With the UK's rainy and cool climate it may not seem an obvious country for solar energy. However, since generating electricity from solar panels only requires some level of daylight to extract the energy from the sun, Britain can still harness solar power during overcast and rainy days. Worldwide, the UK is surprisingly the seventh largest producer of solar power after China, Japan, Germany, India, the US and Italy.
Perhaps you’ve wondered about making the switch to solar yourself. Still, the process for choosing a solar installer can be intimidating. You may wonder who you can trust for this type of electrical project on your roof.
Solar installers are an essential part of the process in making the switch from your utility provider to electricity powered by energy from the sun. The right solar installer will be able to provide their expertise not only in the installation of your panels, but also in the full design of your system.
Below are a few easy ways to ensure you find the best solar installer for your energy needs.
Do Your Research
There are a few questions you should answer first that will help you find the right solar installer for your needs.
- How much energy does my home currently consume? Take a look at your energy bill. This information will help you and an installer determine what size system is appropriate for your home. If you understand your energy needs, you won’t end up overpaying for a system that produces more than your home can use.
- Does the location and positioning of my home make me a good candidate for solar? Some homes are not ideal for solar if they do not receive adequate sunlight, such as those heavily shaded by mature trees, homes that endure frequent dust storms or homes that have roof lines facing away from the sun for most of the day. A professional installer’s design can help mitigate these effects, but the production of your system will be a direct result of panels’ location, so it is best to have realistic expectations about your home’s potential when sourcing solar.
- Do I understand how a solar system works? Solar systems are a complicated web of electrical equipment that are made up of many different components. While you don’t need to understand all the engineering details, you will benefit from understanding how your solar panels, inverter and the rest of the system works together to ensure the system is working safely on your home, and ultimately saving you money.
Your installer will help guide you during installation, but having your own basic knowledge of how the system works together will ensure you peace of mind that you received the highest quality system at a great value.
Select a High Quality Solar Panel Brand
Solar panel technology varies widely. Panels from different companies may have different performance and efficiency metrics, as well as customer service, warranty coverage and more. These factors impact how many panels you’ll need to meet your energy needs as well as their overall lifetime production and guarantee.
It is also common in the UK market to find panels using low-quality materials that could be potentially dangerous if installed incorrectly on your home. These panels are often much cheaper than a quality system, but also may have a much shorter lifespan as well. Before you choose a panel, be sure your panels have been verified in third-party testing for quality control.
If you choose a SunPower partner, you’ll not only get high-performance SunPower® solar panels, but you’ll also have peace-of-mind knowing your panels come with an industry leading 25-year Complete Confidence Power and Product Panel Warranty and they are backed by a company with a 30-year history.
Find a Qualified Solar Installer Near You
There are many good reasons to shop local and this is especially true for solar. Finding a solar installer in your area will guarantee that your installer knows about the facets that make your community unique. Local installers bring a customized solution to fit your home’s construction and design, your family’s energy consumption and local government incentives to going solar in your area.
Weather and sunlight vary widely across the UK, so you’ll want to hire an installer who can design a system that optimizes use of the sun. From weather patterns to seasonal trends, local installers will be able to advise you on the best panel configuration for your roof. Plus every city has different permitting and building code standards that may change frequently. As experts in their field, local installers have key relationships with local permitting offices and inspectors to follow guidelines that your municipality may have.
Be sure your installer is MSC-certified. MCS certifies low-carbon products and installations derived from renewable sources, so you can have confidence in the solar panels you invest in. MSC is a mark of quality which demonstrates adherence to recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance.
It’s also wise to contact your current electricity retailer to verify your eligibility for feed-in tariffs that may apply.
If you choose a SunPower® solar installer partner, you can rest easy knowing our partners are highly qualified and based in your area. They are the experts not only in home solar systems, but they will also provide you with a custom and optimal design for your home based on your energy needs, climate and roof type.
Find a solar installer in your area by entering your region in our installer locator.
One of the best parts about switching to solar is knowing the difference you’re making for the environment. The bonus is seeing the difference in savings on your electric bill. Once your installer completes the solar installation on your roof and inspection is passed, your system is connected, “turned on” and the transformation is complete. Sit back and save! It’s a win-win.