My Solar Has Stopped Working and My Solar Installer Has Closed Their Business: What Do I Do?

0


Have you become a Solar Orphan? When a solar retailer closes permanently, the business’s customers are often left in a state of limbo. What happens if your solar system suddenly stops working? Will the product and installation warranties still be honoured?

In this blog, we’ll look into the options available for residential and business customers who are left without a solar installer to turn to.

What is a Solar Orphan?

The term ‘Solar Orphan’ was born during a dark era in Australia’s solar history. The federal Solar Homes Program gave rise to many solar retailers who closed up shop as quickly as they entered the market. These businesses took advantage of the generous rebates and often used shonky installers to install shonky products. When the inevitable issues arose from the poor installations and low-quality products, the retailers were nowhere to be seen. These customers would suddenly become orphaned – lending to the name.

Thanks to the fantastic work of government and independent bodies, this issue is mostly a thing of a bygone era. However, there are still instances where businesses legitimately go out of business or close up due to varying factors.

What are my rights if my solar installer no longer exists?

There are many reasons why a business ends in Australia and the reasoning plays an important role when determining your rights and options.

Solar retailers opting to close their business

In the event that your solar installer chooses to close up shop, the business is obligated to follow some legal steps. However, depending on the circumstances, the business is unlikely to honour its warranties.

If the business chooses to, they can offload their warranty obligations to a third-party administrator. All customer data will be provided to this third party securely. Any future installation warranties will need to be raised with this third party. The product warranties should be unaffected. This is an unlikely scenario.

The more likely scenario is that the business will declare bankruptcy. If this is the case for you, we recommend contacting the ACCC, ASIC, or your state regulatory body (listed at the end of this section). Your product warranties should still be in place. Contact the manufacturer of the affected components (such as the solar panels or inverter) to make a warranty claim.

ACCC website

Solar retailers who become bankrupt or insolvent

Bankrupt or insolvent solar retailers should follow the correct procedure which should result in the business being administered by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). 

It is unlikely that the installation warranty will be honoured, however, your product warranty should still be actionable. Contact the manufacturer of the affected product.

Solar retailers who go into liquidation

A solar retailer who chooses to enter liquidation will have their matters attended to by an administrator. You will need to contact this administrator for installation warranty claims. For product warranty claims, you can contact the administrator or the manufacturer directly.

Contacts for assistance by state

ACT: Access Canberra, 13 22 81

NSW: Fair Trading, 13 32 20

NT: Consumer Affairs, 1800 019 319

QLD: Office of Fair Trading, 13 74 68

SA: Consumer and Business Services, 131 882

TAS: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading, 1300 654 499

VIC: Consumer Affairs, 1300 558 181

WA: Consumer Protection: 1300 304 054

What’s the difference between installation and product warranty?

When your solar system is installed, you will be provided a warranty that covers the installation of the system and warranties that cover the products. Whether your installer is in the picture or not, you can contact the manufacturer of the solar product directly to handle product warranties. If your installer is operating, we suggest handling product warranties through them as the process will usually be quicker and the expense of reinstalling should be covered by the installation warranty. If you opt to make a product claim yourself, you may be liable for the costs to reinstall the product.

It is vital that you keep and protect all receipts and documents provided to you at the time of installation. 

In conclusion

Finding out that your solar installer is no longer in business can be frustrating. In some circumstances, you may also find yourself out of pocket for the removal and reinstallation of products covered under warranty. If you do find yourself in this situation, Energy Matters can provide you with additional guidance. Please feel free to give us a call at 1800 362 883 or email us at info@energymatters.com.au

We also offer a FREE solar quotes service. We will pair you with trusted local installers who are ready to provide you with no-obligation quotes.



Source_link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *