by Solar writer
5 things to avoid when choosing a solar company
|BBC 1’s “You’ve been scammed” marked the very problems consumers face when choosing a solar panel company featuring on the program’s 16th November viewing.
John is an 86 year old retired war hero from Dorset who found a local company and agreed to pay £12,000 for his installation. Up to this date John has paid £7,000, and 7 months down the line he still has no installation and the company has disappeared. The representative had presented himself as an ex bank manager and has recently been revealed to have a ban from running a company for the next 10 years.
1. Do your research and avoid the companies who do not possess an MCS accreditation. If they are lacking this accreditation then you will not be eligible for the Feed in Tariff and will not receive your income for the energy you generate. This also means they are not licensed to install your solar system and are not qualified to do so. An MCS accreditation means the company installs to the highest quality and they have been subject to rigorous testing to gain this certificate. HomePro, Trustmark and Fairtrades are additional certificates that indicate a trustworthy company that protect the customer after installing.
2. Beware of installation times from the date you sign the contract to the completed installation. Make sure you ask your provider the expected waiting time, and if it’s not in writing, ask them to do so or you could be waiting 6 months or more. A typical installation should take up to 3 months to complete, but should really be well within this time period.
3. Beware of the companies who ask for money up front. It is not uncommon to be asked for a deposit upon ordering, with the remaining balance to be made when the installation is complete. It is usual for a company to ask for a 25% deposit, but be wary of a company asking for more than this as it begs the question of their cash flow situation. Think about what would happen to your high percentage deposit if the company went bust. HomePro Insurance will guarantee your protection if a company disappears.
4. A solar company should carry a manufacturer backed 10 year parts warranty as standard. This comes free as part of your installation package and can be extended to 25 years at an extra cost. This ensures the maintenance of your solar panels should anything go wrong over the next 10 – 25 years.
5. If they cannot recommend a satisfied client that you can get in touch with, seriously reconsider your choice in company. This is a tell tale way to decipher if they are scam artists when they don’t have any consumers who are happy with their product or service. If they did have, they would be proud to say they have clients who would recommend their company.
PV Solar Solutions Ltd are an established company and seriously frown upon any organisation following the same actions as those expressed by John’s installation. They have strong company values that focus on quality customer care and honesty.
Martyn Ware, director of PV Solar Solutions said; “As you can see we’ve highlighted the benefits of HomePro, Trustmark and Fairtrades, and we currently have hundreds of satisfied customers that would recommend our company to you.”