With 50 per cent of homeowners keen to put solar panels on their roofs – but 30 per cent unsure because they distrust solar sales people – we’ve compiled a list of the eight rules you should follow if you’re looking for a solar PV supplier.
Follow these points and you should be well on your way to getting the high-quality system and service that you’re looking for.
If you have any more tips why not let us know in the comments section?
Eight tips for finding the best solar panel installer
1. Do your own research and have some questions ready for the company that visits you. A knowledgeable company will always be able to answer your questions with confidence and expertise.
2. Ask for recommendations. Recommended companies are ones that have done a good job for others, so their work has already been tried and tested. If you know someone that has already had solar panels on their house, ask them who did the work and what they were like. Check the internet for other recommendations and testimonials and visit sites like YouGen to check out well-respected solar panel installers in your area.
3. Do not sign up for a system on the day that a solar PV company visits you (this is re-iterated by the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, which states that installers “must not use any selling techniques designed to pressurise the consumer into making an immediate decision”). You should ensure that the company carries out a full survey; produces detailed, personalized designs for you; and gives you full costs.
4. Get at least three detailed, professional quotes. It’s a standard rule of thumb for any work you get done and it’s particularly the case for a solar installation that you should get at least three quotes. Any company that is going to carry out a high standard of work on your house will provide you with an itemised professional quote, which includes a breakdown of all the proposed equipment, full costs, a financial analysis that includes estimated payback periods and a bespoke design (see tip number 5).
5. Expect a bespoke design. No-one can design an effective solar PV system quickly during a quick visit to your house, so any company that offers costs and solutions ‘there and then’ clearly hasn’t investigated your circumstances in enough detail. Expect a solar installer to go back to their office, assess your specific needs, then use accurate computer-aided-design software (such as PV-Sol)to design 3D images of your proposed solar PV system. The designs should show you exactly what equipment is proposed, where it will go on your house, how many panels there will be, and what the whole system will look like when it’s finished.
6. Beware of door-to-door sales people. Many companies that employ staffto knock on doors and‘sell’ solar PV systems send round just that – salespeople – rather than solar PV experts. Don’t settle for this – always demand that you speak to someone from the company that has a high level of technical expertise. They should be a solar site surveyor, a designer or a product specialist.
7. Check out solar companies’ credentials. When you’re considering having solar panels installed on your property, check credentials of the companies you are considering.
• Visit their site
• Check they are accredited to the government’s Microgeneration Certification Scheme
• Check that they are members of other respected organisations (https://www.sungiftsolar.co.uk/accreditation/)such as the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme Renewable Energy Assurance (REAL) scheme;Solar Trade Association or Regen SW.
8. Do they provide an aftercare package? Companies that offer aftercare packages are often reputable,use high-quality products, and want to ensure that you have a system that will work well throughout its lifetime. Make sure that the solar panel installer you choose will finish your system to the highest standards, tie up all of the loose ends at your house, leave your property in a better condition than when they arrived, and are committed to returning to your house (even if that’s five years into the future) until you are completely satisfied with their work.
The above are just some sound basic tips. But if you’d like further advice from the UK’s most recommended solar PV installer, why not call a SunGift adviser for a chat (01392 213912) or drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and an adviser will get back to.