Pitfalls of solar installations arranged by marketing companies

We have been in this industry for a long time, starting back when panels were for hippies, and there were no rebates.

Unfortunately, with solar becoming more fashionable, and rebates kicking around, some companies with limited engineering or trades experience have entered the industry, and worse, these operators not only lack experience but also are thinking very short term.

Here are some common mistakes or tactics used by marketing companies:

  1. No Electrical Licence (our licence is 244836C)
  2. Licence not in the name of the marketing body, or not displayed on website and stationery as required by law
  3. Sales staff and management have no experience installing solar (big X)
  4. Installations are completed by sub contractors of subcontractors of subcontractors. Subcontracting has its place, but any contract should specify installation staff of the principal would be working with the subcontractors, and that subcontractors would not be authorised to further contract out the work. Too many layers of contractors means corners must be cut to preserve margins.
  5. Penetration for cable conduit in roof material is not done with an appropriate flashing.
  6. Penetrations under support feet of the racking system are not sealed, and/or do not have an appropriate rubber gasket
  7. Cable is of wrong size and type
  8. Circuit breakers and isolators are of poor quality, unsuitable to outdoors, and underrated.
  9. Installers don’t even know the relevant standard numbers off by heart (they are AS5033:2012, AS4777, AS3000) – let alone the contents of the standards
  10. Installers have not recently completed any form of professional development
  11. Cables are not properly restrained on the roof
  12. Signage is insufficient
  13. No training is provided by the marketing company to the end user.