I understand your pain. I often wonder how a consumer can wade through all the noise out there to be able to confidently purchase a solar system. Especially given you’d hope it’s a once or twice in a lifetime event. It’s certainly a big reason for us starting CER, we were working full time in the industry and still couldn’t work out what we’re quality products or not.
In terms of installers, there are of course some ‘cowboys’ out there, but in reality the majority of operators are professional and passionate about what they do. It takes quite a commitment to become a solar installer, in Australia and the US at least, and the regulations to ensure installations are done to a high standard are quite tight. I would say the best option is to get recommendations from friends and family for electricians in your area, a lot of electricians install solar or at least can recommend someone. You can also do one of those get three quotes services, but I think the risk there is being convinced by slick salespeople rather than quality products etc. If you don’t have any good recommendations, you can search for Clean Energy Council accredited installers in Australia here https://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/consumers/find-an-installer.html. I would get quotes from three or four. You will get a good understanding of how these guys operate from communicating with them.
Once you have a few quotes to compare, have a look at our website and articles on the best solar panels and inverters to check the products are there. Or ask questions in the forum. Let us know if you have any further concerns.