On March 26 2015 Epho was certified in
- ISO 9001 Quality Management System
- ISO 14001 Environment Management System
- AS 4801 OH & S
This didn’t mean a huge change in our business – we were already focused on quality for our customers. It was more of a documentation of our processes, and a framework for dealing with improvements, issues and change.
What does this mean for customers? It reinforces and demonstrates our commitment to quality in the products and services that we deliver.
In short – we want you to have confidence that a system we install we do what it is meant to.
In solar, we find that there are a lot of compromises being made. Many of them are without the customer’s knowledge. They are made as a cost cutting measure, or out of ignorance, and the consequences are often not known for many years.
Our goal is to deliver what we promise, and provide reliable ongoing power to companies for decades.
This is not easy!
There are numerous codes which govern a solar system installation. This diagram explains some of them. And this is just the delivered system. The whole process of financial modelling and prediction is not regulated, so is highly prone to optimism and error.
Every week we see systems that don’t deliver what they promised, or proposals that misrepresent solar.
So, if you are in the process of evaluating solar for your business, ask yourself what standard the supplier is holding themself to.
Examples of issues we see:
- No compliance with council Compliant Development Certificates in NSW (they are simply avoided as being too hard, when in fact they are a requirement.
- Incorrect system sizes (oversizing being the main issue, as this merely costs the client money with no additional financial return).
- Poor choice of system components beyond the obvious inverter and panel choices. Specifically, the rails are not matched to the buildings structure. A ‘one size fits all’ approach is taken.
- System components chosen on price rather than longevity or performance
- No structural engineering considerations
- Equipment installed contrary to manufacturers’ guidelines, therefore voiding warranties. (Inverters too close together, panels clamped in the wrong places).
- Ignorance of exclusion zones on roof
- Panels installed in shaded areas
- Poor system design
- Poor safety
- Lack of ongoing monitoring or reporting
- Lack of ‘ownership’ of issues ie ot taking responsibility for all aspects of a system including metering changes.
- Poor explanation of what solar will do for a customer, leaving them confused or with misguided expectations
- Accidental voiding of warranties
- Poor financial modelling which overstates the benefits of solar to a system owner (not taking export into account, incorrect power price calculation, incorrect power price rise assumptions, overstating output)
It’s not easy to get everything right… But the ‘cost’ of errors is often placed back on the customer by a decrease in long term system output – without their knowledge.
Epho team is committed to a quality system, and has a combined experience of over 50 years in solar, and hundreds of megawatts of system designs and installations. We make dozens of decisions in any system that the system owner will never see, but often cost us additional time and money so that we always deliver the best systems.
Solar is a substantial investment, and it should be a rewarding investment, so we recommend choosing a supplier based on their commitment to you, rather than the lowest price.
Please also see “What do you mean I have no warranty?”