Solar panel installations are one of the most worthwhile renewable energy investments worldwide, and it’s hardly surprising considering their numerous benefits. Not only do you get to save money on your electricity bill and are no longer as dependent on an energy supplier – but you can also earn money when your system produces more energy than you need and you sell it back to the national grid. But if you have already decided that a solar panel system is for you, you need a good partner who can install your system. Although numerous solar panel installers are out there, how do you know whom to trust and rely on? It pays to ask the right questions if you already have an installer in mind, so here’s a list of the most important questions you should ask your chosen solar panel installer.
- Are you certified?
First of all, ask your installer if they are certified. A good solar panel installer, such as www.atlanticrenewables.co.uk, will have the proper certification and accreditation from MCS or anything equivalent. If the installer doesn’t have any certification, they may not be adequately qualified to perform the installation. Moreover, you may not have any protection if the work they carried out is faulty.
- Will you include a structural report with your quote?
It also pays to have a structural report included with the quote from the installer, and a structural engineer who is ISE-qualified should do this. Your installer should determine the strength of your roofing beforehand, and they should figure out how well it will hold the extra load. No two roofing systems will be the same, so you need a report specially tailored to your roofing system. It should also consider factors like spacing, wind zones, and the size of the rafters, which can all affect the integrity and suitability of your system.
- How will you install the solar panels on the roof
Regardless of whether you have tiles or slates on your roof or flat, it’s essential to know how your chosen installer will fix the solar panels onto the roof. The good news is that most PV systems are suitable for any roof, but the roof itself must be strong enough.
Solar panels also need to ‘breathe,’ so proper airflow is vital, not just for ventilation but also for efficiency. The installer has to place gaps between the panels, but this can leave the solar panels vulnerable and exposed, especially to strong winds. If the installer doesn’t install adequate fixings, the wind can enter the gaps, and the panels could get torn off. In continental Europe, like Germany and the Netherlands, a ‘click fit’ system is popular, but it is better to have a K2 mounting installation that employs brackets and rails in the UK.
- What are the warranties that will come with the installation?
You should also ask the installer which warranties will come with the installation. Whilst solar panels can last for up to two decades, consider the type of warranty on workmanship offered by the installer, as these warranties can last for a decade. Find out how long the warranty of the inverter is as well, as most inverters will come with a 10-year guarantee.