Customer Assurance

Where an accredited Solar Association member specifies, sells or installs a solar hot water system all supervisory staff or staff approving designs and installation will have to personally meet the retailers installation quality standards. So that the customer can establish who is responsible for the design or installation of their system, a Certificate of Compliance warranty will be provided to the customer on completion of the installation. The Certificate of Compliance must be signed by the accredited retailer approving the design, and the Registered installer supervising the installation.

Accredited suppliers may have installers who have been approved by them to install their products. For a full list of Solar Association Registered Installers click here

Because some customers may buy direct from a supplier and use their own installer they should be clear on the respective responsibilities of the supplier and installer and recognised that by not having a solar specialist specify and supervise the work that they are taking on the responsibility for the efficient performance of the system.

Code of Conduct and Customer Pledge

All members of the Association are expected to meet the Association's Code of Conduct. See a copy of the Code of Conduct here. (Note our name change from SIA).

In addition to abiding to a strict Code of Conduct Solar Association members make a promise to all customers to provide a high quality service. For a copy of the customers promise see attachment here. (NB name change from SIA).

Complaints and Disputes Procedure

Any concern or problem with a installed system should be raised with the retailer. The retailer who sold the system is responsible for all aspects of the system specification, supply installation and commissioning and under New Zealand law are responsible for ensuring that the product performs adequately for the purpose for which it has been sold. Recommended procedures for dealing with complaints are provided here.

Purchasers of systems should note that where the retailer has not been responsible for installation then complexities can arise on establishing who is responsible for resolving any problem should it arise.

Any purchaser of a solar hot water system who has a concern or problem about their system and is not satisfied how the retailer has dealt with their concern or problem, may lay a complaint with the Association. If the supplier is not a Solar Association Accredited Retailer, the Association will advise the customer on appropriate action. If the supplier is accredited the complainant should notify the Solar Association Executive Officer who will try and assist resolution of any problem between the supplier and the customer. If the problem can not be resolved the complaint will be forwarded to the Complaints Committee of the Association who will investigate and determine the action that should be taken. A response will be provided to the complainant within four weeks of receipt of the complaint.

The Association will not accept any responsibility for fixing problem systems, but wishes to ensure that the retailers and installers meet the appropriate standards. The Executive Officer will provide guidance and independent advice to the complainant and try and facilitate resolution. Complainants should note however, that if they can not resolve problems to their satisfaction then they should put their complaints to the Complaints Dispute Tribunal.

Points for a problem free system

  • Purchase only from an Accredited Retailer. An Accredited Retailer is a solar specialist.
  • Retailer to specify, supply, install and commission the system.
  • Don't allow other trades to "assist".
  • Get the retailer to put in your contract what the indicative energy performance is that you should expect.
  • Suppliers can provide reference energy performance data based on AS/NZS 4234:2008
  • Get the retailer to obtain your building consent.
  • Check references of other systems they have installed - talk to the owners.
  • Check that the installer is properly trained by an SIA recognised training provider.
  • Check that the system is a complying system to AS/NZS 2712:2007
  • Remember that you are purchasing a complex solar system with collectors, tanks, controllers and pumps. These should have been optimally designed as a packaged system for optimal energy performance. Don't get your plumber to just purchase some components as what you get won't have been optimally designed for peak energy performance.