SOLAR panel installer Roger Small has warned the region’s residents to be careful of “get rich quick” merchants.Mr Small freely admits he is in competition, but urges people to take care before signing on the dotted line. 

“Just check out the fine print. That’s all I’m asking,” he said.

He said he decided to come to The Argus after he was approached by customers telling him of some of the “deals” being offered by telemarketers and fly-by-nighters.

“They ring up and put the pressure on and I reckon people , especially some older people, will get caught out.”

“They say things like, ‘We’re leaving town tonight so you have to sign up now’.”

“Well no you don’t,” he said.

Mr Small said he had a number of concerns and a number of points buyers should take note of.

What’s the guarantee?

And will the company really be around in 25 years to make good on it?

Where do the parts come from?

How long has the company who’s providing the product been in business?

“I only buy quality panels that have been tried and tested in the market place over 30 years.

“They are tried and tested.

“There are cheaper options but how long will they last?”

Another way customers can rorted by the fine print is RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).

Even Mr Small admits it’s a little difficult to explain.

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme has been established to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable energy sources to meet the Government’s commitment to achieving a 20percent share of renewables in Australia’s electricity supply in 2020.

RECs are similar to shares and can be traded and just like shares the price fluctuates depending on supply and demand.

How many RECs you receive depends on how big a system you install.

In basic terms, these RECs are traded to the installer. He takes their value at the time of transaction off your bill.

However, some installer will tell you the RECs are worth, around $40.

They will then give you a quote using that figure.

In fact at the time of transaction the RECs might only be worth $25, Mr Small said.

“You only discover that if you read the fine print and I’ve seen a contract where you literally had to have a magnifying glass to read it,” he said.

“They’ll also quote freight, but don’t explain, except in the fine print, that’s only a 100km from Brisbane.

“In the end you pay more for freight, you pay more because the RECs don’t make as much, they provide cheap product and the guarantee is worthless,” he said.

“I’m not saying they are all like that. But the buyer really needs to beware and check it all out,” he said.

source: goondiwindiargus