A Solar Panel system is undoubtedly a big investment for any homeowner! The Feed-in tariff will provide tariff incentives to UK residents for 25 years and thus its hugely important to the profitability of a solar panel installation that everything is installed properly and good quality panels are being used. Components will vary quite a bit from installer to installer, in terms of, electrical output, form factor, and weight. Most solar panels will come with a 20-25 year warranty, making solar a long term investment hugely dependant on the quality of the initial investment.
The first thought amongst consumers is to flock to the cheapest option on the market, or assume the polar opposite, that the most expensive provides the most quality and thus go for that one. The better choice will most likely be somewhere in the middle. Most good solar panel installers will take care of everything from start to finish, from sourcing the necessary components to scaffolding and managing the installation (you might just need to provide a few warm brews for the boys). Typically installers will get wholesale prices for the panels, and pass on the savings to you.
The real danger for the consumer is going with the cheapest option, ask yourself why they might be cheaper? Lower quality service? Lower quality components? Neither of which most of us want. Although solar panels can last 20-25 years and most are guaranteed with a manufacturers warranty, other critical parts of the installation are not so resilient. Making sure they are top quality is the only way to ensure your system functions faultlessly for decades.
Finding the right installer will be much like finding a home builder, or a general contractor for an addition to your home. Some will be shady, some will be expensive, some inexpensive, and some will seem genuine but quite conceivably might not be. Thats life, business, and it can be a harsh reality. There are quite a few elements involved with purchasing, planning and installing a solar power system, which a good installer, and a good installer will need to know a bit about everything. The installer will be handling the components, rebates, and programs that you qualify for as well as the actual installation in your home. Websites such as yelp.com are excellent ways to weed out the average from the excellent, make sure you check that out.
Every solar panel installer in the UK must be MCS approved this means they are following the standard protocol for installs in the UK. You must make sure that the company offering you an install are indeed MCS approved. You can do so by visiting the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) website and visiting the approved installers search. If the business is approved then it shows they are at least genuine.
Do your own research
I cannot stress more how important doing your own research is, if you don’t want to be sold something you don’t need or don’t know that you might need or not, then make sure you at least do some research before calling an installer. A simple google search and an evening spent swatting up on solar panels will be more than enough to get you going, understanding buzz words and what they mean. You can sit on the other side of the table knowing what they are talking about, which is going to give you a big advantage, when weeding out the installers you don’t want to use. Being one step ahead of the competition is always a good thing.
Tust, and Transparency
Finally it’s really important that whomever you choose to install your system is trustworthy and has transparent processes that don’t keep you in the dark. You need to be able to trust the installer and feel comfortable discussing with them anything you are not sure about. A good installer will look to provide this level of service all the time.
Be wary, there is a tendancy in many service industries to push higher priced products or additional services that may not be necessary in order to generate more revenue. Keep in mind that you’re the customer and you need to be confident and comfortable with every aspect of the job before signing the contract. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or pressured, then consider working with another installer. The installer will come and go once the job is complete, but you’ll have to live with the job they performed for decades, so make sure it’s a great one.