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Byron Shire
December 3, 2022

Beware of solar scams

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Lee Cass, Byron Bay.

A warning to people wanting to go with solar power: comparing quotes and systems is a bit like comparing mobile phone plans with their many variables. I am trying to figure out how long it would take for my electricity savings from solar generation to ‘pay off’ a system and how much my electricity bill will be when I have paid it off. It’s not easy.

Currently there is a push from some companies under the title of ‘bulk buy.’ I couldn’t find any reviews about them on a search. Their prices seem to be comparative with other companies. I have currently had meetings with three businesses, with one to go [which is still to make a time with me for a site visit!]. Two have businesses in Byron, one is in Tweed Heads, one is Sydney-based as far as I can tell. One has door-knockers AND salespeople who get a commission each on a sale. Out of three companies only one [local] has looked at my roof, measured it and checked out the sun/shade ratio.

After a ‘bulk buy’ seminar, a one hour interview with their ‘expert’, a phone call regarding what system would be appropriate for my sometimes-shaded roof, the company sent me a contract: ‘Please find attach a copy of the proposed 3kW installation for your home, which may end up being a 2kW microinverter system (we can amend this later). To proceed with the installation and site inspection process, simply sign the document and I’ll take you through the next, very simple steps.’

I said I wouldn’t sign a contract without a site visit and without knowing what system I was buying. The 3Kw is $4600, the 2kW $6000. And the contract stated in tiny print that the terms and conditions would be sent to me if I requested them. This is really important with regard to warranties. Eg Is the local company responsible for the 25-year warranty or is it going to make the overseas manufacturer responsible?

If you don’t have the money they are happy to arrange finance for you. The finance is from elsewhere and will cost you much more.

There are big commissions going for some solar sales. Be careful, people.

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