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True Value Solar Reviews

Based on 390 reviews

  • 5 star 40
  • 4 star 244
  • 3 star 74
  • 2 star 22
  • 1 star 8

Average Customer Review

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  • System Quality
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About True Value Solar, Solar Installers

True Value Solar is Australia's largest solar installation company. 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, 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 get good quality, reliable installations and, in my opinion, recommending them won’t help us achieve that.

The good news about True Value Solar is that they have become less shonky 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 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:
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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Panels have been switched on for about 2 weeks Show additional information
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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True Value do use aggressive (but not in a rude way) telephone sales. As long as you research the placement of panels and the install is a straight install the process is great. They don't do a physical site assessment but rely on aerial photos. They also don't do a physical inspection of the power box till install day.
They get a deposit over the phone (credit card) and request the remainder of the payment to be payed during the installation and not at the end.
The electrical work was excellent but the placement of the panels although secure were not totally flat (Just a bit).
Installation was done very quickly (within 7 days after deposit was paID). There were no changes to the agreed price.
I highly recommend True Value as long as install is a straight forward one and you discuss and agree with the placement of the panels with them before you pay the deposit.
Great prices especially when they have a good sale $3900 for 4.7 KW inverter with 5.72KW panels
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Being installed end of May Show additional information
Followed up every step of the way with calls from their head office to check everything was as expected. Very happy with their customer service. Show additional information
We were very pleased with the quality of info they gave us and the installer was very good.He was very informative and went through all the details of the system with us .Overall we were very satisfied with the whole installation. Show additional information
Wile I was thinking of paying a bit more and the quotes and the people I spoke to through Solar Quotes were great and informative, the sale price of the system from True Value Solar was to good to pass up. The people I spoke to have been great so far. I haven't had it installed yet but I hope I have made the best choice and only time will tell. Show additional information
23 Panels plus Bosch Inverter, surprisingly good service. Show additional information
I understand solar systems and this is a good quality system and far cheaper than others Show additional information
Before I started looking into solar panels, I had very little understanding of how the systems worked, or their financial cost. The information and reviews available on the website was extremely helpful to me in building my solar knowledge before signing a contract with a supplier. I found several locals who had various types of systems and my new found knowledge allowed me to learn more from their experiences. I felt like a real expert, knowing more than them in some cases. staff also provided specific and prompt opinions on panels, inverters and suppliers I had been talking too. I was able ask all the technical questions to push for a better deal and product from the supplier. My system has only been in for 2 weeks and I am extremely happy. The knowledge gained also empowered me to to negotiate a better deal with electricity retailers, a win win again. My next task is to research battery storage options and prices rather then obtaining a feed in rate, and see if i can use my panels to replace my off peak supply for hot water. Thank you for your valuable assistant and education over the past few months. Show additional information
Value for money large system 5.5KW 22x250 panels installer complete professional in his job Show additional information
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I went with True Value Solar with a sub $2k 1.5 kW system. System was installed a week after ordering. I was kind of expecting cheap and nasty, but the quality workmanship of the install was pleasantly surprising. Expecting I'll get what I paid for, we'll see if the panels and inverter last long. Show additional information
Prompt and as quoted and very good service Show additional information
The Solax inverter has stopped working twice, it is now the beginning of February and we haven't had it working for nearly three weeks. The technician needs to come from Melbourne apparently and they don't seem to care about country customers. I have to chase them up constantly, they don't ring back, they don't communicate. Show additional information
Tonkins Electrical installed my Solar System done a great job,
I Would recommend Them.
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Service was great and company that did the install was very helpful thank you for the service as well Show additional information
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Installation and the order process was good
Very disappointed in the activation from the power network - 4 weeks and still not turned on. Minimum 6 weeks for flicking a switch and taking a a piece of paper away.
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I was going to get another company to match True Value's quote but they couldn't match the system as well as the price. True Value were happy to supply the equipment I wanted and had the best price too. Show additional information
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Seemless process, the customer service was great and the installers were really helpful
The only down size was the 20 panels that were ordered wouldn't fit on the roof, we did however end up with 16 panels.
It will be interesting to get our first bill to see the advantage of having solar installed
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This would be the worst company that I have ever delt with. They are extremely hard to contact once you have paid your money. After sales service is almost non existent. I definitely would have been better off to use a better company.
Don't use them under any circumstance.
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I contacted Solarquotes shortly before my trip overseas and received only two quotes. Third, I was supposed to receive after my return, unfortunately I was too busy to contact the last installer. Two quotes I received were in excess of $5k for a 3kW system. Joe from SolarGain was most helpful and knowledgeable, unfortunately he failed to offer an alternative system when I asked for a lower price. (He actually offered me a cheaper system only when I told him that I was signing with TVS, but it was too late as I don't like to change my mind). I've decided to go for the 5kW system from True Value Solar that was offered for under $5k. Their customer service was quite friendly and efficient. My system was installed within 4 days from signing contract with TVS. Installers arrived at 8am (as advised) and the job was completed by 2.30pm. Brendan Kennedy from BKW Group (independent contractor for TVS) was very helpful with all explanation and again very knowledgeable. I received 20 I-Solar panels (13 of them on tilt frames), Growatt MTLS inverter and Home energy monitor (free of charge). All railing looks perfect and high quality. Following day I had an inspector to check the job and application is already with the electricity company.
TVS system may not be the best and the most efficient, but I can't see anything wrong with it and it offers a great value for money. TVS is also very efficient with providing their service.
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True value arranged everything intallation was done within two weeks and left everything clean and tidy

Very impressed with the installers and the salesperson who put me under no pressure
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