Solar Panel Quotes
Over the past decade installing solar panels has become increasingly popular for homeowners across the UK. With the price of solar panels falling by over 50%, coupled with rising energy bills, solar panels have become more financially viable than ever. With the increasing popularity has come a wave of fly-by-night solar panel installers, some of which try to take advantage of the growing popularity.
We’ve created a guide to help you navigate through the process of getting quotes for solar panels, including:
- MCS Certified Installers
- Feasibility Studies
- Solar Panel Quotes
- Warranties and Insurances
- Health and Safety
- Schemes and Tariffs
Why get a solar panel quote?
Homeowners and business owners typically look to renewable energy and solar panels when trying to reduce their energy bills, reduce their reliance on the grid and become more eco-friendly. For those looking to install solar panels, ensuring you’ve completed the below checklist will always help ensure you’re getting the best product and service:
- MCS Certified Installer – For anybody looking to install solar panels, ensuring that you use an MCS certified installer is a good initial first step. An MCS certified installer is a mark of quality, with MCS certified installers having undergone quality assurances, training standards as well as providing consumer protection.
- Local/National Companies – Requesting a quote for both a local and national company can be beneficial. Weighing up the benefits associated with both local and national companies can help when deciding upon a quote.
- Feasibility Study – Ensuring that a feasibility study has been completed will help assess the viability of the installation.
- Health and Safety – This is somewhat interwinding with ensuring that you use a certified MCS installer. As solar panels generate electricity, ensuring that the installation is safe and compliant is a must. Some installers that are looking to cut corners to save on cost will also install panels without the necessary scaffolding in place, but this is dangerous and can also lead to cracked tiles on the roof.
Before getting solar panels installed, there are several considerations, including:
- Understand the different types of solar panels available. The most popular types of solar panels on the market are solar PV and solar thermal.
- Understanding your energy usage is important to ensure you get a quote for the number of panels that are reflective of your energy usage.
- An area where solar panels can be installed. This will typically be on the roof, but there are several other options available including ground-mounted solar panels.
Through our decades of experience, we can help guide those looking to install solar panels on all of the above points. Our team of highly qualified technicians will advise on the set-up to meet your need and requirements to ensure maximum efficiency and optimum returns from your renewable energy system.
How many quotes should I get?
There often isn’t a right answer in terms of the number of quotes an individual should get before proceeding with getting solar panels installed. Typically, a homeowner or business owner should get at least two quotes. Cheaper isn’t always better, it’s important to consider the several variables of a particular installer or quote, such as those mentioned in this article.
What should a solar panel quote include?
Solar panel quotes vary from company to company, but we’ve set out the main important information any quote should contain. These quotes outline the main information on the system being installed, the price, the feasibility and any related scheme/tariff information.
- System output
- Solar panel manufacturer
- Number of panels
- Feasibility study
- Energy efficiency of the house (EPC rating)
- Information on the scheme/tariff (such as the SEG tariff)
- Cost of the system
What is a feasibility study?
A feasibility study typically assesses the viability of the solar system both financially and technologically. This is usually the first step when assessing any renewable energy project, usually assessing the feasibility from a financial and technical perspective. For smaller domestic installations, the feasibility study will be limited due to the smaller scale of the system. Feasibility studies will typically assess the below areas:
- Project Background
- Site Selection
- Recommended Technologies
- Environmental and Regulatory Considerations
- Economic Analysis
- Community Impact
Depending on the size and complexity of the installation, a site inspection may be required to ascertain aspects to complete the feasibility project.
Consideration when choosing a solar installer
There are many local and national solar panel installers, but there are several red flags to watch out for when looking for a reputable installer.
Certifications and MCS installers
An MCS installer is a company that has been awarded an MCS certification. Companies that have been awarded an MCS certification will have undergone rigorous testing through an independent third-party company to ensure they uphold the 4 below commitments of the MCS certification:
- Commitment to quality workmanship
- Commitment to customer care
- Demonstrate competency
- Committing to continual improvement through the deployment of an effective management system
Different types of schemes and tariffs
The only tariff currently available (as of April 2022) is the SEG tariff. The rates are typically dictated by your energy supplier, so checking these rates to match that of your energy supplier is important to ensure accurate calculations from any excess energy that is fed back to the grid.
Ensuring quotes are like-for-like or assessing the variation between quotes if they’re quoting on different types or sizes of systems is an important consideration before choosing to proceed with a particular quote.
Ensuring that any solar installer has a reputable reputation should be a consideration when deciding upon a quote. There are many fly-by-night companies that offer solar panel installations, but these companies will often not be able to uphold any installer warranties. Choosing an installer that has been established for a considerable amount of time will help ensure that installer warranties are upheld.
Unrealistic feasibility studies can often inflate the typical average generation as well as potential energy savings and export guarantee payments.
Warranty and insurances
Ensuring that the company installing the solar panels has got the relevant insurance and warranties. Often cheap quotes may either have no or limited insurance and warranties, so making sure the system comes with the relevant warranties is important. Solar panels can last for up to 50 years, so ensuring the warranty and insurance cover the payback period can be important to ensure your investment is covered.
Why use SolarTherm UK?
At SolarTherm UK, we've undergone rigorous independent third-party testing and we've been awarded the MCS certification mark of quality. As such, any installations undertaken by SolarTherm qualify for the smart export guarantee (SEG) tariff, as well as being of the highest quality. Furthermore, since being founded in 2010 we've installed thousands of solar installations across the UK. To find out more or for a free quote, contact our team today.