How to find a reliable solar service provider

Make sure that the solar service provider that you hire is legit. File image

Make sure that the solar service provider that you hire is legit. File image

Published Jul 2, 2024


WITH solar energy an increasingly popular (and vital) component of our national energy strategy, the CEO of Versofy SOLAR, Ross Mains-Sheard, said the simultaneous rise of unregulated and substandard fly-by-night service providers posed a significant risk to consumers.

He said these providers often engaged in deceptive practices, compromising the safety and efficiency of solar installations.

Mains-Sheard also said unregulated solar providers frequently employ dodgy methods to reduce costs and inflate profits.

“These practices include using outdated technology, hiring unqualified installers, and failing to comply with industry standards. In extreme cases, some providers disappear after collecting large deposits, leaving projects incomplete. The influx of counterfeit and stolen components further exacerbates the problem,” he said.

CEO of Versofy SOLAR, Ross Mains-Sheard. Picture: Supplied

Furthermore, Mains-Sheard said reputable solar providers adhered to industry regulations and standards, such as National Rationalised Specifications (NRS), South African National Standards (SANS), and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provisions to ensure the safety and performance of their installations.

He said those who neglected the standards threatened the integrity of the entire industry.

“These providers often lack the training and expertise necessary to design and install systems safely and effectively, leading to potential hazards and increased rectification costs,” said Mains-Sheard.

He urged residents to ensure that the providers they hired were registered, qualified, and experienced. He said a qualified and registered electrician should issue a supplementary Certificate of Compliance (CoC) upon completing the installation, certifying that all electrical work met the required standards. Verify that the provider is qualified and registered with the Department of Employment and Labour.

Mains-Sheard said this included annual checks, infrared hot spot scanning for larger installations, and regular cleaning of solar panels according to manufacturer guidelines.

“They should ensure compatibility with existing systems and conduct thorough inspections, especially in coastal regions prone to corrosion and high-wind areas requiring additional structural integrity checks,” said Mains-Sheard.

Independent on Saturday