This blog explains solar product warranty in more detail and how you can reduce your warranty risk.

I’ve been in the solar industry long enough now to have seen three boom and busts play out.

The rollercoaster ride or ‘solar-coaster’ as it’s referred to in the industry, has afforded those who have survived it, great education on risk mitigation. The risk in the solar industry is not a risk of harm but financial risk, and it can impact the consumer and retailer alike.

The fundamental rule for both supplier/installer and customer is to make sure the solar product is sourced here in Australia. That does not mean the product is made in Australia, only that the product is brought into Australia through official distribution channels.

Let me explain using Trina solar panels. Trina is a Chinese company with divisions scattered around the globe. The solar panels are manufactured in China and the finished product imported into Australia by Trina Solar Australia, a subsidiary company of Trina Solar. The key issue here is that the import company is set up in Australia. Trade rules imposed by ASIX governs this importer company. These trade rules offer consumers a high degree of protection.

Trina Solar Australia sells their imported panels to solar distribution companies. Once again, these are Australian wholesale companies registered through ASIX.

Solar retail companies like us, buy solar panels from the official distributors who have purchased them through the official importers.

Under this arrangement, the consumer is afforded three levels of investment security by having the warranty looked after by the solar installer (1), the distributor (2) and the importer (3).

If we are no longer trading, our clients are protected by numerous levels of warranty cover, and all warranties are facilitated here in Australia!

This risk mitigation applies to us. We want to know that if our customer has a warranty claim, that we too are counter covered by various entities in the supply chain.

So what is your risk?

These cheap as chips solar deals you see advertised are only possible if the product is substandard, and/or the solar product is imported directly by the solar retail company. Understand your risks. If the solar retail company folds and they imported the goods directly, YOU DON’T HAVE A WARRANTY CLAIM IN AUSTRALIA.

So how do you know if the product is sourced through official distribution channels or imported directly? You need to ask the question, and most importantly, you need to see the contact details for the distributor in the handover documents.

Handover documents you ask? Yes, if you are dealing with a legitimate solar retailer, then you should receive an instruction and warranty booklet on completion of the solar installation. It may be prudent to ask the retailer beforehand if they do supply handover documents on completion and also if they have a copy for you to look at beforehand?

Coffs Solar Energy only buys product distributed by well established solar wholesale companies who buy their product from the official distribution or import companies. We supply our customers with a detailed handover document which includes the 3 levels of warranty cover.

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