Top Tips For Installing Solar Panels

Rogue traders are an unfortunate byproduct of any industry, and renewable energy is no exception.

Thanks to rising energy costs and schemes like the feed-in tariff more and more people are looking to adopt green technologies. And if Ofgem’s feed-in tariff figures are anything to go by, solar remains the most dominant of all renewable energy technologies.

But as the solar industry continues to grow in popularity, it unfortunately means an increase in the number of so-called “cowboy” installers.

The Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL) – set up by the Renewable Energy Association – has seen a surge in the number of complaints pertaining to green energy installations. It seems more and more companies are seemingly setting out to take advantage of the uptake in renewables by targeting poor consumer awareness using the type of high pressure selling techniques the double glazing industry has become infamous for.

If you’re thinking of investing in a renewable technology, such as solar PV or solar water heating, there are measures you can take to avoid what is known as the cowboy cliche.

Top 10 tips for installing solar panels

  • Knowledge is power so it’s important to do your research before hand.
  • Check out our solar PV calculator to see how much you’re likely to earn once you’ve had the solar panels installed on your roof.
  • Make sure your chosen installer is a member of the REAL Assurance Scheme.
  • The company should be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to install your chosen technology.
  • Get a minimum of three quotes before you decide which company to sign a contract with.
  • Where possible, ask friends and family for recommendations. And remember, testimonials can be worth their weight in gold – but only if they are genuine.
  • Make sure you obtain a comprehensive quote before signing any contract or hand over any money as a deposit.
  • Take your time to read through the contract and ask questions if anything isn’t clear. If any changes are made by either party, make sure they are agreed in writing.
  • REAL advises to never pay more than 25% of the contract price upfront. And don’t forget to check that it will be protected with insurance.
  • By law if you are not happy you have the right to cancel the contract within seven days without incurring a penalty.

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