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Homeowners cautioned about 'switching' solar installers
18/07/2012 - Queensland solar customers are being urged not to switch equipment providers as companies try to poach each other's clients.
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The Queensland government cut its solar feed-in tariff from 44 cents per kilowatt hour to eight cents on July 9, sparking a rush for solar system installations before the deadline.
More than 100,000 applications were made in the two weeks before the deadline as homeowners rushed to take advantage of the higher rate for providing electricity back to the grid.
Now the deadline has passed, solar companies are trying to lure customers into shifting away from the providers they applied with.
But Clean Energy Council policy manager Darren Gladman says solar customers should "look before they leap".
"Depending on the circumstances, customers who switch suppliers may need to submit a new application to their distributor," Gladman said in a statement to reporters.
"This may cause delays, and submitting a new application may mean some customers will find themselves at the end of the queue."
Gladman said changes in a new application could mean customers miss out on the higher tariff rate altogether.
The rush of applications will keep suppliers and installers busy until work dries up after the cut-off date for installation in July next year, he said.
But Gladman said he expected the solar power industry to be slashed from 11,000 jobs to 4500 then.
"However we expect sales to start improving again after 2013 as the price of systems becomes cheaper," he said.
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Geoff Thomas | 18/07/2012 16:12 1
That is all very well, but because of the suddenness and also the persuasive sales rave from the big boys, who would inform the prospective customer that they could fine tune later, many will have signed into a non suitable arrangement, - Gladman should have focussed on how everyone could keep their approval but deal with who they want and not breach the conditions, "shoulds" don't make happy customers, and many of the salesmen in those hectic days had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. It is also likely that many of those big flyers who had such an easy sounding rave that they got so many responses will not be around very long as the market contracts so folk wanting long time service and support would do better to go elsewhere.
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