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Solar Zone

Author: First Choice Solar

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Solar Zone

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 11 records of 11

The world is changing so how are we adapting?

Recently, Peter sat down to reflect on the past 10 years of First Choice Solar, as well as to focus on and discuss the adaptability that will be required by the business for years to come to continue to be viewed as one of the largest and most respected solar companies in South-East Queensland. Read on to see what was discussed.

If there is one thing the team at First Choice Solar knows after a decade of riding the ‘Solar-Coaster’, it is that adaptability is crucial for longevity. From our beginnings when we started life contracting for other solar companies, we have always had one eye on the future and been ready to change tack to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. 

First Choice Solar Founder Peter Berkers

In those early years, it was realising the potential to leverage off generous government schemes and become a solar retailer in our own right. Then came the battle to survive the solar downturn of 2012 when the demise of large feed-in tariffs saw potential customers retreat and hundreds of solar businesses go broke. Agility was never more important and our ability to navigate that difficult period ensured we emerged stronger than ever.

And so we come to 2021 and a world where the need for clean, green energy solutions has never been more crucial but governments continue to move the goalposts when it comes to solar policies. The latest example is this month’s release of new rules by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) that will see power companies able to charge people with rooftop solar panels for exporting electricity to the grid. Under the changes set to take effect in 2025, charges will be imposed when there is congestion on the grid such as the middle of the day.

While some companies and many customers are railing against the news, we do things differently at First Choice Solar. Change is a fact of life, particularly so in the solar industry, and we are choosing to spend our energies evolving as a business to meet the new circumstances. On that note, we have embraced a vision to become a leading energy enabler that shows customers how to better manage their solar energy. As opposed to companies that simply install solar panels, we will focus on providing solutions for our customers’ future energy needs and teach them how to use their power in a smarter way.

This includes facilitating access to the latest battery technology that allows them to store their power when the grid is saturated and export it during periods offering high feed-in tariffs. We will educate them about the capability of electric vehicles to store and export power, along with advocating ground-breaking automation technology to ensure the more efficient use of power. We envisage a rise in the number of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled appliances that can be switched on when feed-in tariffs drop, with ideal candidates including washing machines, dryers, heat pumps and charging stations for electric vehicles.

During the past decade we have established First Choice Solar as one of the largest and most respected solar companies in South-East Queensland and Northern NSW. We have completed more than 10,000 residential and commercial installations and introduced thousands of people to the environmental and financial benefits of solar.

Now, as we enter the next decade of our journey, we are perfectly poised to adapt to the changing landscape and establish ourselves as leaders in not only introducing people to solar but guiding them on an increasingly complex journey and ultimately maximise their investment and achieve greater sustainability for all.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 28 September 21

‘We are here for the long haul’ – First Choice Solar founder welcomes new shareholders

In little more than a decade, Peter Berkers has grown First Choice Solar into one of the largest and most respected solar companies in South-East Queensland and Northern NSW.

Now he is focused on his next goal – overseeing a succession plan that will see the business thrive well into the future.

Founded in 2010, the business started life contracting for other solar companies. However, it was not long before Peter set his sights on becoming a solar retailer and was dealing directly with the customer. 

“It’s no secret a lot of solar installers come and go and that’s why we’re so proud of our longevity. Solar is a highly competitive industry, but we are here for the long haul,” said Peter, who has invited two of his loyal team members to join him as shareholders in the business – son Josh Berkers and fellow long-term employee Matt McKinley.

“Matt and Josh have played an integral role in our tremendous growth during the past five years, and I am thrilled to welcome them as joint shareholders.”

Matt has worked with the business for a decade, having started as an installer before climbing the ladder to now being the director of a solar company that employs a dozen staff and has completed more than 10,000 installations.

“Josh oversees our installations, which are completed by full-time employees who are focused on quality rather than quantity,” Peter said.
“He has been with First Choice Solar since high school and throughout his electrical apprenticeship. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and forms a key part of the leadership team with Matt and myself.”

As a proud father, Peter is understandably excited that Josh has joined him as a shareholder in the company he founded. Peter’s two other sons have also worked for First Choice Solar, with one having been onboard since day one and a potential future shareholder.

Starting out as Qelec Pty Ltd trading as First Choice Solar, the company has since changed its name to First Choice Solar Qld Pty Ltd (ACN: 144 966 110) after the restructure.

“What differentiates us from our competitors is that we don’t employ salespeople,” Peter said.

“We realised that customers want to speak with people who truly know what they are talking about and in our case that is Matt, Josh or myself."

“We are all qualified electricians, Clean Energy Council-accredited solar installers and have spent many years on the tools and our customers appreciate that we have the time to educate and support them.

“I believe there are three important aspects to selecting a solar system that will still be working and saving money for 10 years and beyond - the inverter, panels and installation.

“However, it is not just the quality of these three, but the workmanship and support given by the company providing it. We operate out of a factory and showroom in Burleigh Heads in which our customers can come and discuss our products and get advice and support.”

Peter added: “We only provide products from companies with proven performance that have offices and support staff based in Australia. I like to call these blue-chip companies where they have been around longer than the warranties they offer.” 

With the succession plan now in play, the co-owner and mentor has no intention of stepping away any time soon.

“I still love going to work,” Peter said. 

“I remain incredibly passionate about the industry, but it is reassuring to know we have implemented a succession plan that will ensure First Choice Solar continues to deliver quality, service and support to our customers well into the future.

“The solar industry is hugely rewarding because of its environmental benefits and we get to help people save money, which is the key driver for most of our customers.

“When you rewire a house, a customer can’t see your work. When a car breaks down, people can begrudge having to pay for it to be fixed. When we leave a job though, our customers look at the new solar panels on their roof and are happy because it is going to save them money for many years to come. 

“My job never feels like a chore. It is an industry I love and when it comes time to retire, I think the boys might need to lock me out to keep me away.”

For more about First Choice Solar, visit www.fcsolar.com.au

Posted in: Solar Zone at 21 July 21

Fronius Wifi Reconnect Guide

Posted in: Solar Zone at 23 March 21

Sungrow Wifi Reconnect Guide

Posted in: Solar Zone at 23 March 21

Drone Footage of one of our latest installations in South East Queensland

Drone footage from a happy customer!

Sungrow & Longi 6.6 kw Solar Power System
Sungrow 5 kw inverter with energy meter and built in wifi for cloud based monitoring of consumption and production and 18 x 370 watt MONO Longi Tier one Solar Panels. Ten year warranty on inverter, Ten year warranty on panels and 25 year performance guarantee. Ten Year First Choice Installation warranty.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 08 October 20

Congrats Keiko Jangega, you won the $100 EFTPOS Gift Card!

$100 EFTPOS Gift Card Prize Winner for Lodging a Solar Review

Congratulations KEIKO JANGEGA, you won the $100 EFTPOS Gift Card Prize in our "Leave A Google/Facebook Review" contest!

To claim your prize, the team at First Choice Solar will call you and give you more details!

Again, Congrats and we thank everyone who participated in our contest. Your review(s) matter to us.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 23 March 20

Leave a review and go into the draw to win a $100 EFTPOS Gift Card!

First Choice Solar Leave a Review

As a family owned and operated business, we take pride in providing the highest level of service and would like to hear your feedback on how we are doing and so would other customers. We understand life is busy, which is why we would like to thank you for your time in completing a review by placing you into the draw to win a $100 EFTPOS Card!
 
To leave a review and go into the draw, please click on one of the following link(s):
Google review icon 
 
 
Facebook review icon | First Choice Solar
Winners will be announced on both our website and Facebook page so keep an eye out!
 
We thank you for choosing First Choice Solar for your future energy requirements. Good luck!
 
First Choice Solar Team

Posted in: Solar Zone at 24 January 20

Putting off buying solar because you are waiting for batteries to drop in price

DSolar Battery Storage | First Choice Solar - Your Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Solar Expertsespite the hype about solar battery storage, any honest solar installer will give you the same advice: Batteries will not pay for themselves in 2019.

At the moment, a Tesla Powerwall battery system will cost you around $14,000 to install, and will take about 15 years to pay back. The unit is warranted to last 10 years.

You do the maths.

Unfortunately, all the hype in the mainstream media about batteries has made people question the viability of solar without batteries – to the extent that people are waiting for ‘affordable batteries’ before they invest in solar.

But even though the cost of solar battery storage is projected to decline year-over-year, it makes no sense to wait to get solar.

Every day you don’t have solar is another day you do have to pay high electricity bills. A well designed solar system without batteries can give you tiny bills.

Waiting 2, 3 or 4 years for batteries to become affordable means another 2, 3 or 4 years of high bills.

One day, batteries will make lots of sense – and when that day comes they can easily be added to any existing solar system using a method called AC coupling. 

So don’t lose years of savings waiting for cheap batteries to arrive.

Consider going solar now - with the knowledge that you can easily retrofit batteries later when they will pay for themselves – not before.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 27 May 19

Solar Power for Your Home or Your Business

Solar Power for Your Home or Business | Solar Battery Storage | First Choice Solar - Your Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Solar ExpertsSolar energy is the cleanest, greenest and most viable source of renewable energy available to help power your home, business, or community organisation.

If you’re a Gold Coast homeowner you would know very well that the price of electricity has only ever gone one way – and that is up. Home solar power is one way that you can fight your ever rising power bill!

Solar power converts sunlight into electricity by using sun’s energy to create an electrical current. Harnessing this renewable source of energy and converting it into usable electricity takes place with modules of specially fabricated materials that make up solar panels being connected to the mains power supply through an inverter. This then converts the DC power produced by the modules into AC electricity, which is ready for your household or business needs.

Commercial Gold Coast Solar power systems are increasing promptly in popularity as businesses and corporate boards are realizing their appealing financial benefits. If your business has an interest in evaluating the viability of a solar power system at your facility, we can supply a custom made financial analysis and after conducting a site analysis and obtaining details from your power bill we will provide you with an obligation free quote. Call us now at 1300 356 881.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 22 January 19

Get The Maximum Performance Of Your Solar Power System

Are you getting the maximum performance out of your solar power system? Has your solar inverter been set up properly or panel layout and configuration designed or connected correctly? Are all your solar panels even connected?

If you don’t think your solar power system is performing as expected, these are all questions you might be asking yourself and if so you should consider having your system tested and serviced. Over the years of installing and servicing solar systems some of the common problems I have come across affecting your system performance include one parallel string not even ever connected, panel configuration not correctly designed for inverter voltage range, incorrectly programmed voltage parameters in inverters – this is especially common in the old Aurora inverters now ABB and the Fronius ‘Snap’ inverter range. Your system may appear to be working correctly but you are not getting the maximum benefit from your solar power system. As an accredited Fronius service partner we can check all these settings for you.

Another common occurrence with Fronius inverters is the extended warranty has not been activated. For the last few years Fronius have been running a promotion extending the standard warranty from five to ten years, but this needs to be activated after installation to take effect. With many serviced office based solar marketing companies using subcontractors for installations this process has not been completed. The subcontractor isn’t getting paid enough to do this and the solar company is on to the next sale leaving the customer thinking they have a ten year warranty when in fact they don’t.

If you have any concerns regarding any of the above give First Choice Solar a call with an office and showroom on the Gold Coast and services starting from just $132. We are here to make sure you get the best performance possible from your solar power system.

If you have a warranty claim and your original installer is no longer around or doesn’t want to help you we might be able to assist. We can handle warranty claims with the following inverter manufacturers Fronius, Sma, ABB, Zeversolar, Delta. We can also handle the following panel manufacturers warranty claims for you, Trina, Canadian Solar, Risen, Longi.

Posted in: Solar Zone at 25 September 18

AeroSharp Australia, CMS and Kinglong New Energy (KLNE) Inverters

If you currently own inverters of brand AeroSharp Australia, CMS and Kinglong New Energy (KLNE), please be informed that it has been confirmed that these companies have entered into administration. All warranties under these companies have now become void. Affected customers will have to pay a minimal charge for...

Posted in: Solar Zone at 19 February 17