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You have made a decision to utilise alternative energy that is clean and green. Congratulations on making this wise decision. Last week, we focused on how you determine your needs, how to choose the appropriate technology and how to select service providers.
Now that you have selected the service providers that specialise in your chosen technology and maybe able to proffer solutions to your need, this week we will focus on the dialogue that should happen between you and the service providers.
You need to ask the service providers to specifically assess your needs. Explain to the service provider why you have selected a specific technology and perhaps offer a budget. The selected technology probably suits your lifestyle, physical and financial capabilities. The assessment & resulting quotes must clearly indicate and contain a few of the following points.
- The capacity of the solution to be provided should match your requirements
- Its benefits and disadvantages if there are any, must be explained
- The financial outlay must be detailed for the option(s) offered.
- What are the long term financial and physical benefits of the more expensive unit? Perhaps you only need the solar power solution for a short term so is it necessary to purchase an expensive option?
- Ask the companies to indicate the parameters used to determine the capacity of the solution. Did they think about you having guests in the future or not, did they consider rainy cold cloudy days etc.
- As your understanding of the technology may be limited to your earlier research, get a clear understanding of the implementation process, how long will it take, how intrusive is it, will you have to be away from the location or not during installation, is there anything required from you or not.
- Most companies consider themselves experts at what they do, and they probably are. However, mistakes do happen though, so get a clear understanding as to what will happen should something go wrong during and after implementation. What are the warranties is there insurance etc?
- It is important that THE chosen service provider can guarantee you after installation maintenance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Thus confirm with your solution provider what after installation services they provide and for how long. Remember any problems that may arise, more often than not, are system variations that only your service provider can provide answers to.
- To assist you in operating the system as well as monitoring it, the provider must provide you with user notes over and above the equipment user manuals that come with the equipment. These user notes will be specific to your system and uniquely tailored to the way you use your power system. Ask the prospective installer what user training they will offer or provide to you and your family. What will it involve and will it cost extra or is it part of the service? Installers will differ on this aspect, but the installer who can tie themselves to a contract that covers a cost free after service plan is worth a second look.
- Finally, ask your installer to provide you with clear cut maintenance schedules that must be tied to system performance. Ask for the warranty form that will be provided and go through it carefully to make sure you understand what cover you have.
We hope these articles will help you in your decision to go green. Please join us again next week, when we will be answering your many questions, a lot of you have asked from these articles. #GoGreen #StayGreen