Have you had a call recently?

You know that call that comes from a telemarketer informing you of the great money you can make on Solar? We all get them and yes, they are annoying. But there is more to that call than just an annoying pushy salesperson just doing their job. As one of them told me one day while I was trying to brush him off. The problem is that they are destroying the reputation of the Solar Industry.

The Solar Industry

The Solar Industry has a bad reputation of companies trying to scam good people out of their money. But if you looked deeper the industry it is also full of regulations and qualified electricians who really know their stuff. Electricians who have jumped through the hoops that the Clean Energy Council (CEC) gives them to ensure that the standards and safety requirements are met.

Every Installation must be approved

Did you know that every Solar installation must be signed off by a government official who gives a thorough check to make sure everything is in place? This process is however often circumvented by less reputable sales organisations who will either do the bear minimum or skip the process altogether. This bear minimum includes cheap inverters and equipment that will break down in a short period. But still pass the initial tests. Yes, and these are generally the telemarketing organisations that will do this. Their pricing is good but you will pay in the long run.

Do it right

That’s why if you are looking at installing a Solar system at your property make sure it is done by the right company. A company that is CEC certified and the installer is the one you talk to when they come to your premises. An installer who knows what they are talking about and will pride themselves on quality and doing the right thing for you. This way at the very least the equipment is good and will last. And more importantly the system will have the proper safety requirements. We are dealing with electricity, a very dangerous energy source, why would you even consider not using the right quality products.

Use a Quality Installer

So next time a telemarketer calls and tries to sell you a Solar System just let them know that you are in good hands with a quality installer who you have contacted yourself.

Choosing the right Solar installer what to look for part IV – The Products

THE PRODUCTS

We all like to get a better deal for our money. So when companies are giving you a price for something that seems too good. It generally is. When it comes to a solar system choosing the best Solar products is always the better option. Companies will give you a better price will be compromising on the equipment they will be using. So before you go into a contract with a solar company here are a few things you should consider.

Does the manufacturer of each product have an office in Australia?

This is an important question as it relates to how quickly you can get a replacement or service when something goes wrong. When it comes to the inverter it is very important to have someone local to service you. The inverter is one of the most important aspects of the solar system and when it goes nothing will work.

If They have an Australian Office.

Here are things to look for:
If they do have an Australian office, then the after sales support you expect for your system is likely to be available. Ask about the service and what it entails. Make sure you are fully covered in case of an emergency.

If the manufacturer is overseas but has appointed a distributor in Australia, make sure they have a long history in the industry. Make sure they are an authorised warranty agent. this way you are also likely to have good after-sales support.

Make sure that you or the installer fills in any warranty card and the warranty is provided by the company selling you the system. Because when the company stops trading the warranty disappears.

After sales service

Is the person providing your after-sales service within reasonable travel distance?

If you have a system problem and the person responsible for looking after you is too far away, then it may be weeks or even months before you have someone able to check your system.

The Australian solar scene is littered with companies that are here today and gone tomorrow and have left behind a lot of upset customers with a warranty not worth the paper it is written on.

Choosing the right solar company part III – The Sales People

In this article, we will be talking about how to look for the right Solar Company by looking at their salespeople. Sometimes you should beware the Solar Salesperson. There are so many solar companies in Gippsland that may have Salespeople calling. They will show you all the benefits of Solar. But not all Solar companies are reputable and honest. So how do you find the right Solar company?

THE SALES PEOPLE

With all companies there is a certain amount of selling that must take place for you to buy off them. When buying a solar system there are things you should be aware of when talking to a solar sales person.

Are the people trying to sell you a solar system, employees of the company?

This point is mainly to do with the setup of the sales activity. Some companies will use external telemarketers to push solar to you. These are generally commission only sales people. Commission only sales people often have a focus on their commission rather than what you need. They are also more likely to apply high pressure sales tactics and they may exaggerate the benefits.

They need the sale

They will generally talk about how they have someone in your area who just wants to talk to you about the benefits of solar. Then the sales person comes to your property and gives you the spiel. Be aware of this approach as both the appointment setter and the salesperson is under a lot of pressure to make a sale. This usually ends up with a disappointing result as falsities and lies may occur to get the sale.

Does the sales person have design and/or installation experience?

If they haven’t been trained on design and/or installation, they may not be able to realistically assess your situation and therefore provide the right advice and quote on an appropriate system. By having the knowledge of energy systems, the person who comes to your property will look at everything before they even talk about solar.

An Energy system

You must remember that you are buying an energy system and not just something that saves you money. If this system is not right for your needs, then it could end up costing you more than you receive.

Choosing a Solar Company what to look for Part II – The Installer

In this article, we will be talking about how to look for the right Solar Installer in Gippsland. As mentioned in the last article not all Solar companies are reputable and honest. So how do you find the right Solar company?

THE INSTALLERS

Once the sale is completed the real job starts on the solar system. This takes a lot of time and effort to do it right. A Solar installer should be a qualified electrician and have a Clean Energy Council accreditation. So, one of the first thing that you should look for is:

Is there an accredited solar installer on the installation team or supervising your job?

The Clean Energy Council insists that the job is signed off by an accredited installer. Without an accredited person on site, it is illegal to claim the STCs (your deduction on the job). there are many reasons for this one being safety. You are installing an electrical system on your property. this system is generally connected to the grid. If the job is not done to the Australian standards the ramifications could be catastrophic.

Ask for the Accreditation number

Always ask for the accreditation number of the person who will be on site, and check that they actually turn up. There is too much at stake f the job isn’t signed off properly.
Are the solar installation crew employees of the company or long-term contractors?
If they are employees or long-term contractors on an hourly rate, they are more likely to ensure a quality installation. If they are fixed price contractors, usually poorly paid, their only interest is getting the job done as quickly as possible and move onto the next job, so they can make a decent living. This often results in poor quality of installation and corner cutting to get the job quickly.

Once again it is a simple case of asking the right questions and checking out who is really doing the job. There is too much risk going for a cheap operator who just wants to make money out of Solar.

Choosing a Solar Company what to look for Part I

In this series of articles, we will be talking about how to look for the right Solar Company. There are so many solar companies in Gippsland that all have a great offer. They can save you money and lower your electricity costs. But not all Solar companies are reputable and honest. So how do you find the right Solar company?

The Company

There are two main questions that you need to know about the company and they are:

How long have they been in business?

A Solar system is a long-term investment. If things break or are not working properly you will want the installing company to be around to fix it. There are some bad operators out there that will set up a company only to make money. If issues happen such as financial problems, they will close the company and create a new one with a different name shortly after. If you have any problems with the old company, you may just lose your money. Make sure it is a long-standing company before you go into any arrangements.

Are they local and close enough to be able to give you reliable after sales service?

If there are problems, you may want a local firm that will be there for you. Sometimes telemarketers call from companies that are not in your area. They may give you a good deal, but can they look after you when things go wrong?

Trentleck is a full member of SEIA Vic and always follow their rules and ways of doing things.
You are contemplating spending a substantial amount of money so ask the questions and get it right.

Why you should only buy quality Solar products?

Why you should only buy quality Solar products?

The Solar industry is booming. And with every industry that booms you get some good people and some bad. In our experience, we have come across many dissatisfied consumers who are left in the cold when their Solar company has done the wrong thing. The best way to avoid the heartache of being disillusioned is to always buy a quality Solar products. To help you out here are some solid reasons why you should buy quality.

The system is built to last.

The Solar System you put in your home or commercial property should last you for many years. Most of the good Solar panels will last up to 25 years. If the panels are going to last so long then It pays to have parts within the system lasting just as long. The last thing you want to be doing is replacing parts repeatedly. This will put a strain on the system as well as your wallet.

The safety issues

We must remember one thing. Electricity is a very dangerous power source. Faulty wiring, faulty parts can cause fire and personal injury including death. Why would you want to put your family or business at risk by using inadequate parts in this energy system? As mentioned in another story (Have you had a call recently story) a Solar installation must be signed off by a government official who gives a thorough check to make sure everything is in place. This process is however often circumvented by less reputable sales organisations who will either do the bare minimum or skip the process altogether. This bear minimum includes cheap inverters and equipment that will break down in a short period. But still, pass the initial tests.

Cheap always end up costing more

When cheap parts are used in a system it is hard to know when something breaks down. This as mentioned earlier will require replacement parts but more importantly, you may be losing valuable feed in. One of the main benefits of a Solar System is the payment that you receive from feeding your excess power into the grid. If a part breaks down your system will draw power from the grid instead of from the Solar. Thus, you will only be notified when you receive your energy bill. Which is often 3 months later. By that time, it is too late to recoup your money.

So, as you can see sometimes the cheaper option will end up costing more. It is better to talk to the right people about a system that suits your needs as opposed to talking to someone who just wants to talk money.

Quality Solar Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley

Quality Solar Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley

If you are considering Installing a Solar System and you live in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley you should consider this first.

Have you had a call recently?

You know that call that comes from a telemarketer informing you of the great money you can make on Solar? We all get them and yes, they are annoying. But there is more to that call than just an annoying pushy salesperson just doing their job. As one of them told me one day while I was trying to brush him off. The problem is that they are destroying the reputation of the Solar industry.

It’s all about reputation.

The solar industry has a bad reputation of companies trying to scam good people out of their money. But if you looked deeper the industry it is also full of regulations and qualified electricians. Professionals who really know their stuff. Electricians who have jumped through the hoops that the Clean Energy Council (CEC) gives them. All to ensure that the standards and safety requirements are met.

Checks and Balances

Did you know that every Solar installation must be signed off by a government official who gives a thorough check to make sure everything is in place? This process is however often circumvented by less reputable sales organisations who will either do the bear minimum or skip the process altogether. This bear minimum includes cheap inverters and equipment that will break down in a short period. But still, pass the initial tests. Yes, and these are generally the telemarketing organisations that will do this. Their pricing is good but you will pay in the long run.

Choose the right company

That’s why if you are looking at installing a Solar system at your property make sure it is done by the right company. A company that is CEC certified and the installer is the one you talk to when they come to your premises. An installer who knows what they are talking about and will pride themselves on quality and doing the right thing for you. This way at the very least the equipment is good and will last. And more importantly, the system will have the proper safety requirements. We are dealing with electricity, a very dangerous energy source, why would you even consider not using the right quality products.

So next time a telemarketer calls and tries to sell you a Solar system just let them know that you are in good hands with a quality installer who you have contacted yourself.

 

What to look for when buying a Solar System

What to look for when buying a Solar System.

If you are thinking of installing a solar system for your farm in Gippsland or the Latrobe Valley you should consider this. Have you ever thought to yourself why don’t things last anymore? Well, the answer is generally because people are using cheap products that aren’t made to last. That’s ok if you are buying a consumer product that will only have a shelf life of several months or so. There is no big deal as you can just go and buy a new one.

But what if you are buying an energy system? A system that will produce enough energy that powers your appliances every day. Would you be satisfied if it kept breaking down or shutting off everytime you wanted to use the power? Of course, you wouldn’t.

Yet people still buy Solar Systems from companies that just do not have the credentials to do it right. That’s because they are looking at the price. In most cases, a Solar System is sold by the concept that it will either make or save you money. But if your system breaks down constantly and parts have to be replaced you are never going to save or make any money. It becomes a financial burden.

So, if you a looking for a Quality Solar system for your Farm here are some pointers to help you make the right decision.

1. Make sure the person selling the system is qualified technically.

A lot of Solar companies have sales people via the phone (telemarketing) or making an appointment with you themselves. Be careful of this approach as this is a sales person, not a qualified installer. They will look at your energy bills and say, “yes we can save you money, just sign here.” These people are selling money savings and not the system.

2. Make sure the people selling you the system talk about their equipment and why they use that equipment.

This is important as in the first point the person selling money and savings will also be trying to do the same for the company he works for. Therefore, it is often the case that they will use the cheaper products so they can make and save money. Cheap products often lead to a cheap and useless system.

3. Make sure you can talk to the installer.

There are good Solar companies that have their installers talk to the customer and not a sales person. Even better when the person you are talking to owns the company. This is because if the person owns the company then it is their reputation that is on the line. So, it is harder for them to shortcut you on the cheaper products.

4. Make sure the installing company is Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited.

The Clean Energy Council accredited installers have demonstrated that their Solar Systems meet extremely high standards of safety and performance. By using an accredited installer means you can have confidence, performance and reliability of your Solar System for many years to come. There’s also a financial benefit – to receive government rebates for your solar PV system, both the designer and installer must be accredited by the CEC. You must remember It is not an easy thing to become a CEC accredited installer.

So, if you are looking at a Solar System do your homework and talk to someone who knows what they are doing. This way they can design a system specifically for your needs and not theirs.

Farmers Reducing Energy Bills

More than just a solar system.

Thorpdale is one of the largest potato growing areas in Gippsland. Most farmers want to reduce the amount of energy that they were using. One of the farms that we have worked with already had a small solar system that was doing a good job but not enough to make a difference. Their power bills were still too high. So, they decided to investigate a larger solar system to reduce these costs.

They called us to see what we could suggest. As it is always our approach, we didn’t just look at installing more solar, we looked at the whole farm and its production methods. So, what we did was go to the farm and find out what equipment was in operation so we can design an energy efficient renewable system that would be the best for their needs.

Irrigation pumps and grading machinery

We walked around the farm to see what equipment was being used and why. There was the obvious farm machinery including irrigation pumps, grading machinery (for the different sizing of the potatoes) as well as the potato washing machines. All of which were using electricity to power the motors that keep them running. We also used our solar monitoring equipment that allows us to access information about how much power they were getting from their existing solar system and where that power was going.

Ausnet Certified

As we are certified with AusNet services we can access the electricity meter and analyse the data to work out exactly what their total usage is. We can also identify what times they are using the power. This is all valuable information that can help us to work out what is needed. For example, if they used most of their power at night we would not suggest a solar system alone as the power produced would be wasted.

By doing this analysis we found out that the existing solar system was too small for the packaging plant that was consuming its power. We redesigned their systems so that most of the power consumption was during the day (or sunlight hours). Systems like the hot water and pumps used for washing the potatoes, conveyors for transporting potatoes to the packaging line were re-schedules during this time. We then explained to them why we are using certain equipment at certain times and thus educated them to the best ways to optimise their energy production and use.  In short, they would turn systems off when not being used and only turn them on at the right time.

Variable speed drives

But we didn’t stop there. By using this data, we could modernise the farm. We also educated them to use tools such as variable speed drives to get the best out of the motors. For example, most motors will work flat out when they are turned on. This uses maximum power thus costs. By installing a variable speed drive on a motor, it will only run at the speed it needs to.

It works like this. If a machine only needs to run at 70% of speed to get the job done, the variable speed drive automatically calculates the speed that is needed. Thus, it only runs at 70%. In this case you are saving 30% on energy use every time it is used.

What we did was put variable speed drives on all the motors in the farm. This dramatically reduced the energy consumption in their production. Thus, saving costs. We also looked at the way they were using their energy and helped change the way they do things.

We are now happy to say that not only have they reduced their power bills but the farm is running at more efficiency as they are not replacing parts due to overuse.

Successful businesses are those that make the right decisions

Successful businesses are those that make the right decisions, and switching to renewable power is one of the best decisions your business could make. Renewable Power can be a fantastic economic investment as it gives your business the opportunity of tapping into the financial and environmental benefits of clean energy.

Make the smart choice and switch to Renewable Power today.

– Reduce the impact of rising electricity prices.

– Use your Renewable Power during the day and receive free energy.

– Saving you thousands of dollars on energy bills each year.

– Low risk, secure investment (Payoff within 3 – 4 years). Then it’s free electricity.

– Federal Government rebates available.

Reduced long term maintenance costs of energy.

Have you had a call recently?

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