Dodgy solar leaves nasty surprises

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TOOWOOMBA Regional Council says if you’re thinking of going solar, do your research and make sure the job’s done right.Cr Marks said it was the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the contractor hired to supply and install the system was suitably licensed and the job was completed meeting Local Government approval and inspection guidelines.

IF you’re thinking of going solar, do your research and make sure the job’s done right.

That’s the message from Toowoomba Regional Council Planning and Development Services portfolio leader Cr Peter Marks.

With a number of unapproved solar hot water heaters making their way on to the Australian market, Cr Marks reminded residents they could be in for some nasty surprises if they try to cut costs.

“TRC plumbing inspectors are aware that a number of unapproved solar systems which don’t meet Australian standards have been advertised and installed in the area,” Cr Marks said.

“The products promise an easy, do-it-yourself installation, but home handymen need to appreciate that it is an offence to install an uncertified plumbing or drainage system.”

Cr Marks said homeowners were putting their properties and families at risk by attempting to install equipment themselves or having it installed by unlicensed individuals.

“Only an occupationally licensed plumber through the Plumbing Industry Council can connect the hot water system to the building’s water supply.”

Cr Marks said it was the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the contractor hired to supply and install the system was suitably licensed and the job was completed meeting Local Government approval and inspection guidelines.

Cr Marks said new State Government laws, introduced at the start of this year, stipulated that all plumbers needed to have the new occupational licence endorsement to install solar or heat pump water heaters. This endorsement could be found on a tradesman’s licence card, if homeowners needed confirmation.

“By trying to save a few dollars, homeowners can be sorely out of pocket when substandard or poorly installed systems pack it in or fail to deliver what they promise,” Cr Marks said. “Don’t take the risk.”

For more information visit www.qld.gov.au/solar or call 131 TRC (131 872).

Article originally posted on : http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/06/16/dodgy-solar-hot-water-row-heats-toowoomba/#.T3EA92s8cao.email

 

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