Hiring a Solar Panel Installer? Here’s a Checklist before you hire one…

Brand new solar panels can do wonders for your home – but how do you know for sure that you are getting your money’s worth?

Since the turn of the new millennium, being green has never been more important – thanks to global warming and the environmental risks for future generations, it is always good to get a head start and make efforts to reduce your own carbon footprint when (and where) you can. And in the home, one of the most valuable things you can do is think about installing brand new photo-voltaic (PV) solar panels on the exterior of your property. But are they truly a worthwhile investment? And how do you find the right solar panel installer for you?

Why Install Solar Panels?

The initial cost of installing new solar panels can be high, but there are numerous benefits to having them attached to your home, including the following:

  • Sunlight is free, and the daylight you convert into energy can then be used and/or stored to power your home – thus saving you at least some money on your energy and utility bills.
  • Under the UK government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) scheme you can also claim money back on the electricity you generate, so long as your PV solar panel installations has a total installed capacity of 5MW or less.
  • You can also sell electricity you don’t use back to the National Grid – helping you to save even more money over time.
  • And obviously, by generating your own electricity you are helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels, therefore contributing to helping the environment and reducing your carbon footprint!

What to look for in Solar Panel Installer UK

Although installing new PV panels might already seem like a good idea, you still want a contractor who knows what they’re doing and who won’t rip you off. So what should you be on the lookout for when hiring your personal solar panel specialist? Well, most of these qualified individuals should…

Be a Level 3 Qualified Electrician.

Have carried out adequate solar panel installation training, including a minimum of four days understanding the designs and specifications of solar PV panels and maintenance and testing systems.

Carry government-approved solar PV installer certification or similar Solar installer accrediation, such as the City and Guilds 2399 Solar PV Course, or be on the MCS registered installers list (i.e. part of the Micro-generation Certification Scheme).

Offer a variety of different PV solar panel packages for you to choose from, to help you find one best suited to the exterior of your home.

Provide advice and be able to answer questions about the details of feed-in-tariffs and initial solar panel installation costs.

Offer some kind of price-plan for large-scale solar panel installations, to help you fork out for the investment in smaller, more manageable payments (if necessary).

Offer anything up to a ten or even twenty year guarantee on all installation and maintenance work, including an annual maintenance check-up or a guarantee on any follow-up work or repairs for the first five years.