What exactly is a workmanship warranty you may ask?

As a consumer, you need to be aware of misleading claims of extended workmanship warranties. The first mistake that people make is to simply accept at face value an advertisement with a claim of 10 or 12 years workmanship warranty without asking to see any written contract that proves it.

So how do you check if the stated workmanship warranty is legit?

The truth is you will only know for sure if you can see it clearly stated on a written contract. If it’s not clear, then you need to ask the supplier the right questions.

The first question to ask is straightforward. What does the workmanship warranty cover? There are hundreds of components to a solar installation. As a consumer you want a workmanship warranty to cover everything imaginable. In simple terms, if there is a problem (any problem), then you need to be able to call the company that sold you the solar system and request a complimentary call out inspection – and for that inspection to happen promptly. The only way a consumer will know if they have legal cover is to see it stipulated honours trade contract. If it is not mentioned in the contract – YOU ARE NOT COVERED. If you have not been given a trade contract, YOU ARE NOT COVERED. In these circumstances, you have fallen victim to false advertising, and you probably have ‘very limited’ workmanship warranty cover.

But you need more than just the terms of trade contact to reference the warranty period. You need the contract to stipulate what is covered and what is not. Don’t fall into the trap of asking the solar company to verify over the phone what is or is not included. If it’s not written into the contract or you don’t have it in writing, then the verbal confirmation is no more than hearsay should you ever end up in court or if you involve Fair Trading.

The second and most important question to clarify with the solar retailer is who is honoring the workmanship warranty? We have seen a major national solar retailer claim or offer a 12 yr workmanship warranty on TV. We asked them to verify who honors the warranty, them or their subcontracted installer? – the answer was the subcontractor. Now in this situation, we knew who was the local contracted solar installer for this well known national solar company, so we asked him what workmanship warranty he was obligated to offer the retailer under his contract? The answer was 12 months! Looks like 11 years of warranty has just vanished into thin air!

This real situation is playing out right now by at least two major solar retailers that we know of.

As a consumer you can then be highly exposed to financial risk because:

a) there is no certainty that you are covered for the fault or issue.
b) at best you are only covered for 12 months rather than 12 years.
c) the most significant risk is that should the retailer shut their door and disappear, you won’t have any warranty!

So what can you do?

Three things will help cover you;

a) Ask for the solar retailer to put it in writing what your workmanship warranty period is, what it covers and who honours it. Don’t accept the answers over the phone or by text. You need it in writing and for it to come from a senior manager not from the sales rep.
b) If the solar retailer says that the contractor is responsible for honouring the workmanship warranty, ask for a copy of the installation contract issued to the contractor or get something in writing from the contractor indicating their period of cover.
c) Get a contact name and number for the installer.

If you really want to cover yourself against misleading or false advertising, do yourself a favour and trade only with a CEC Approved Solar Retailer.

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    Don't just take our word for it

    Right from the start my experience was a pleasant one. The staff were both friendly and knowledgeable. With some existing knowledge and experience with solar myself, I appreciated the technical knowledge of the staff. The installation was done promptly and in an extremely neat manner. I was particularly impressed with the thoroughness & neatness of the electrical installation. All components of the system are top quality. All electrical components were labeled in a tidy & comprehensive manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending Coffs Solar Energy to anyone who is looking for a quality installation done by professional, knowledgeable & friendly staff.read more
    10:16 26 Apr 20
    They were the only company that actually got on the roof before quoting & advising. Service and communication from the office staff to the installers on site was excellent. I'd thoroughly recommend them to anyone considering Solar.read more
    Chris Thamm
    01:25 13 Apr 20
    Knowledgeable person came around to explain and look at the job and all possibilities. Trades people were punctual and did a great job as agreed. Didn't get any help setting up the app and account which would have been appreciated.read more
    Jacco Philippo
    09:19 14 Jan 20
    Would definitely recommend, they whole process was very professional and seamless.
    Simon Dobson
    02:32 14 Jan 20
    The whole team Coffs Solar Energy have been AMAZING! Helpful and friendly service from everyone. Very competitive pricing and super fast and professional installation! What more could anyone ask for? BRILLIANT! Thank you everyone at Coffs Solar Energy!read more
    Black Khat
    09:56 30 Sep 19
    If you haven't got Solar you're throwing money away. Mark and his team from Coffs Solar installed our system a month ago and the return has been much higher than I expected. The online tracking of spending, saving and electricity we are using is awesome I didn't think I'd bother much with it but I check it everyday. The team were quick clean and very helpful. I highly recommend Coffs Solar go with a local and give them a call.read more
    Beajay Wendt
    20:53 29 Sep 19
    We contacted Coffs Solar for a quote on a solar system and from then on everything went on plan until completion. For us this "no stress" operation was just what we wanted. All completed on time and our energy Company finished the project by installing the appropriate meter. That Coffs Solar Energy was a local Company influenced our ultimate decision.read more
    Arthur Scarf
    02:01 25 Sep 19
    Great local company to deal with. The team made it very easy to get everything in place and operational. The appointments made were spot on. Their technical knowledge is very good and support is there if you need it. Very personalised service and highly recommended.read more
    Jon Pushong
    02:51 20 Sep 19
    I can highly recommend Coffs Solar Energy. They were very professional to work with and provided us with a solar solution that best fitted our needs and backed that up with clear information on the performance and installation of the panels. They also configured the panels to provide the most efficient power output during late afternoon shade. If you are looking at installing a solar system, you will be very happy with Coffs Solar Energy.read more
    Lynn Roder
    22:59 18 Aug 19
    Amazing service , advice, reliability and punctuality. Explained the systems clearly and great after Sales service thank you Mark snd his team
    23:53 10 Aug 19
    I have nothing but praise for Coffs Solar Energy, from my first enquiry until final handover. Adam was on site within hours to inspect our bills and roof to assess what we would and would not require. The installers were on site and without fuss or bother had the job done absolutely professionally. No mess left and no hassles for us. A job well done and at a price that We were most satisfied with. Congratulations Coffs Solar.read more
    Ken Sipple
    06:01 08 Aug 19
    Coffs Solar energy have done a splendid job of installing my new solar system, the install team are all professionals at their job, cleaned up after them, one wouldn't know they have spent several hours on site. The admin staff the same as install crew, no complaints at all, in fact I have given my personal recommendation of this Company to a nearby neighbour who now plans on contacting them for a similar plan as mine once they return from a planned holiday in the next few days. I wish the Company all the best wishes for continuing success in their chosen field.read more
    Kevin Jordan
    06:31 18 Apr 19
    From start to finish Adam and the wonderful team at Coffs Solar Energy couldn't have been more helpful. The whole system was explained to us in detail and I sincerely believe that we got the very best deal and system to suit us. The installation team was second to none. Everything went like clockwork with specialist in each field working for us. I would recommend Coffs Solar Energy to anyone. Thanks Adam and Karen for wonderful friendly and efficient service !read more
    Wanda Fenner
    04:56 04 Apr 19
    The installation of our solar system was completed in a most workmanlike manner by the team from Coffs Solar Energy. The installation team arrived on the agreed day at the agreed time and cleaned up before they left. The consultant was knowledgeable and the advice he gave was most valuable in allowing us to decide the most appropriate system for our needs. My advice: Go with the experts and you will have no hassles.read more
    Willie Millard
    03:14 14 Mar 19
    After deciding to install solar, which I really didn't know much about, the decision on who to use was easy. Coffs Solar Energy is a local business, who I trusted to advise me, correctly, on exactly what I need to install. I also know that they will be here for the long haul, so if I have issues or need help, they'll be here to look after us, unlike the out of town guys. Mark & his team have been awesome, & the installation isn't an eyesore on our home, being very discreetly placed, despite there being 16 panels! The install guys were very polite, & good at their job. Highly recommend Coffs Solar Energy!read more
    Craig Budden
    23:14 26 Feb 19
    Great service They turned up on time and completed the job quickly and neatly. The workmanship is above average and the system is working very well. Nice bunch of blokes! I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to install solarread more
    Alan Wilcockson
    04:17 21 Feb 19
    Coffs Solar Energy has been great to deal with, there is no pressure when obtaining a quote, which i believe is important, Nick was fantastic. The installation team were awesome, and explained everything from start to finish, they were very professional, and did a perfect job. I am very happy with the finished product, and it is producing perfectly. Great locally based company! Thank you Coffs Solar Energy. Phil Skeoch.read more
    phil skeoch
    22:47 19 Feb 19
    Coffs Solar energy installed a 6.05kW solar system for us earlier this week. I cannot recommend them highly enough, Adam came to our house initially and provided a detailed quote and he was a wealth of information. The installers arrived on time and they did an excellent job, they had great attention to detail and pride in their work. Chris the electrician ran through the operation of the inverter and maintenance of the system with me. The site was left clean and tidy following completion of the job. I have been extremely happy with our energy production so far from the system. Kind regards, Matthew.read more
    Matthew Hoyle
    06:19 09 Feb 19
    Excellent service and reasonable price. Installed in a morning and saving power in the afternoon. Installers were very professional on a not to easy site. Thank you Paula Bowraville NSW
    Paula Murray
    01:13 22 Jan 19
    The whole process was quick and trouble free. Adam and the whole team from the front office to the installation crew were professional and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend Coffs Solar.
    Andrea Curran
    09:32 17 Jan 19
    We had Coffs Solar Energy install a 5kW system 15 months ago, Adam quoted competitively and I found him to be knowledgeable and honest. The install team were very professional and took pride in their work. It has proved to be a quality product with no compromise, it performs better than we expected. Their after sales support is immediately there if you need it. I would highly recommend this company to anyone.read more
    Mike Maxwell
    10:12 18 Dec 18
    Very happy with the service and product provided. Received a few quotes from other businesses, but so happy we decided to go with a local business. Will definitely recommend Coffs Solar Energy to others.
    Corey Witten
    10:12 23 Nov 18
    Very pleased with our solar installation. The system was explain and options provided. The trades were on time and did an excellent job. Nice to use locals rather than the other cowboys. Thanks Coffs Solar Robert Shackletonread more
    Robert Shackleton
    05:44 12 Nov 18
    This is exactly the sort of competent, considerate, polite, and thorough organisation one needs in a field like solar energy. They know what they are doing, and go about it in a most professional manner. They have partnered with internationally recognised equipment manufacturers to give the very best value for money in this competitive field. Coffs Solar puts marginal and fly-by-night solar companies to shame by setting and living up to the highest standards.read more
    Donald Kaiser
    02:10 07 Nov 18
    I found the staff at Coffs Solar Energy very professional, friendly and easy to communicate with. They helped us through the process of installing and switching to solar at an investment property we own and helped us navigate the process easily despite the fact we were not in-country at the time. I would highly recommend their services for anyone considering installing solar.read more
    fiona o'meara
    01:27 23 Oct 18
    Recently Coffs Solar Energy offered to donate and instal a 4.95kw rooftop system, with 18 panels and a top quality inverter, to Pete's Place, a drop-in centre in Coffs Harbour run by St Vincent de Paul Society. The set-up took place like clockwork on Oct 2nd, and the system will save us around $2000 per year. Pete's Place gets around 30 visitors a day, and provides bathroom & laundry facilities, light meals and help in accessing govt services. We are immensely grateful to MD Mark McClurg (2nd from right in pic, with Chris Thompson and Pete's Place Manager Dave Tilson and Vinnies Special Works Manager Linda Williams) and his highly professional team at Coffs Solar Energy. This project has been a great community partnership involving Vinnies, Coffs Harbour City Council, Rotary and local tradies, and now this wonderful benefactor. Thanks to everyone.read more
    Robin Osborne
    02:48 03 Oct 18
    We chose Coffs Solar primarily because they were local, the reviews were unwaveringly positive and because the MD chose to deal with us personally...we did not regret it. Our dealings with Coffs Solar Energy via the Managing Director Mr. Mark McClurg were always professional and pleasant. Mark made the choice easy for us, he made the process easy for us. He answered every email, phone call and contact promptly. His timelines were deadly, always....if there was to be a delay his ultra-efficient delightful PA, Suzanne would reach out to us with the relevant message. Mark and his team made the paperwork a breeze. If the information was not available, it was researched and delivered to us, quickly.The installation was frighteningly quick. The team led by the head solar electrician Chris, arrived promptly at the appointed hour and we had solar by 1400hrs. Nick the IT Guru, was another pleasant experience.....he arrived a few days later and connected us to the web with a remarkable app to monitor the performance of the Inverter. A word about the hardware...do not skimp on the inverter...get the "Fronius". Thank you Mark, Suzane, Nick, Adam, Chris, Karen and the rest of the team. More grateful, happy customers.read more
    Andre Delfos
    01:26 17 Sep 18
    We found Mark and his team to be very efficient and effective. Solar panels were installed for our apartment, which is situated in a 60 plus complex. A project with a deal of complexity. From the start of receiving the competive quote up until the commissioning of the installation we were kept fully informed on the progress of the project. Mark suggested options for us when any issues did arise. The team at Coffs Solar showed an extremely high degree of knowledge in their products and were always a pleasure to deal with. Highly recommended.read more
    Terry Gillespie
    09:25 10 Sep 18
    I have worked with Mark and his team for some time now on Commercial Solar projects and find Coffs Solar to be loyal, trustworthy, efficient providing an outstanding product and service.
    Deanne Payze
    05:57 29 Aug 18
    Delighted with our solar panels and battery installed by Mark McClure and the great deals from Powershop. Winter just got a whole lot warmer for us
    jean urquhart
    09:30 03 Jul 18
    Take my hat off to Mark from Coffs Solar, sent through an enquiry and they kindly advised that they did not service the Banora Point region but instead sent through recommended contacts within my area along with all the information necessary for me to get the proper quote and installation. What amazing service from a company that could not complete the install for me. I can only imagine the level of service they would provide to customers within their installation territory. Highly commendable and could not thank Mark enough for his time!read more
    Ross McInnes
    07:50 03 Jul 18
    With the continuing rising cost of electricity i made the decision to install solar. I obtained quotes from a number of providers but also wanted to deal with a local company so that i had back up service in the future giving me piece of mind. Not only were Coffs Solar extremely competitive they were also excellent in there advise on what i needed. There was also no question on the quality. The install went smoothly and most importantly neatly. The installers even painted the conduit cable to match the external wall colour. (i had spare paint but appreciated that i didn't have to climb up a ladder later to do the job). The panels have been in place for a number of months now and working perfectly. i love the app which i can use which shows how much solar energy is being produced compared to the amount i am using. I am looking forward to a much different electricity bill. I would have no hesitation in recommending Coffs Solar to do your solar installation.read more
    Michael Parry
    04:30 18 Jun 18
    Excellent customer service. Very informative, and follow up was reassuring. Highly recommend this company.
    Tracey Kean
    05:28 04 Jun 18
    We can highly recommend Coffs Solar Energy from the sales through to the presentation of the warranty pack. The professional conduct and efficiency of this company takes us back to the 80 and 90s when a company took pride in its name and the people who worked with it . Thank you to Nick for the sale to Rod for the finalization and the crew who put it all togetherread more
    Wayne Evans
    04:02 29 May 18
    For me the decision to go Solar was an easy one, but the solution was not. Over the nearly year long process Coffs Solar had all the answers and were always prompt, courteous and efficient. My experience as a Computer Engineer with experience in Battery Backup systems for large data centres gave me insight into the technical challenges to be faced. Coffs Solar was not the only company I talked with along the way, but when it came to the crunch with difficult questions, they made sure they had the technical aspects sorted. To begin with, the site suffered a LOT of shade intrusion from large trees. With advice from Coffs Solar the worst offenders were cut out. The next challenge was that the main house roof had limited North facing roof area which was already occupied by the Solar Collector for Hot Water. Coffs Solar proposed a solution consisting of East and West facing Panels on the main roof area. Along the way this was modified to a two inverter system with East-West facing panels on the house and North Facing panels on the shed. When it came time to do the installation, the Coffs Solar install teams were efficient, courteous and professional. The install took a day and a half and was all completed with a minimum of fuss and great attention to detail. Special thanks to Nick for bearing the brunt of all my questions along the way, and also to Mark for putting together a great team. I believe that the end product is something that Coffs Solar should be very proud of.read more
    David Bruce
    21:04 09 May 18
    Great service, quick response to enquiry and excellent product. They were all very helpful, well presented and knowledgeable. All of the rebate stuff was handled by them and they even came back after install to help us understand how to get the best out of our system.read more
    Peta Jardine
    01:27 16 Apr 18
    I can’t recommend Coffs Solar highly enough. Their sales, explanation, and follow up was fantastic. We were also very happy with the pricing with the reassurance that we were dealing with a local reputable company who would still be around for the life of the warranty. We were hounded by some of the lower cost companies.....don’t waste your time and money!! We are very internet savvy and did thorough research and background checks. We came across some very dodgy practices with virtual offices in Sydney with phone calls directed automatically to India. We heard tales of backpacker installers, demands for bank cheque payment on the day of install, company name changes which invalidates the warranty if you get one at all....and finally being taken to court for rebadging inferior panels. Is it really worth the risk?? It’s a serious investment and I’m sure ,like us, you will have plenty of questions as you go through the process. You can phone India every time or keep it simple and get immediate help every time from great office staff by calling Coffs Solar who are also fully accredited (not many are!) There.....we did the work, we got the stress, we got the headaches so now you don’t have to. Cheers Melread more
    Mel Locking
    23:43 09 Apr 18
    We have had our solar panels for a year now & we are happy to share that they have most definitely made a difference with reducing our energy bill. Being very sceptical at first & cautious Mark explained the benefits these panels would have for us. He not only placed them with great precision but he also explained the what's, when's and where's to us. We are extremely HAPPY with the decision we have made & most importantly happy to have dealt with Coffs Solar Energy and what they stand for. We have had multiple questions and they have answered all with no complaints. We applaud you and are grateful for such an outstanding job that you have done.... Thank You Mark !read more
    Janice Pietralunga
    09:28 22 Mar 18
    We recommend Coffs Solar Energy without reservations. We had solar panels erected. They went out of their way to carry out the job efficiently, and with as little fuss as possible. We encountered some problems with our electricity company - they took control and helped us out tremendously. They are just wonderful!read more
    Angela Sattler
    05:01 14 Mar 18
    Beware! Turns out someone is running a scam using the company’s name and reputation to hold online interviews. Not sure if actual company is at fault or not. But their intentions for saying the are hiring in the U.S.A is to scam people out of their personal information. Please never send your personal information over the internet just because someone emails you a w-2 form. They promised over the top wage and once confronted stopped responding. Went under the name Karon Hurren in google hangouts. and another fake email usually you can tell the fraud emails with the generic make of the a first name and last name followed by numbers. Be careful and beware. However as for the legitimacy of the actual company it seems as if it is a real one with a reputation that it cares for. Which is why I shall not negatively review it and still warn others.read more
    Cole Stalvey
    01:47 13 Feb 18
    Excellent firm to deal with. Very good pricing, on time with quotes, installation and commissioning. everything about the entire system clearly explained, and where necessary demonstrated. highly recommended.
    Paul Boekenstein
    05:05 27 Nov 17
    We recently had Mark and this team from Coffs Harbour Solar Energy install additional panels on our roof. The install was complex due to moving of the original panels and installation of additional strings to optimise system performance. The team worked tirelessly to get the desired outcome. We would highly recommend Mark and his team to anyone wanting Solar. Great job - Thanks Paul & Louise Austinread more
    Paul Austin
    23:36 08 Oct 17
    Coffs Solar Energy doesn't just provide good products and value for money, but also (very importantly when it comes to something that can be quite complex), their customer service goes above and beyond expectations. They patiently answered all our questions and explained all the different options in a way we could understand. We feel we made the right decision and I would happily recommend this company to anyone on the Coffs Coast looking for a solar PV system.read more
    Micky Stuivenberg
    06:13 04 Oct 17
    Excellent advice prior to installation on which panels to use on my heavily treed block. Installers not only turned up on nominated day but were actually a few hours early. The professionalism of the install was amazing down to the smallest details and the whole system works well. Follow up was also good and provided advice on insurance and other matters. Very highly recommended.read more
    David Lance
    05:15 01 Sep 17
    We have been planning this for years, so we spoke to many people in the trade. We had a lot of advice some ranging from wildly inaccurate to wholly accurate. The most reliable came from Coffs Solar Energy we think. So we did a multiple quote and Coffs Solar came in in the middle range. However, their advice, open honesty and recommendations from people we know, led us to believe cheapest wouldn't be best! We were proved right. We are very happy so far with every aspect from planning to installing and support. Coffs Solar Energy are definitely the goto for no BS, good quality advise, installation and workmanship.read more
    Nigel Hiller-Garvey
    01:03 13 Aug 17
    Dealing with these guys was a really great experience. They designed a system for our house that would suit our needs. As far as workmanship goes they are the best. Timely, neat and professional Could not more highly recommend a solar supplier. I have to say thanks guys. Had a small issue with my inverter and Coffs Solar came to the rescue. No problems and job fixed in a very timely fashion.... Fantastic !!!!read more
    Rod Hurren
    22:38 03 Aug 17

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