Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Post - Tips On Choosing A Solar Panel Installer

The recent 9% increase in tariffs by the Big 6 has sent shivers down the spines of many UK home owners. With winter around the corner, the shivers will only get worse. Switching between energy suppliers used to be a good way to ensure that you were on the best tariff, but that has all changed. The energy situation can be remedied by use of alternate energy supplies, such as wind power and Solar energy.

Solar Panels have slowly become prevalent across England. Large retail stores, farms, country estates, banks all use solar arrays to keep their business running. Homeowners can also benefit greatly from this technology. They can enjoy less energy bills and can even earn money back using the Feed-In-Tariff System.

The public interest in the use of solar energy has also led to an increase in the amount of firms that supply and install solar panels. With advances in technology and better supply chain management, solar companies can provide tailored solutions to your energy needs. On the flip side, this also allows inexperienced companies to come into the trade. There have been reports in the news about pushy salespeople targeting home owners in a bid to sell them solar panels. 8 times out of 10, they are simply middle men who then sell off your details to the highest bidder.

If you have made the smart move to install SPV (Solar PhotoVoltaic) in your home, follow these when choosing your solar panel provider :-
  1. First confirm that they are a registered member of the Renewable Energy Association (REA). In the US, check with the National American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

  2. When you contact them, the company shouldn’t give you an estimate or quote over the phone. Unscrupulous sales people try to push for the sale, even before assessing your home.

  3. A home visit should be arranged for proper assessment and to see if you are eligible for fitting a PV system. Ask if you will be visited by a sales person or a surveyor. Ideally, on the visit, a surveyor and an electrical expert should be part of the visiting team.

On the appointed day, your home will be assessed for key factors including :-
  • The orientation of your roof, (you generally need a south-facing roof).
  • The tilt angle of the roof is also examined as this determines the kind of frame that will be created to hold the panels.
  • Your fuse box and meter
  • Details of your current electricity consumption patterns

With this data, a professional solar PV installer can customize a plan for your home.

After the visit, the company usually contacts you within 5 working days, with a plan for installing a solar panel system. When they get back to you, they should give you a quote with a detailed breakdown of what they will be doing for you. This should include :-
  • Panel information
  • Warranty details of the parts to be used
  • Details of the solar inverter
  • Breakdown of Cost and savings
  • Maintenance requirements and details

Professional PV companies will ensure that you get adequate returns on your investment. Be wary of firms that try to get a commitment out of you without carrying out these steps.

Choosing to use solar energy isn’t an immediate return on investment, but a steady and guaranteed one. A decade from now, you will be glad you did.