June 4, 2012
Following hot on the heels of local Member Bruce Scott raising the issue of dodgy solar installations in Kingaroy, a local solar installer has issued his own warning – beware of telemarketers!
Mr Scott, the Federal Member for Maranoa, was criticising the Federal Government’s solar panel program and the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme last Thursday when he started giving examples of what he claimed were dodgy installations.
“I had another case, from someone very near Kingaroy,” he said.
“This really got to me. This person got in touch with my office and said the panels had been installed but simply do not work. He has paid his deposit and extra money, paid the subcontractor an additional amount of money because of the height of the roof, and yet the installer did not have any safety equipment when he went up there onto the roof.
“This person also noted that when the installer was putting the panels in place, he was using the light of a mobile phone to do the connections. Is it any wonder they do not work?”
Go Green Generation owners Greg and Kelly Taffe said they were aware of people in the South Burnett who had been conned by telemarketers.
“The telemarketers call up and con people into buying their products. They then send scouts out in the area to door knock,” Greg said.
“We’ve seen a lot of quotes from people which have extras missing which are then demanded by the installer when they turn up often asking for cash.
“Extras often missed included switchboard upgrades to have a solar meter fitted as well as a tilt, or tile brackets.”
Greg said it was a requirement of the Clean Energy Council for solar companies to do a site evaluation.
“Customers should always demand a site evaluation and any reputable company will do one,” he said.
“If there is no site evaluation they cannot estimate the solar access or where the inverter will be located.
“Alarm bells should start ringing if the solar company asks for a large deposit, or an all up-front payment. If they ask for more than $500 you should be aware.”
He said all accredited solar installers must also carry a photo ID with a licence number on it.
“You should always ask to see this before you allow any installer to begin work on a solar installation,” Greg said.
If people wanted to choose from a list of accredited solar installers, they should visit the Clean Energy Council website and use the Find an Installer search engine.
“If anyone is having difficulties with a solar installation they can contact us and we will do all we can to assist them,” Greg said.