Page last updated at 19 July 2017 at 12:35
Choosing Solar Panels
Finding the right panel system and installer for you can be a minefield and the Council cannot recommend anyone in particular. But as with any project on your house, always get at least three quotes and take the usual safety precautions when answering the door.
Never let anyone in your house, until you are satisfied they are who they say they are. Always ask for identification and ring the company first to check if you are still unsure. If a contractor claims to be working with or employed by the council check with us first. Ask the person at the door for identification and ring us straight away on 02380 688 000.
Checklist of things to look out for
- Make sure the company visiting you is MCS certified and a member of the REAL Consumer Code by following the links and searching their registers. MCS is essential for your system to be eligible for the FIT or RHI and REAL is recommended because it ensures the salesmen and installers are working to a required standard and they will help in disputes.
- Find out if you are being visited by a surveyor rather than a salesperson. A salesperson cannot carry out a technical survey and can only estimate the cost of installation.
- The quote should be tailored for your property and include panel/model information, details of warranties, details of the solar inverter, the company's T&Cs and information on how it has calculated the payback, rate of return and savings. Check it includes VAT at 5% and scaffolding if applicable.
- Discuss the output of the solar PV system being offered and make sure it comes with a guarantee.
- Check what maintenance is required and if this is something paid for separately.
Visit our pages on how to save energy at home before you consider renewable options.