With the demand for solar panels on the increase because of rolling blackouts, consumers are warned to be on their guard when buying them. Distributor, M-Solar Power’s director, Mark Becker, spoke to eNCA.

Spotting and avoiding fake solar panels is crucial to ensure you get a reliable and efficient solar energy system for your home or business. Here are some tips to help you make informed decisions:

  1. Research the Manufacturer: Start by researching the manufacturer of the solar panels. Reputable companies have a track record of producing high-quality panels. Look for well-known brands with a strong presence in the solar industry.
  2. Check Certification: Authentic solar panels typically come with certification from recognized organizations like the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). Verify the certifications to ensure they are legitimate.
  3. Read Reviews and Ask for Recommendations: Look for customer reviews and seek recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours who have installed solar panels. Genuine reviews can provide insights into the performance and reliability of specific brands and models.
  4. Compare Prices: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of significantly lower prices compared to the industry average. Bargain-basement prices may indicate counterfeit or low-quality panels.
  5. Inspect the Warranty: Authentic solar panels typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Check the warranty terms and conditions to ensure they align with industry standards. Be wary of sellers who offer vague or non-existent warranties.
  6. Examine the Packaging: Inspect the packaging and labelling of the solar panels. Genuine panels usually have professional, detailed packaging, including labels with the manufacturer’s information, specifications, and certifications.
  7. Verify the Serial Number: Each solar panel should have a unique serial number. Verify this number with the manufacturer to confirm the authenticity of the product.
  8. Avoid Unverified Sellers: Purchase solar panels from reputable and authorized dealers or installers. Avoid buying from unverified online marketplaces or sellers with questionable credentials.
  9. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the product, including its origin, manufacturing process, and performance. A trustworthy seller should be able to provide clear and detailed information.
  10. Consult with Experts: Consider consulting with solar energy experts or professionals before making a purchase. They can offer guidance on selecting the right panels and help you avoid counterfeit products.
  11. Check for Local Regulations: Be aware of local regulations and incentives related to solar panel installations. Some regions may have specific requirements for the type and quality of panels used.
  12. Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn’t feel right or if you encounter red flags during the buying process, trust your instincts and explore other options.

By taking these precautions and doing thorough research, you can reduce the risk of purchasing fake or substandard solar panels and ensure that your investment in solar energy is both environmentally friendly and financially sound.

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