Planning on a solar or energy storage investment for your home? Think ahead for a moment: which provider will you choose?
Have you considered the customer support you’ll receive in the event of a problem? What if there’s a system error down the track, or you have questions on how best to operate or manage the system? Can you easily contact anyone for help? How much knowledge do they have on your local area? You might be concerned you’ll be all alone once installation is complete, but with the right provider you shouldn’t be. Investigating how your renewable energy company will support you after installation, and where that support is based, should be a critical item in your selection criteria.
Your renewable energy journey doesn’t end when your solution is installed; installation is just the beginning.
Find a provider that is committed to being your long-term energy partner. Ongoing customer support is critical when it comes to understanding and operating your system at maximum efficiency. When choosing your solar or energy storage provider, look for a company that offers ongoing customer support for the life of your system. After-sales service and customer support is one of the most common areas where cheaper providers cut costs. You might think you’ve found a bargain system with low-cost installation, but you could end up losing thousands of dollars more in the long term, in repairs, system maintenance, and inefficient performance.
A company that provides ongoing support can add value to your investment through:
- Identifying and solving energy production and usage issues, ensuring you are generating or storing the most energy possible with your solution and using it as efficiently as possible.
- Guiding you through new product developments or upgrades that might help you make even better use of your solution.
- Liaising with manufacturers on your behalf for product warranty claims, potentially even years after installation.
Australian-based customer support is vital
If your provider can offer ongoing support with an Australian-based customer service centre, this will add even more value to your investment. Australian-based customer support provides you with local knowledge, personalised product advice, and a local advocate for any warranty claims. Customer support centres that are based overseas can often mean costly delays in service or repairs, language or context barriers between you and the customer service representative, and high costs on freight or postage when sending products overseas for review.
Locally-based, Australian customer support means:
- You are dealing with a local who knows your area and understands your needs.
- They will have comprehensive knowledge of local rules, regulations and the history of the local electricity network.
- Local technicians and support staff can be hired and come to your home as required.
- You have a local advocate in warranty claims with overseas suppliers, saving you time and money.
Joe – example customer
Joe invested in a renewable energy solution for his home, with a company that used New Zealand-made inverters. In the first two years of the system he experienced no major issues, and didn’t feel it was necessary to contact customer support.
However, in the third year of the system’s life, Joe discovered an issue with the inverter on his system. Joe contacted his provider and explained the issue, but only then discovered the company he purchased from doesn’t have Australian-based customer support.
Joe did some research on how to fix his inverter. For his inverter to be repaired under warranty, Joe had to prove to the overseas inverter manufacturer that the inverter was faulty, without support from a local company or manufacturer. The manufacturer asked Joe to provide data direct from the inverter; he had to either pay an electrician at his own cost to come and extract the data for him, or open the inverter, plug in a cable and download the data himself – a real electrical safety risk for a person without specialised training.
Joe then needed to hire an electrician to remove the inverter so it could be sent to New Zealand for inspection; a large upfront cost for both the electrician’s labour and shipping costs.
Once the inverter arrived with the manufacturer, Joe was left to sit and wait for notification that the fault had been confirmed. This could mean weeks, even months of his system being offline.
When the manufacturer sends a new, functioning inverter back to him, Joe would then need to hire an electrician to fit the inverter to his home. Only once the new inverter was installed and functioning correctly could Joe attempt to claim back any upfront costs from shipping or electrical works from the manufacturer.
As problematic as this scenario is, it could be a whole lot worse; this manufacturer was only across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand. If the manufacturer had been on the other side of the world, with language barriers or huge time differences, this process would have been a lot more time consuming and frustrating.
Had Joe purchased from a company with Australian-based customer support, he could have left the difficult work to the experts. An Australian based support team would have:
- Spoken with Joe directly to help him resolve the issue, rather than asking him to go to the manufacturer.
- Sent out a local electrician on Joe’s behalf to investigate the issue on-site, instead of requesting that the inverter be opened up and data extracted.
- Acted as Joe’s advocate with the manufacturer to source a replacement inverter and have it installed as soon as possible.
- Minimised upfront costs incurred, and ensured that Joe was reimbursed for any out-of-pocket costs that he was entitled to under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Australian-based, ongoing customer support should be a non-negotiable for your energy solution.
An Australian-based customer service centre and a commitment to customer success will make your renewable energy journey easy. Your system might cost a little more that overseas, budget providers, but it’s a valuable investment that can actually save you money down the track.
A feature of ZEN Energy’s commitment to customer service is our ongoing support from day one. It’s also one of the reasons we’ve been in the market much longer than most. ZEN Energy provides Australian-based customer support to all of our customers for every renewable energy solution we install. We are committed to being your energy partner for the life of the system; we take an active role and local interest in your solution, continuing for years to come after installation.
Request a quote and find out how much you can save with a renewable energy solution backed by Australian-based support.