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Courier Mail - September 16, 2019

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Sun sets on 700 outfits

Courier Mail 16 September 2019

More than 700 solar-installation companies in Australia have gone bankrupt or stopped trading in the past eight years, stranding thousands of Aussies unable to get help with "orphan" systems.

The "cowboy" operators who have flooded the booming rooftop solar market with shonky installations and inferior panels have left genuine firms frustrated at the lack of action by the regulator.  Figures collected by LG Solar from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that since 2011, there have been 727 liquidations, bankruptcies or deregistrations.

Experts say a high percentage of solar companies go insolvent when faced with consumer claims for failing parts, which could have come from low-quality imports, and the firms decide it is cheaper to go bankrupt than replace multiple failed panels.

Established solar installer...says subsidies should continue but is concerned they have brought a lot of "fly-by-night" firms into the secotor....and to crack down on safety and shoddy workmanship in the rooftop solar scheme.

"The frustrating part for me is that guys like us that go through the correct processes are being tarred with the same brush as the guys that will happily go for the quick buck, install cheap equipment and then leave the customer hanging when it all goes wrong"...  

"If something feels too cheap or good to be true, take that as a red flag, look at the reviews and get another quote".