General Advisory 3 of 3: A very messy affair: Why not go with a local, reputable, and service-oriented office-based install company?
You’d think we were making this up but feel free to ask our long time friends and customers in Hua Hin and you’ll know that we operate an honest, family-owned and “by the book” solar supply and install company (see also pictures below).
When we install our solar systems we expect the systems to operate properly and safely for up to 15-20 years. We carry the warranties on over 10 products as Solar Shop is the factory authorized dealer and installer. We install systems so they meet PEA-standards 100%. We have done our homework and provide highest standard installs top-to-bottom. It’s cost money to do this properly – sorry … you can’t do this on a small budget. We have told each of our customers with PEA electric meters that registry is required. The government has set up their system so home owners can self-register. However it’s difficult to do. Working with the Ministry of Energy and PEA head office some obstacles to participating in the process have now been removed. The government asks installers to help guide customers through the process. Installers charge to help with registry. We deliver on our promises to register our customers correctly, legally and as fast as possible.
When you have your solar system installed you need to ensure that your inverter is PEA approved to be connected to the grid and is on the PEA (or MEA) List of approved inverters. You need to have an export meter so you can control export of excess solar power going to the grid. You need to know that your panels are not counterfeit (this is hard to do so go back to hiring a trustworthy installer who is always truthful). You need to ensure that the solar install is PEA standard and is safe.
If you have had a solar system installed at your home you may have received a long letter from the PEA requiring registration (or face consequences). We are busy helping our customers at Solar Shop Hua Hin get quickly registered. We have been approached by households who chose other installers to install their solar systems. So we went to their homes to see if and how we could help. The first 6 houses we visited had the following problems:
-Installers not helping with registries. If the solar salesman is telling you it’s ok to spin your meter backwards cause “everyone does it” and there is no need to register – be buyer beware
-On-grid systems not connected to the house electric-grid correctly nor safely
-Fake counterfeit solar panels with no factory warranty (no idea what panel they were illegally rebranded from, nor how long they were used before refurbishment and sold as new-sadly now on many roofs in the Hua Hin area)
-Non-pea approved solar inverters (so to register the owner needs to buy new). I mean certain solar installers sourcing supply of non-PEA approved inverters from at least 4 different brands? That takes the art of scamming people to an entirely different level.
-Non-pea standard wiring, circuits, safety barriers and or electrical components
-Export meter (a PEA requirement) incorrectly installed, non-functioning or not installed at all, improper system design and low voltage from panel sets
-Non-existent, disconnected, sub-standard grounding
-Incorrect roof mounting techniques (which will lead to roof leaking in the near future – I mean cheap L-feet drilled into roof tiles, seriously? Curtain rails and home made hooks? And of course the home owner complained that his roof leaked. And wall-cinder block mountings on a flat cement roof top cemented using only tile glue? The home owner’s workers could kick the cinder blocks loose. How will that hold the panels in place during a strong wind storm?)
-Non-standard PV cable runs
-Installer not following through on service promises, even when written in the contract
-Installer contract is not legally put together – acts more like a memorandum or invoice than a contract
-And I probably have missed a few items that our electrical engineer, master electrician and our experienced roofer team found.
We went to one house and the owner showed us that the solar electric wiring (in the solar combiner/control box) was openly arcing (short circuit). The owner said he had contacted their installer to help fix the bright light they were seeing (for more info read: https://www.
A fellow recently posted on fb forums the invoice of an install company from Bangkok. Boasted about about what a good deal they were.
Interesting invoice. Just to make a few comments.
-No registry of the on-grid connected system? This needs to filed and acquired locally within your State of residence. So good idea to use a local in-state installer.
-1-Year warranty on the install – we give 2 and are local. From our office we often drive 5-20 minutes up the road to come have a coffee with and help our customers with their systems. And we actually show up – just ask our customers. And after the warranty period we still come help our customers. If you don’t believe it, just ask our customers or check out our testimonials @
The customer boasted that the company was a PEA registered install group. No such thing but if the install company advertised this it a very great sales job. To be correct, a company can be PEA recommended (as is the case with our company).
So Why Do You Have to Register Your Grid-Connected System?
The purpose of the Ministry of Energy and PEA registries is not primarily to put a 1-way meter on homes with solar systems. It is to ensure that all systems meet PEA electrical standards. Know that the PEA Inverter List applies to inverters outside of Bangkok. The MEA Inverter List applies to inverters who have MEA electric meters @ Bangkok. There are thousands of sub-standard systems installed nation-wide connected to the PEA grid. We know this because we are called in to fix or upgrade solar systems on a regular basis. The PEA is concerned about this. Non-PEA standard systems may damage the PEA grid systems and may present unsafe conditions for PEA workers working on their grids.
Be Buyer Beware
It becomes obvious that quite a majority of people honestly don’t really know much about solar system installs. This means you need to buy your system from a group that is reputable and can be trusted with your business. Be Buyer Beware. When purchasing a solar system you should know that there are a lot of short cuts and scams that can be gifted to you during and after the install. And the worst thing that can also happen is the operator does not follow through with after care service.
How would you feel if you had to pay to upgrade your solar system immediately after you purchased a solar system install? It’s the age-old story. You think you got a deal. But you end up spending more money than if you had hired a proper install group the first time.
So … Shouldn’t you hire a reputable group that has a local office and local services, follows the laws of the land and excellent reputation to install your solar system? Choose a local install company that will help you have success long-term with your new solar system. It’s your wise choice.
Special Note: The point of writing this Blog was not to discourage you in any way. Absolutely “Go Solar Today.” Even our family has a solar system at our private residence and yes it’s fully MOEnergy/PEA registered already. And why Go Solar? Solar systems allow you to produce your own clean green power and let’s face it, it is the only item on your property that “wakes up” everyday at sunrise and “goes to work” making you money!
Happy New Year 2022 from Solar Shop Hua Hin