Tips on Avoiding Solar Installation Scams

As South Africa faces a mounting load shedding crisis, a growing number of people are seeking refuge in solar energy solutions for their homes and offices. Regrettably, the increasing interest in solar power has attracted opportunists looking to scam unsuspecting customers.

To safeguard yourself and your finances, take these precautions:

  1. Confirm the company’s credibility: Investigate any links or claims made by purported service providers, ensuring they genuinely represent a trustworthy solar installation business.
  2. Consult review platforms: Learn about the experiences of other customers by exploring online review sites before making any commitments.
  3. Compare web addresses: Beware of slightly altered URLs that resemble authentic company addresses – always double-check the validity of the websites in question.
  4. Check image sources: If a website uses images as evidence of work completed, perform a reverse image search to ensure they’re unique and not appropriated from other sites.
  5. Check for accreditation: Consult the list of accredited providers compiled by the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), and demand to see relevant certificates before proceeding.
  6. Request thorough documentation: Obtain a comprehensive checklist that outlines the entire solar energy installation process, including relevant equipment and timeframes.
  7. Research extensively: Engage with those who have already installed solar systems to confirm a company’s dependability and gather additional insights.
  8. Approach unsolicited offers with caution: Scrutinize any unexpected proposals to install solar panels.
  9. Verify individuals’ identity: If a person claims to represent a reputable company, ensure they are truly affiliated with the organization before proceeding further.
  10. Stay away from online sales platforms: Reliable solar installers are not typically found on social media marketplaces, which offer limited recourse in case of disputes.
  11. Avoid pressured agreements: Should a provider push you to sign a contract without affording you proper time for review, it’s best to disengage with them.
  12. Thoroughly understand contracts: Fully comprehend any agreement, including terms and conditions, before signing.
  13. Check account information: Always verify the business’s banking information before transferring funds.
  14. Stay alert for rental scams: Investment schemes offering “purchased” solar panels or equipment with projected rental income should be treated with suspicion and reported to the authorities.

By staying informed, exercising caution, and remaining vigilant, you can successfully adopt solar power while avoiding scams.


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