What is it that makes a solar installation successful? At Econnect Solar we believe the secret is both choosing the best solar company for you, and making sure they follow this process.
If the solar company you choose complete each of these steps to the highest standard, according to regulatory guidelines, you can’t go wrong.
1. A Personalised, Detailed Energy Assessment
The first step to getting the best solar installation is an in-home, personalised energy assessment. Beware of solar quotes when the company doesn’t ask to know your current electrical set up, recent bills or usage.
Your solar system must be designed to suit you. This is to ensure that your solar repayments cover the cost of your system. This step is crucial, as it shows you just how much the solar company understands about how solar can work for you.
Now, we’re not saying these assessments can’t be completed virtually. In fact, COVID taught us that we can achieve anything we put our mind to. However, images of your switchboard, recent bills and usage are all necessary to design a solar system that will get you a high return.
If the company you are looking at provides you with a design, ask if it was designed by Clean Energy Council Accredited electricians. Some dodgy solar ‘bobs’ allow their salesman to create the designs which usually means the installers needs to change it on the day, costing you more than you expected.
2. Support with applications and paperwork
In your assessment, the representative from your solar company should understand every detail of the application process. If they don’t, that could be a sign they’re not professionally trained.
In the appointment, you should get support with finance applications, but you should also be given the choice to make a payment upfront, to save on finance fees. If they do not offer you this, be careful. Every company should provide you with the opportunity to save money by paying for your solar installation upfront.
Once your assessment is over, your solar installation company should then start completing remote electrical audits and organising all the regulatory paperwork.
This starts with your connect application. This application asks for permission from your network distributor to put solar on your home. Your network distributor looks after the electrical grid in your area. After submitting your application, it takes 3-5 working days to receive approval. You must get approval before you solar company can start your installation.
If your company does not handle connect applications, be wary.
3. Safe & Efficient Installations by Qualified Electricians
Standard solar installations by qualified electricians shouldn’t take longer than 4-8 hours. However, depending on on a number of factors like size, difficulty and ease of access, sometimes installations can take longer.
Successful solar installations must account for the weather to be completed safely. If there is rain, hail or other dangerous weather conditions, a reputable solar company will not complete the install.
At Econnect Solar we’ve had customers complain about this, but we stand by the fact we focus on safety and efficiency first. We will not risk damage to your roof, or the wellbeing of our in-house electricians for a quick installation.
Once the installation is complete the installers should perform some tests on the system to make sure it’s functioning correctly. If you’re in the ACT, you will then have a visit from the local solar inspector. If your company does not organise this, they’re dodgy!
Great solar companies will take time at the end of the installation to explain how your system works. Including the fact you must keep your system switched OFF until your smart meter has been installed or configured.
Step 4: The Meter Installation
The final step to the solar installation process is the installation of your smart meter. The smart meter reads your homes solar export.
In order for this to happen, a reputable solar company will always provide the information your retailer and network provider needs, about a week after installation.
After sending off the application, it is up to your energy provider to install the meter. However, a good solar company will be there to support you in communicating with your retailer. Our team always helps with the process, and offer tips such as calling your energy retailer 7 days after installation to hurry them up.
When your meter has been installed you can switch your solar system on. Then, it’s time to think about batteries. If you want to find out whether you should invest in solar batteries, click here.
Overall, these are four simple steps that any good solar company should follow when completing your solar installation. If they’re not following this process, you may want to double check their credentials.