Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA), the not-for-profit organizer of the Bulk-Buy programs, has appointed Specialized Solar & Electrical as the Solar Retailer and Installer for the central and northern Victorian region.
Who is Specialized Solar & Electrical?
Specialized Solar & Electrical is a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Accredited Solar Retailer, CEC Accredited Installer and Registered Electrical Contractor with Energy Safe Victoria.
Specialized Solar has been in the Australian solar industry for many years as part of the Specialized Heating & Cooling Group, which was established in 2000. Now, Specialized Solar is a Melbourne-based family business with six offices in Victoria and NSW.
Specialized Solar is fully accredited to supply, install and maintain the following types of systems:
- grid-connect solar panel systems
- grid-connect battery storage systems including Powerwall
- off-grid systems
- commercial solar power systems of any size.
The company employs accredited CEC Installers and A-Grade Electricians, as well as a sizeable customer service team.
Specialized Solar utilizes in-house installers and electricians as well as CEC Accredited Installers throughout the central and northern Victorian region.
Why were Specialized Solar & Electrical selected?
The CVGA operates a competitive tender process to select the Solar Retailer and Installer for its solar bulk-buys which include the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy, MASH (More Australian Solar Homes), Mallee Sun Solar Bulk-Buy and the Brimbank Community Solar Program.
As part of the tender process, the CVGA evaluates solar companies across a range of criteria including:
- Financial track record
- Customer service
- Panel and inverter quality
- Duration of warranties
- Value for money
- Compliance with industry best-practice
- Installation quality
Specialized Solar & Electrical were selected through tender for the Mallee Sun Solar Bulk-Buy and Brimbank Community Solar Program in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
When the incumbent solar retailer for the MASH bulk-buy and Hepburn bulk-buy decided to withdraw towards the end of 2021 due to internal business reasons, the CVGA decided to extend the scope of Specialized Solar’s program delivery to include all bulk-buy programs. This was based on Specialized Solar’s strong track record on the other programs and excellent feedback from customers.
Benefits to Bulk-Buy Participants
Choosing Specialized Solar & Electrical to install solar panels or battery system through the Bulk-Buy programs provides you with these benefits:
- Quality components
- Industry-leading warranties
- Value for money
- Excellent customer service
- Help with rebates
- Expert advice
- Hassle-free installation
- Free after-sales service
An explanation of each of these benefits is provided below.
1. Quality components
No matter what system you purchase through the bulk-buy programs, you can be assured of its quality. All solar panels, inverters and batteries are quality checked by the CVGA, comply with relevant Australian standards and are approved by the Clean Energy Council and the Victorian Government’s Solar Homes Program. This is important if you plan to apply for a government rebate.
For solar panels, this means Tier 1 panels from a solar manufacturer with an Australian customer support office. For solar inverters, it means compliance with the strictest safety standards in the industry backed by excellent after-sales support from the manufacturer’s Australian customer service office. And when it comes to batteries, it means nothing less than full black-out protection!
2. Industry-leading warranties
When you’re spending thousands on a new solar system, you want to know that you’re getting excellent warranties, with no catches.
If you purchase a solar panel or battery system through the Bulk-Buy program, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting top-notch warranties on system components and workmanship – as well as an industry-beating performance guarantee for total peace of mind.
Here is a list of the warranties on a solar system, the industry standard for each warranty – and what is provided through the Bulk-Buy program.
|Type of warranty||Industry standard||Warranty provided through the Bulk-Buy program|
|Solar inverter warranty||5 years||15 years|
|Solar panels product warranty||10 years||15 years|
|Solar panels performance warranty||25 years||25 years|
|Workmanship warranty (provided by installer)||1-2 years||15 years (provided by Specialized Solar)|
|Whole-of-system performance guarantee (provided by installer)||Not provided||15 years minimum (provided by Specialized Solar)|
|Battery product warranty||10 years||15 years|
A note on the performance guarantee: A major advantage of buying a solar system through the Bulk-Buy program is that it comes with a system performance guarantee. This is exceptional in the solar industry.
Provided by Specialized Solar, this guarantee provides total peace of mind that your solar system will generate the power it’s supposed to over a minimum period of 10 years. It is based on the number of kilowatt hours of electricity that your solar system should produce in the first year. This will be shown in the quote you receive from Specialized Solar.
If your solar system doesn’t produce the power it’s meant to, you will be compensated for any loss caused by the shortfall in solar electricity generation i.e., higher electricity bills. More importantly, your system will be rectified at no cost to you.
3. Value for money
Any solar or battery system provided through the Bulk-Buy program provides excellent value for money. Whilst prices will not be the cheapest, that’s a good thing in our opinion.
Why is that?
The reason is many of low-cost solar operators undercut the market, shaving their margins to the bone. Whilst this strategy may work in the short-term, longer term they are unlikely to have the financial resources to service warranty claims.
Since 2011, over 750 solar installers have gone into liquidation, had a change in trading conditions or simply stopped trading. Assuming each of these companies operated for four years installing 250 systems a year, that comes to over 750,000 Australian solar panels systems that are no longer supported by the solar installation company.
You don’t want your solar system to end up an orphan, with zero support.
The best way to protect yourself from this happening is to select a solar company that’s financially solid and has been in business for at least 5 to 10 years. That way you can have a reasonable level of confidence that if you need to make a claim, they’ll be on the other end of the phone ready to help you. We’ve checked out the trading records of Specialized Solar and we know they are financially strong – so that’s a big tick in our books!
When it comes to comparing prices with other solar companies, you’ll find that systems through the Bulk-Buy program compare favourably. Don’t forget to compare apples with apples – including panel and inverter brands, warranties and overall system guarantees.
Plus, with the Bulk-Buy program, we put one per cent of the value of each system sold into a kitty which is distributed to local community groups in the form of free solar. We’ve already installed 20 community solar systems in the central and northern Victorian region! Get in touch if you are involved with a community group that could benefit from solar.
4. Excellent customer service
The CVGA regularly surveys solar bulk-buy participants to check on the levels of service provided by the appointed Solar Retailer and Installer. Feedback from participants who’ve had a system installed by Specialized Solar & Electrical through our bulk-buy programs has been exceptionally positive.
Here are some testimonials from solar bulk-buy customers who had a system installed by Specialized Solar & Electrical:
“Specialized Solar & Electrical were great and made the whole process really easy.” – Stephanie W., Avoca
“We’re delighted with the results of our two solar systems. Specialized Solar deserve a medal! I cannot speak highly enough of them.” – David B., Nyah
“Dealing with Specialized Solar & Electrical was really good. They made everything quick and easy.” – Patricia F., Donald
“The customer service team were very helpful and made the process straightforward. They helped us with the application for the Solar Victoria Panels rebate as well, which we appreciated.” – Denis T., Beaufort
5. Help with rebates
Most people getting solar or a battery are keen to know if they quality for government rebates. Whilst getting the Federal Government solar panel rebate – known as Small-scale Technology Certificates – is straightforward assuming you are installing approved products through an approved installer, the Victorian Government’s solar rebates require an application process.
Specialized Solar can help customers apply for the Victorian Government’s solar panels and battery rebates. Whilst they are not allowed to apply on a customer’s behalf, they can provide you with advice and support on the entire process, from start to finish.
6. Expert advice
Solar can be confusing. There’s so much choice and so many different decisions to make. That’s why through the Bulk-Buy program we offer a series of information meetings throughout the central and northern Victorian region with expert presenters from Specialized Solar and CVGA.
These meetings are a great way to learn more about solar and battery storage, find out what’s on offer through the bulk-buy, and to get answers to your questions.
Phone-based advice is also freely available – both from the bulk-buy organizing team on 1300 466 274 – as well as through Specialized Solar when you complete an enquiry form.
7. Hassle-free installation
Service-level commitments have been put in place between the CVGA and Specialized Solar to ensure customer installations are completed within a reasonable time, typically 6 weeks from date of order.
In addition, the CVGA has service level guarantees for how long it should take for Specialized Solar to provide the necessary paperwork to the various third parties, i.e.:
- the network distributor,
- the independent electrical inspector
- your electricity retailer.
For Bulk-Buy participants, this means a guarantee that your system will be installed in a timely fashion with all necessary paperwork completed quickly and professionally. There’s also the reassurance knowing that, in the rare event that your installation doesn’t go to plan, you can get in touch with the CVGA to expedite matters for you.
8. Free after-sales support
All systems purchased through the Bulk-Buy program come with an industry-leading performance guarantee and free post-installation services. This ensures your solar and/or battery works as promised.
Specialized Solar & Electrical will check three times in the first year that your system is working properly. They’ll also check that it is producing the amount of power it is supposed to. If there’s a problem, they’ll fix it at no cost to you.
Here are the free services and additional warranties (over and above those on the system components) that you’ll get if you purchase any system through the Bulk-Buy program:
- Workmanship warranty: 15 years
- Whole-of-system performance guarantee: 10 years
- Remote system monitoring & alerts: free
- Post installation system checks:
- 3-month check (by phone): free
- 6-month check (site visit): free
- 12-month system check (by phone): free
A recommended maintenance schedule will be included in the customer pack you receive on installation. This will include details on how often you should get your system checked and the panels cleaned (although of course, many people do this themselves). Specialized Solar can provide these services on request. You are under no obligation to purchase these services from Specialized Solar; it is entirely up to you!
Keen to find more?
To find out more about the Bulk-Buy program and request a quote, visit mash.org.au or call 1300 466 274. You can also find details of upcoming information meetings throughout the central and northern Victorian region here.