Solar panels offer a significant investment opportunity for your property, and both domestic and commercial solar installation offer numerous benefits, from creating a greener and more sustainable lifestyle to slashing your energy bills and taking advantage of the new Smart Export Guarantee tariff for surplus energy generated by your solar system.
Whether you are ready for work to begin, or you are simply interested in learning more about the difference a renewable energy source can make to your property, recognising the signs of a good solar installer are vital to the success and longevity of your investment.
When installed correctly, solar panels can provide free and clean energy for your home or business for decades, with minimal maintenance required. Not only can they allow you to live and work independently from the frantic electricity price wars and unsustainable practices of mainstream energy companies, they can add value to your property and, in the case of business ventures, improve your public perception, too.
With so many benefits at stake, choosing a company with the right expertise and tools to optimise your domestic or commercial solar installation, and ensure that you have full confidence in the system, is vital. Read more below about finding the right solar installer for your project.
One of the most essential tools for any successful installation is scale auto CAD drawings demonstrating the location of the panels and wiring. With these, engineers can create an accurate and bespoke plan that optimises the installation for your property before any work begins. This will ensure that your contractors are all working toward the same result, which will make the process more efficient, and keep costs at a minimum.
They should also complete wind load calculations, which are used to calculate the maximum speeds to which your solar installation could be subjected; this is an essential step in ensuring the safety and longevity of your installation.
Similarly, weight load calculations must be carefully made; if this step is not given the proper care and attention, your roof could struggle to support the full weight of the solar panels.
Shading analysis is also a significant part of the design process. By identifying areas of shade cast by other buildings or trees in the area surrounding your property, your solar installer can create a design that will ensure optimal results that account for any limitations outside of your control.
Ensuring that the design is optimised for your particular property is a critical step in the process, and expert engineering cannot be abbreviated for the sake of a speedy installation. The right solar company will be realistic about the timeframe required for each stage, and will not promise fast or cheap results at the expense of quality and safety.
Expert installation will be undermined by poor equipment, which could have devastating consequences for you in the future, even with the most diligent maintenance. A quality solar company will only liaise with manufacturers with proven track records, and won’t use poor quality equipment for the sake of a more competitive quote. Not only can poor quality equipment be less efficient and more prone to costly repair work, they can also put you and your building at risk of fire or electrical faults. The cost of solar panels has dropped considerably over the last few years, but any home- or business-owner should practice caution when dealing with solar installers promising exceedingly low prices.
The solar company’s credentials will offer important insight into the quality of their practices. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), for instance, stipulates a high benchmark for the quality of design, installation, maintenance for solar panels. In order to ensure that your installation will meet requirements and achieve the highest BREEAM rating, solar installers should provide accurate generation forecasts.
For commercial installation, transparency from your solar company about the steps they will take to adhere to the Building Regulations UK (BRUKL) requirements is essential. Similarly, for domestic systems, the SAP offers important guidelines for the energy performance of your home.
A good solar installer will have a rich and diverse track record of both domestic and commercial solar installation. Every roof and structure presents its own challenges for installation, and practical experience is key to ensuring that your own solar system will work effectively, and last well into the future.
Case studies offer invaluable insight into the work they do. Rather than merely implementing a ‘one size fits all’ approach to installation, a valuable solar installer will be able to exemplify instances where the structure itself posed a challenge, and rigorous attention to detail was required in order to ensure that the client’s system was feasible and completed to a high standard.
Experience will also provide your solar installer with the right practical knowledge to advise you properly on the best course of action for your property. If you require an EV charging point, for instance, they should be ready and willing to offer guidance on a specific system that can work with the smart grid, which will enable you to be paid for charging your electric vehicle. There is a wide variety of systems, each offering different benefits, and an experienced solar installer will provide valuable guidance when the time comes to choose a system for your property.
Similarly, they should be happy to offer further information on the day to day operation of your solar panels. From the beginning of 2020, for example, a new scheme entitled the Smart Export Guarantee came into force, requiring any large energy supplier to offer a tariff for surplus energy fed into the national grid by customers using solar panels. Since this scheme remains relatively new, many property owners considering solar installation remain unsure about the advantages, but understanding how your solar panels can benefit you financially is vital to your decision to make the switch to renewable energy. A true expert will be fluent in offering up to date and impartial advice in this area.
Domestic and commercial solar installation is a big investment, and it has the potential to bring a number of enviable benefits to the day-to-day running — and long term value — of your property. For this reason, it is very important that your solar installer provides you with a clear, accurate breakdown of the costs and savings you should expect to see as you change the way you power your home.
Similarly, you should ensure that they offer a warranty for the equipment they are using; if they do not offer one, then it is possible that they are using cheaper or poorer quality materials that are likely to lump you with significant added costs further down the line. High quality solar panels require very little maintenance in order to work effectively — in general, you should aim to have them checked every year — but this ease of operation can be lost on solar installers hoping to save on costs.
Look for domestic and commercial solar companies offering a warranty of no less than ten years. Not only will this ensure that you are able to power your home or business as effectively as possible, it will enable you to remain confident as you make the transition away from relying on energy suppliers. It can take some time for property owners to adjust to solar panels, and knowing that you will continue to have the support and help from your solar installer is important to your own peace of mind.
Investing into our future, living more sustainably and forever researching and pursuing new avenues for improving our modern way of living is far more than a business venture. Your solar installer should be progressive and ready to stay on top of the latest innovations and trends within the renewable energy sector, and be able to demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that your solar system is installed to the highest possible standard.
The right solar installer will understand that this presents a significant investment into your property, and that arming you with the right knowledge understanding — and remaining transparent about the process — is far more important than resorting to pushy sales tactics. After receiving your initial quote, you should be given the time and space to consider the costs of installation, and to come to your own decision before committing to the process; if you feel pressured into signing up for the work on the spot, then you cannot hope to feel fully satisfied with the end result — even if has been completed to a good standard.
‘Going green’ is not procedural; effectively pursuing positive change for our own wellbeing — and for the health of the planet — is a vocation, and adapting your home or commercial space to align with renewable practices goes far beyond the installation itself. Take the time to find a solar installer who offers a thorough and conscientious approach to domestic and commercial solar installation, both for greater financial security, and for your own peace of mind.There are grants available for the installation of both commercial and domestic solar EV charging ports. The WCS (Workplace Charging Scheme) offers government support towards the costs of purchasing and installing solar EV charging points, just as the EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) is able to offer homeowners a grant towards the purchase and installation of up to two solar EV charge points.
Over the past months, we have been handed an opportunity to glimpse a future lead by clean, sustainable energy; at the same time, efforts to increase the UK’s capacity for renewable energy have been an unfortunate victim of the necessity for a country-wide lockdown.
Fortunately, we have not lost momentum entirely, and continuing into a ‘new normal’ with lowered emissions and sustainable practices as a priority is not only possible, but essential. Now more than ever, we are all aware of the toll global crisis can take on our health, quality of life, and the economy at large, and another opportunity to restart normal life with a firm commitment to protecting the earth — and, by extension, ourselves — may not come in time to ensure a cleaner, healthier and more stable future for us all.