming a client, but we have always turned them down because we would not be comfortable referring them to our friends, so we won't refer them via this site. In the spirit of transparency, True Value Solar are welcome to respond to our criticism, and we'll link to that response here.

True Value Solar Solar Reviews

We follow up with all reviewers after 12 months to see how their system is going since it was installed. These are all the reviewers who have responded to our 1 year follow up:
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Been in touch with this mob four times. Talk about the run around they are a joke. Today sat around all day waiting for a tech support to come to see me. In the end I RANG them again to be told he had to go elsewhere and would be in contact later. So they don't care about you they just blow smoke up you know where.
I've had the system about 9 months has not worked correctly since day one talk about rebate there isn't any .Would I recommend them no way.
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The inverter completely died and they would not honour their 10 year warranty. They were not even willing to come out to service it. Show additional information
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Purchased the system it was installed incorrectly and the rebate offered was a lie tried to get in touch with true value to sort out but they weren't interested so went to vcat won my case had four orders made against them they have done one now there time is up so back to vcat this time l will seek a full refund no more lies and broken promises from them if you are having the same problems go to vcat it is worth it they my be big but not above the law we have rights the cost of 204 to vcat will be refunded if you are sure of your facts even if you are waiting to long for warranty don't put up with their lies Show additional information
A year ago, I installed a 5kW system with Growatt inverter. The installation was quick and efficient as was the customer service. The system worked so well, that I installed another 5kW system early this year which was also a response to increases in power prices. This time, a Goodwe was installed as Growatt were no longer available. This too is working well now. Initially, the Goodwe inverter kept tripping out during the best part of the day when the sun was shining. The front panel showed a Vac error, which meant the line voltage was too high. I measured it at over 262V. Inverters are designed to protect themselves and shut down with a high line voltage is detected. Also, each solar inverter contributes a small rise to the line voltage of about 3V. It turned out my Growatt inverter was raising the line voltage just high enough to trip out the Goodwe. This problem has been fixed by adjusting the trip out voltage setting for the Goodwe. I note that many reviewers have reported problems with their inverters, but it may not be the fault of the inverter at all. High line voltages are common and can be caused by too many solar inverters nearby on the same network, or a failed voltage regulator which has also happened to me. It is the responsibility of the power network company to fix high line voltages, not the solar installer. What the solar installer can do is to ensure that the inverter trip out voltage is set high. Many solar owners are unaware that their systems are not working as they should which is why monitoring performance is so important. You want the best return on your investment. Most inverter manufacturers have a wifi monitoring system built in, and once set up is free to use. Alternatively, you can just check the front panel. Show additional information
When installed only half the panels worked, customer service is appalling. If I had my time over would not go any where near True Value Solar. Show additional information
I think it is too early to rate the supplier, because we are yet to see the output from the system. As you know it is long process to get the installation, meter reconfiguration etc. Show additional information
3 man Instillation team, boss did the inverter install and DB, good quality. Panel rails installed well, tiles not compromised, however 3 months later found all cables laying on tiles. Called installer he popped in at dusk and was disgusted, next morning all cables brailed up as should be. Thanked me for calling.
Have had auto 3 up-grades to switches etc. supplied by TVS as part of install kit.
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Paid $300 for an 8 point warranty inspection (took 5 mins!) in July 2016.
However they did not pick up the isolator switches on the roof were part of a safety recall in 2014.
It was only when I paid an independent fellow to do a panel clean last week that he noticed it and turned them off.
Have just spoken to True Value Solar (customer care!!)
And they inform me it will be 3 to 6 weeks to send a technician over to replace the isolator.
Not good enough!!!!!!!
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True Value are in my opinion the worst solar company in Australia. Absolutely no customer service, do not honour warranties, do not return calls. Was told their phones were out of order in "Adelaide" I'm in Brisbane and when I checked with Telstra it was a complete lie. This is only one of their many fabrications to avoid warranty repairs. Two months to fix an installation fault and then offered $41 in compensation but only if we signed a gag order. A complete joke, do not deal with this company, even their installers complain about them. Show additional information
My system was installed in Jan 2012, in the last 18 months I noticed my electricity rebates were going down, they suddenly dropped to $5 rebate, my samil inverter was no longer working, when I called True Value they were not interested in the fact that my electricity bills prove the inverter was on its way out while still under warranty, it is now just out of warranty so they referred me to Samil who can only provide me with a reconditioned second hand unit for $200 with a 12 month warranty....what a joke! Since googling information on inverters, I found True Value used the cheapest unit at the time so I am concerned that my solar panels will not last the distance either. At the time of purchasing my solar system I was advised it would last 10 years without any problems, I am so angry that True Value are walking away from a warranty claim just because I did not call them 7 months ago. From my experience I would not recommend buying a system from True Value!!! Show additional information
They were most fine and typical of a company before installation and payment. Reasonably prompt and efficient. They want the money. But geting them back to fix things is a whole other story. We had our 2kW system for 2 years and then upgraded to 4kW. During the upgrade the techo found a problem with the inverter. Is was the outside display had not been displaying. It took them a few more weeks, a lot of hassling from us and a few angry phone calls but it was eventually replaced. 3months ago it happened again just 18months after the upgrade so still under warranty. After a frustrating phone call no technicians were available for 6 to 8 weeks. This time it is not just the display its the whole system offline. So no power being produced. We just kept being told no technicians available by their staff. 4 weeks into the wait and knowing this "white elephant" on our roof is producing nothing and thus electricity bills going up and up my husband got back onto customer help and blasted them. I know not her/his fault but they are the front line and you cant get past that front line so she coped a serving and told yo pass it on and up the line and we needed someone who could actually do something about the situation to contact us. My husband got an email (they wouldn't call in person as requested) saying the had no inverters at the moment to fix ours. This is totally different to no technicians available. What I find extremely strange is that they actually have no idea of what our problem is yet as no one has been out to diagnose, troubleshoot the problem. They whole system is down and they do not know what is in need of fixing and because its still under warranty we cant get someone else out to do it. DO NOT USE TRUE VALUE SOLAR! If you do know its extremely risky long term. Show additional information
It took 6 months yes 6 months for them to accept as a customer then 3 months to install. in 2017 Jan there was heavy than normal rain which flooded my kitchen. Insurance company and independent assessors both identified that the installation done prior to 2011 used brackets to small thus the rain dams up washes back floods inside roof. TRUVALUE Solar responses for 7 months "not Truvalue problem" your install warranty guarantee has run out. My response as per article on Consmer affairs web site prior to 2011 items must be fit for purpose, the brackets and install are not fit for purpose. TruValue Solar response is......silence....ACCC here I come. Anyone up for class action? Show additional information
I have had no trouble with the True Value Solar system. It has payed for itself and made money . . It one of the neatest system I have ever seen installed .. I would highly recommend one of these systems. Show additional information
Haven't had it installed yet so can't comment on that. I used your website to check the products they are using and they're all top grade. Of the three quotes, I think I received only one or two quotes. Pretty sure I never heard from one company. Show additional information
Custom Service was atrocious from one and the other just took to long to quote. Show additional information
Installed within 1 week. Electrician came out on day 3 for a site inspection and back to install 2 days late. Show additional information
Waiting on warranty no one gets back to me with an answer Show additional information
Shameful customer service - if you have to follow up with them- it will take you ages to sort out. don't use them.. Show additional information
Very poor quality solar panels, not suitable for the Perth weather, couldn't withstand a very minor hailstorm. Go for a more durable product. would not recommend this product. Also very difficult to get through customer service. Expected the panels to last 15-25 years, but lasted only 15 months!! Show additional information
True Value Solar installed a system in 2014 with roof space damage only rectified after a social media campaign. They had no interest until then, ignoring multiple emails.

In February the inverter failed. 5 year warranty and True Value Solar state they carry no spares. Oh, that's right, they are a SALES company, with contractors doing the installs. Anyway, I was told 4 to 6 weeks for replacement. Now 9 weeks and counting...

Wish I had known what a nightmare this company is. Avoid at all costs.
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Bought 5 kW system from True Value. After 2 yrs the Inverter died rang them for warranty on inverter to either fix or replace told that there is a 4-6 week call out time as very busy with service calls on Inverters. Going by all the reviews this company has been getting on others sites as well they do not use a very reliable brand of Inverter even though at time of purchase we were told that they are one of the best and hadn't had any negative comments or complaints about them, but when asked to speak to the salesman who sold us the unit told to no longer works there, amazing.....
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Myself and other people I've spoken to have wasted our money. They supplied us with faulty inverters and are not taking ownership of the issue and we are all left with products that will no longer work. I'm calling The ACCC. Show additional information
Only one of the three providers that you gave my details to even bothered to contact me and that provider said that they were not interested in dealing with me as I am in country WA and they said that they could not compete with the larger national providers. I heard absolutely nothing from the other two providers. I do not in any way lay any blame on Solar Quotes but I am very disappointed in the industry as a whole for what I perceive as exceptionally poor performance. I ended up using a well known national provider which was recommended to me for their service and product quality. Show additional information
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Had to chase up other companies too much to even get a quote for solar - TVS was the only one who spent time with me on the phone to come up with an accurate quote Show additional information
System installed and defective. Repeated requests for time to rectify failed to get an answer. True value put on charges for things that are not done such as site inspection which did not happen. Would not use again. Show additional information
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Had excellent sales person, approved and signed contract on Tuesday 8/11/16 with request to install asap. Contacted Wednesday 9/11/16 to book installation and installed on Thursday 10/11/16. Installer was local electrician who has completed other electrical work for new home construction near my home with excellent reputation. He went through installation with me and answered questions and discussed layout options. All work done to very high standard. All paperwork submitted promptly, electrical inspection completed 13/12, Red Energy sent contract options through on 16/12, approved contract 17/12, meter reconfigured 29/12 and system fully operational on 6/1/17.

All completed with no additional work or follow up from me. Very easy.
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If you go with True Value Solar suggest upgrading the inverter. They will promote the up sell you anyway. Show additional information
They were great except there was a 3 month delay between signing up and getting the system installed - we live in a rural area. Show additional information
Found most of the sales staff okay but not very interested and price was a $1000 more fore same items and in some cases over $3000 more felt we were being ripped off. Show additional information
True value solar offered great and prompt replies to my requests and installation occurred earlier than advised Show additional information
The salesman from the company initially recommended, gave us information based on assumptions he had made about our electricity useage instead of asking us. That put me off considering I had done a LOT of research. He then didn't reply to an email I sent although we had been in contact via email already. The company we did buy from (although I know it was shunning the smaller, local companies) offered us top quality products for the best price up front and were really easy to talk to. They said all the expected things and were honest about not upselling to a product that wasn't in my best interests. Your website was super awesome and I'm still using it to continue to learn. Show additional information
Phone Salesman was really good. Nice bloke and talked candidly (although hard to prove he told the truth...). Show additional information
I have used True Value Solar on our previous house and was very happy with the service and quality of the installation/equipment.
This time I will be having a 5.98Kw system with 23 panels rated at 260w and a Bosch inverter rated at 6Kw maximum and the total cost will be
$4899.00 inclusive of all charges and GST. My current property has a North facing area on the roof which will easily take the 23 panels.
I'd like to thank you for all your efforts to allow me to get a system that will be saving money in the long term and wish you luck for the future,
Best regards
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My system was installed on the 20th of September and the installers said maximum 2 weeks for it to be up and running (with sa power networks installing a new meter). It has now been 7 weeks and no response to my queries. I should not to chase up when a service is apparently being provided to me. Communication is fine before payment, after payment they clearly don't care. I don't recommend this company. REALLY DISAPPOINTING!!!! I have read multiple reviews also complaining abut poor service (after I had purchased obviously) Show additional information
Even when the deposit had been paid they would not answer emails or phone. Actually thought I had been scammed. Also never received $500 worth of cleaning solution that had been included in the deal...gave up trying to contact them eventually.
My parents also got a system and inverter failed after less than 2 years. Again True Value will not answer emails. They still have some warranty left so will hopefully sort out "eventually". Days after my 5 year warranty ran out the inverter failed. About to put a new 6.5kw system on and True Value will not even be considered.
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Paid the deposit and 5 minutes later they rang me back and had the whole system installed the next morning.
Maybe I was lucky!
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They installed the unit upside down and it eventually filled with water and rusted out. When we requested a refund for replacement costs and labour, they refused. Show additional information
We only just got our first power bill here and it was more than expected. Someone we know just went through True Value Solar and was very happy. As it turned out they had an "Olympic Special" for 5kw systems at the time and all we did was change to Jinko panels. The price was the same as we got quoted earlier for a 3kw system so we decided to go with it. Show additional information
It's exactly Five Years since it was installed by TVS,
and has just failed, this week - was very reliable system.

Still waiting for TVS to come and fix it.
- It's been a week now, with no output.
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The actual contractor installer was really not good enough. We had power lines visible on the 4 roofs going from one roof to another. They had to come back and put the power cables inside the roof space. Also they didnot program the inverter properly. When I told True Solar they sent out a technician to fix this.

I can recommend True Solar but not the contractor who installed the system.

However, the solar panels work beautifully and we are extremely happy with their performance.
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I received 3 quotes you suggested from Energy aware , Madison and Mark group. Mark group were the only ones to send out a rep to quote face to face which was valuable.
I then saw an add from True value solar who also gave me a quote. At the end of it all I went with True Value as they were $2000.00 cheaper. I couldn't justify the extra expense with the others which was similar quality hardware in my opinion. I received 23 x 260W Hanwha Solar 1 panels & a Bosch 4.6kw inverter. So far all performing well.
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