Solar Quotes in the UK

by Solar Selections on March 19, 2012

When it comes to comparing Solar Power Quotes, few out there know as much about the matter as Solar Selections. For years we’ve been analysing the subtle and obvious differences that exist and this helpful article will reveal what to look out for when considering your Product and Price Comparison among other quotes.

One of the difficult aspects of a solar power quote is that it can contain varying levels of detail. One installer may go to the trouble of only revealing the final price, system size and panel type whilst another will provide significantly greater detail. The MCS accreditation standards require that a certain level of detail is included – a checklist of which can be found here under section 5.4.

Solar Quote Checklist

Components

Two of the most necessary aspects of a solar quote are the panels and the inverter. Information should be provided on the brand, country of manufacture, wattage & number of panels and capacity of inverter. Remember that the total power of the system is simply the combined wattages of all of the panels. For instance, ten 180w panels makes up (10 x 180) 1080w or a 1.08kWp system; sixteen 250w panels (16×250) is similarly a 4000w or 4kWp system. The inverter should have a running capacity as close as possible to the total power of the system as possible, with losses occurring with over and undersized systems.

Warranties

An equally important factor with a solar quote are the warranty periods. There are three main warranty types; Performance warranty, manufactures warranty and workmanship warranty.

  • Performance warranty: This relates specifically to the solar cells in the panel. The minimum standard is for the cells to degrade no more than 10% of their performance after 10 years and no more than 20% over the first 25 years. Some panels provide longer terms and at higher minimum rates than this.
  • Manufactures warranty: This applies to both the panels and inverter individually. The minimum is usually 5 years for both component.
  • Workmanship warranty: The industry minimum is 1 year, although it is common to see longer 5 or even 10 year terms provided by installers.

Possible Extras

There are a large number of factors that can result in the installer needing to increase a job total. Complex scaffolding arrangements over conservatories or extra long cable running (over 20 meters) from panels to inverter are two examples. Installers should list this kind of information on their quotes prior to site surveys to ensure transparency.

Price Details

Of course a final VAT inclusive fully installed job total must be present. As well as this, deposit amounts and timing needs to be raised. Be aware on that note that deposits should never be asked for prior to site survey or final contract approval and that it is illegal to ask for a deposit amount over 10% of the final job total.

Dates

All estimates of timetable for commencement of the work and completion should be given. The expiry date of the quote should also be listed and is usually 14 days from issue. Be aware that a standard 4kWp domestic installation should take no longer the 2-3 days from scaffolding installation to completion.

Feel free to call a friendly Solar Selections broker for further assistance on any of the above matters, or to request a free comparison of popular quotes in your region and have them explained at your preference.

Written by Jarrah Harburn

jarrah@solarselections.co.uk

T: 020 7205 2267

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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