3 tips for securing a good deal

Whether it's with Cherry or another company, YEF is here to help.

Competition is fierce in the solar industry. Rapid advancements in technology combined with endlessly rising energy prices mean that people want to take advantage of solar energy more than ever before. Unfortunately, this leaves the door wide open for some questionable companies taking advantage of the situation and in turn, their customers. As door knockers start talking kilowatts and inverters, most people are struggling to keep up and can be easily mislead. Shoddy workmanship, poor quality products, and general misinformation are sadly very common, with residents often sold systems that will provide a very poor return on investment and little difference to annual power bills.

The Bogie Bulk Buy aims to clear away all this confusion and provide transparency around installing solar, which is why YEF is on hand to provide independent advice on the quote you have been provided. This may be from Cherry, or it may be from a different company – we encourage people to shop around.

Tip #1: Do your Homework

Wherever you get your quote from, do some research. Throw the name of the company into Google and see if anything questionable emerges from forums or articles. Look through the company website for red flags such as incorrect spelling, lack of company information, or web contact forms rather than actual contact details. If something seems awry, it probably is.

Tip #2: Be wary of door knockers

While there are some reputable solar companies that do employ door knocking as a way to reach out to people, we would always strongly encourage people to approach these offers with extra caution. If someone turns up unannounced, don't sign anything on the day and allow yourself time to do some research, no matter how time-pressed the offer may seem. We've seen worrying examples of $2000 'vouchers' being offered but only if the deal is signed off right then and there. Don't be rushed in to anything.

We have also heard stories of existing solar customers being told by door knockers that by adding extra panels to their installation, they won't lose their current feed-in tariff. This is untrue. Installing extra panels will automatically mean that your feed-in tariff will drop to 11.3 cents (at current, but subject to change). While losing a high feed-in tariff may still make long-term financial sense for residents with very small existing systems, don't be fooled that your feed-in tariff won't change along with a new install.

Tip #3: If in doubt, call YEF

This is why the Yarra Energy Foundation is involved in the Bogie Bulk Buy. Call them on 1300 866 634 to discuss your options, or ask about a quote that you have been given. This may be with Cherry or another company – their independence means that they will give you an impartial response.

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This is a Strathbogie Shire program powered by the Yarra Energy Foundation. Cherry Energy Solutions is the solar provider.