With so many firms now on the solar panel band wagon, and a large Feed-in Tariff reduction that came into place in April 2012, how do you know which one is right for you? In an informative article in Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, written by Eco Homes Assessor Tim Pullen explains the best way to choose a reputable solar panel installation company. Below is a brief summary:
• Choose a company that employs all its own roofers and electricians. This will ensure that your installation is of the highest quality.
• Ask to see the installer’s qualifications – many companies are using unqualified staff.
• Ask what roofing experience the installer has – many solar companies have no roofing expertise at all and this is a crucial skill. It’s a bonus if they have an NVQ in solar roofing with heritage experience.
• Choose a company which has hundreds of installations under its belt and that is happy to provide you customer testimonials.
• Ask who guarantees the workmanship and ensure it is underwritten in case the company goes bust. Reputable companies offer a solar care insurance warranty for ten years.
• Ask who is going to check the structural integrity. It is not unusual for installers to miss the fact that the solar panels may overload the roof structure.
Tim also gives his view on ‘renta-panel’ where some companies offer to mount Solar PV panels to your roof and Solar Panel Company give you ‘free’ electricity in return. He believes that while you might save £480 a year on a 4kW array, the company will make around £1,320 under the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
It really is a helpful alternative if you don’t have the funds to cover the installation at the moment, but you want to lower your energy bills straight away. What you should do is agree a buy-back cost with the installation company, so you can eventually own the solar panels and become eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme at a later date.
The new Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme was introduced this April by the Government to encourage all of us to help our world by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, the major contributor to rising global carbon emissions.
All homeowners who generate green electricity from products like Solar Photovoltaic panels, will be paid by their energy provider for every kilowatt hour generated every day for 24 years. And that’s tax free and index-linked too!