The Most Important Questions You Should Ask Your Prospective Solar Panel System Installer

The Most Important Questions You Should Ask Your Prospective Solar Panel System Installer

Almost 5000 solar installers are registered with Renewable Energy Assurance Limited or REAL. REAL is an operator for the renewable energy sector. If you own a property where you would like to install a system, it can be challenging to choose amongst all these installers, even if you live in a small community. Unfortunately, just like any other industry, the renewable sector can be fraught with companies that follow bad practices and have unpleasant sales techniques. It’s in your best interest to select the best installer to work with if you want your solar investment to be more than worthwhile, but how can you choose the ideal one? To help you on your quest for the best solar installer, here’s a list of the most important questions you should ask your prospective solar panel system partner.

The first step

Your first step would be to ask for quotes from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified installers or their equivalent. It would be a good idea to get up to three solar quotes so you can compare and choose the one that works best with your needs and budget.

The questions

Are you certified?

It pays to confirm whether or not the installer is certified, especially with MCS or its equivalent. Installers like have the proper accreditations, including MCS, for example. If they have no certifications or accreditations, you can’t be confident that they will have the adequate qualifications to fix the installation. Also, you will not fall under the protection of the MCS in case they don’t do a proper job.

Can you give me a structural report with your quotation?

You would also need a structural report by an ISE engineer because your installer will have to see and assess if your roof is strong enough for the installation beforehand. They also need to figure out if your roof can realistically support the load and extra weight. Even if two roofs have the same materials, e.g. slate, one roof will always have differences from the next, which is why you can’t depend on a generic report. You should have a report specifically for your roof, and it should also consider other factors like wind zones, spacing, and size.

Who will install the panels?

Some installers subcontract the scaffolding erection and removal, and this is quite common. But it will also be a good idea to know who will be carrying out the actual work because you have to know who is responsible for it, whether your installer subcontracts it or not. This way, if you have questions or if there is a problem, then you will know precisely whom to contact.

What comes with your price?

It also pays to know exactly what they have included with the installation price and whether or not it will come with any add-ons. For instance, does their quote factor in a monitoring or evaluation solution? A wireless display is immensely useful to maximize your solar panels because it can give you instant energy output, product, and everyday output information. Your goal is to recover your total investment in your solar panel system over its entire lifetime, so if you know how to monitor the system, this allows you to gauge its performance more accurately.

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