A report on the findings of an investigation into solar power customer satisfaction was recently published by CHOICE, a consumer advocacy group. The latest CHOICE report reveals the underlying assumptions a solar company makes that induce them to stock particular products and provide excellent service to their customers.
CHOICE has said that 700 respondents took part in their solar survey. These included a mixture of rural and urban customers from across the country.
CHOICE report on solar power customer satisfaction
A quarter of solar PV system owners have had issues since installation
The aspect of the CHOICE report underlines the need to choose a reputable company which is capable and able to provide efficient after-sales service. This can be done by consumers doing their own research and by reading reviews that are easily accessible online. It is the best way consumers can determine if there are any previous issues with the company they are considering as well as their solar products and services.
German panels and inverters are considered better than Chinese ones
Although this conclusion is not based on factual reports, it still reflects the common assumption among solar consumers. Admittedly, this notion has a solid historical background, but lately, the gap between the quality and performance of European and Chinese solar panels have already shrunk to the extent that Chinese PV modules are now able to out-perform their European counterparts, without the expensive price tags.
Only 83% of Suntech customers are satisfied with their solar panels, while 85% of customers are satisfied with all the other brands of solar panels they are using. These statistics highlighting that the majority of customers are satisfied with their panels, regardless of the manufacturer.
CHOICE members paid $8,783 to buy & install solar system
It is projected that this figure will continue to decline in the coming years. For instance, upfront installation costs for solar power systems significantly dropped to what they were ten or even five years ago. Costs will continue to fall as technological advances in PV technology are made and improvement in their efficiencies continues.
The most popular installer in our survey achieved a 62% satisfaction rating
This fact only serves to illustrate that some solar providers don’t prioritize the needs of their customers before their profits and interests. Once again, It is recommended that consumers need to do their homework and choose companies that are dependable, and are willing to support their products with excellent after-sale service.
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Biggest reported solar panel issue being inverter complications
12% of CHOICE participants reported to having invester complications, while 10% of owners have had to completely replace their inverter since installation. This goes to show that the choice of an inverter that is perfectly suited for the requirement is very important. Customers should be sure that the information they are given by the solar sales person is appropriate for their needs.
Photo courtesy of redplanet89 on Flickr