Installation day and after

Find out what to expect on your solar installation day.

What happens on installation day

1 Your solar panels and other equipment are delivered, sometimes the day before installation.

2Sangita has decided to work from home during installation so she can check on progress.

3An accredited installer must be present at the installation. Check their accreditation.

4Metal rails are fixed to the roof and solar panels attached to them. Temporary safety railings may also be set up while installers work.

5The installer gives Sangita the relevant paperwork and shows her how to use the system and monitoring app.

6Installation is complete but the system may not be switched on until later. Read 'Get connected' for the next steps.

Installation day

Installation can take 1–3 days, depending on the size of the system and complexity of the job.

The installation is likely to run more smoothly if your installer has visited the site beforehand. This will help avoid unexpected issues with parking, access, condition of the roof, positioning of the solar inverter, last-minute changes to the system design and any additional electrical work required.

Installation is one step in the process of getting your solar connected. There may be delays, but a good installer or solar retailer should communicate clearly and keep you informed.

What to expect on installation day

  • Your accredited installer will arrive.
  • There will be some paperwork to sign related to the installation.
  • There may be upgrades to the switchboard if these haven’t happened already.
  • Panels, inverters and other components will be delivered (or this may have happened earlier).
  • On some roofs, the installers may put in place temporary railings for their safety.
  • Metal rails will be attached to the roof.
  • Solar panels will be attached to the metal rails.
  • The inverter will be installed on a shaded external wall or in a garage, close to the switchboard.
  • Cabling will be installed to connect the solar panels on your roof to the inverter.
  • The inverter will be connected to the switchboard and a circuit breaker added.

Once installation is complete

  • Your installer will show you the basic functions of the inverter: how to switch the system on and off, and how to read the display panel.
  • If the system includes a monitoring app, your installer will set it up, give you access to it and show you how to use it.
  • You may have to wait for an independent audit and/or installation of a smart meter before you can switch on your solar system. Learn more about the steps to switch on.

What to watch out for

Most solar installations go smoothly, but there are some things to look out for.

Check your installer's accreditation

Depending on the size of the company you are dealing with, you might not have met any of the installers who turn up on the day. The solar retailer may also subcontract the installation to a different company.

Check that at least one of the installers is accredited by Solar Accreditation Australia. You can check their accreditation when they turn up on the day. The accreditation is for the person, not the company, and they will have a digital identification card they can show you. You may also check their electrical contractor licence.

The accredited installer must be physically present at the site for the set-up, a mid-installation check-up and for testing and commissioning. Ideally, they are present for the whole installation.

Learn more about choosing your solar installer.

Check the components

Before the panels go on the roof, ask the installer to show you that the system is as agreed:

  • check the solar panels match those on the quote or contract
  • check the inverter matches the one on the quote or contract
  • check any additional items on the quote (such as optimisers or monitoring app) are provided.

Get access to your monitoring app

Your installer may need to connect the inverter to your Wi-Fi network for monitoring, so have your Wi-Fi password handy.

If there is a monitoring app, your installer should show you how to access and use it. Read more about monitoring.

Tiled roofs

If you have a tiled roof, the installers will need to cut or grind your tiles to fit over the newly installed brackets for the rails to prevent roof leaks.

No matter how careful the installers are, there could be damage to tiles. Your installer might ask you to provide spare tiles.

Rain might delay your installation

A wet roof can be slippery, and electricity and water are a dangerous mix. Some installation jobs can be undertaken in the rain. But if it rains non-stop all day, it’s likely your installation will be delayed.

You should not be charged any extra fees if your installation is rescheduled due to rain. 

Try to be at home for most of the installation

We do advise you to be home for most of the installation. If this is impossible, make sure the installers can access your electricity switchboard and roof cavity.

Discuss all decisions – such as where to place the inverter—with the installer in advance, to avoid any surprises.

After Installation

Waiting to switch your system on

After installation, there may be extra steps needed before you can switch on your solar and start saving.

These processes are different in each state and territory. Read details about steps to switch-on. Your solar retailer or installer will help you with the process.

Keep your documents

Your solar retailer or installer should email you all relevant documents after installation—or give you a hard copy if you prefer. Be sure to keep them somewhere safe. The documents should include:

  • a contract of sale
  • system specifications
  • maintenance advice
  • operating and monitoring instructions including the shut down and isolation procedure for emergencies and maintenance
  • electrical safety certificate or equivalent for your state or territory
  • warranty information for each product and for the installation
  • handbooks and product information for all equipment
  • solar retailer and installer contact information
  • a copy of the installation commissioning sheet
  • a list of actions to take in the event of an earth fault alarm.

Solar system not working or damage to property

If your solar system isn't working (generating no electricity or less than expected) once it’s switched on, or if there is damage to your property, then you should first contact the company that sold you the solar system.

We recommend you put your concerns in writing in an email. If you are not satisfied by the response, you can take the matter further. Read more about dispute resolution.

Safety and quality checks

You may receive an offer of a free safety and quality check by your state or territory regulator or the Clean Energy Regulator.

These inspections help regulators to identify solar installations that do not meet the electrical and building standards of Australia, and installers that have breached the accreditation guidelines.

Get the most from your system

Once your system is operating, make sure you get the most from your system. To get the most financial benefit from your solar, make sure that you are on the best electricity pricing plan.