“The road to a cleaner world has been made especially difficult by commission hungry salesmen with just enough technical knowledge to bag they’re next sale – but don’t lose heart.”
I developed Heat my Home as a resource for the earliest solar adopters, to help them avoid the pitfalls that come with being a solar pioneer.
Solar panel technology has been that next ‘big thing’ for a few years now in the eye of the salesperson, but the biggest industry lesson learned was; if you’re told “Our panels are the best in the world”, then back away slowly and politely.
Despite there being a much more regulated solar industry than when and I first joined the industry, there is still a minority who overcharge by whipping the customer into a frenzy of excitement to sign a contract that day.
Research, research and get three quotes and you could save yourself thousands on your installation. Solar technology is still a great investment for your household’s future, but only when done at the right price. A good installer will never rush you into a decision and will give you in-depth technical advice – not just a sales pitch!
If you’re paying thousands too much, then it’s going to take you many more years longer to get your original investment back. Any company charging £9000 for a standard 4.00 kWp system knows they are overcharging the customer by around 33%.
All good quality well respected solar panels cost around the same price per panel apart from Sun Power which are more than double the price.
All good quality inverters cost around the same apart from Solar Edge and Enphase micro-inverters.
Add-on’s like monitors can be bought for £80 to £200.
PV to hot water converters say £350 to £500.
Expect to pay a bit for for a proper installation onto a slate roof than a concrete tile on.
Because solar panels typically last up to thirty years, you can expect a properly priced system too payback within the first decade, thus leaving another decade of revenue profit/free energy and a third decade of even more delicious free power.
This is why I love solar panel technology, simply because you will still be benefiting from it – three decades from now.
This is especially imperative as our current crop of politicians seem to be swimming against the geopolitical and environmental tide. This means shares in traditional energy sources are now overvalued and will gradually become underinvested as the disinvestment movement grows – I digress.
There is a variety of solar panels available in the UK market and many are variable on their efficiency rates and peak output. Efficiency governs the size of a panel not its output, but all this comes secondary to the amount you pay and the installers ethics.
Life’s too short to sit through a two hour sales pitch. A good installer will assess your home, your needs and offer you reasonably-priced installation options in the time it takes to sip a cup of tea.
“My solar panels are better than their solar panels” is a red flag you shouldn’t ignore, but the volatility of national and international energy policies is a red flag to continue your research.
Your transition and investment into a solar-powered home can be affordable and effortless. Although the world around us may be changing quickly, the solar savvy are ready for what may come.
The installer is just as important as the equipment
The quality of the installer is just as important, as the equipment used. Always do your homework on the installer and get three local references if possible.
Every company is different when quoting, but they should be looking at what your power usage is and how much you pay per KWH, in order to make the payback time and figures as realistic as possible.
Inflation and electricity price rises are impossible to predict in this volatile world, but we have seen electricity rise by 35% in one year, 8% in another year and nothing another year. Over three decades of the lifespan of your system, this will undoubtedly lead to a consistent rise.
Inflation, can be factored in around 3% and electricity at 6%, but these figures can be variable if the customer is unhappy with them.
This is the difference between inviting a real installer or a salesmen into your home. An installer or technician will be accessing the technicalities of your home properly because he will be responsible for the work. A salesmen has no other forethought other than his commission cheque.
The solar industry and the good installers who have dedicated decades of technical self-education in addition to their earlier incarnations as electricians or heating engineers and are simply no match for someone who spent one afternoon on a sales training meeting.
I doff my cap to these real professionals. They are a true inspiration and will be the real builders of our country’s future security once the politicians eventually grow-up.
Their years of commitment in seeing the industry grow sustain-ably, is the only persuasion you need to invest in this much needed technology.
Commission hungry salespeople have likely put off more people than they have ever pursued over the last five years, but for those who properly research their solar equipment, they’re installers and their prices.
Actually, you will get a real advantage over those without solar panels in the coming years as the subsidies for traditional dirty energy sources continue to grow exponentially as they dwarf anything that green energy would have required.
"Feel the pride."
Stuart Lovatt on
Founder of Heat My Home.