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CEC Top 10 Tips for Buying Solar

Media Release

Monday 26 June 2012 

Top 10 tips for buying solar

With Federal Government support for buying solar set to reduce by a third from 1 July, the Clean Energy Council has reminded consumers to take care when purchasing solar power systems.

Clean Energy Council acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said solar power systems were a great way to reduce household power bills, but urged consumers to do their homework.

“The Clean Energy Council has developed a comprehensive guide for people who are interested in going solar, to make sure they ask the right questions and buy a system that is right for them. It’s free and you can download it from www.solaraccreditation.com.au,” Mr Thornton said.

“Solar companies will be advertising ahead of the drop in the Solar Credits scheme from July, and it’s important that people go into any major purchase with their eyes open.”

The Clean Energy Council recommends that consumers follow these top 10 tips when buying a solar power system:

  1.    Be an informed consumer.Research your options, be clear on your needs and compare quotes.
  2.    Know your daily electricity consumption.By understanding what you use, you can assess how much you would like your solar system to generate, depending on your budget.
  3.    Get an estimate of how much energy your system will generate. Your contract should include an estimate of the average daily output of your system in kilowatt-hours (based on where you live and the size and position of your system).
  4.    Check with your electricity retailer. Never purchase a solar system without knowing what rate you will be paid for the electricity you generate and whether this will affect any hourly rates in your electricity bill.
  5.    Always use a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer. You can check your installer is accredited at www.solaraccreditation.com.au
  6.    Avoid online or mail order suppliers who don’t come to your home.An on-site visit will ensure a thoughtfully designed and well-planned installation.
  7.    Use products that meet Australian standards. Your installer must provide proof the panels and inverters meet the standards. You can also check the product list at www.solaraccreditation.com.au
  8.    Check the conditions of product warranties and work guarantees. Know who is providing the warranty (manufacturer or importer) and how long it lasts.
  9.    Keep the documentation. A copy of your contract is necessary to resolve any disputes down the track.
  10.    Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Visit www.solaraccreditation.com.au/consumers/consumerguide.html for a copy of the Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to Buying Household Solar Panels.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981.
The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. It is an industry body that provides a unified voice for more than 600 solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, wave, bioenergy, cogeneration, storage and energy efficiency companies. More information at www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

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