What to expect from Solar Panel Companies

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Energy creation are one of many solar panel companies working in West Sussex. We cover most of the UK. As an MCS registered solar panel installer we know the standard routine that is expected of a solar PV company.

There is a lot for solar panel companies to take care of when working on a contract for a client. Each solar project both domestic and commercial, a solar panel company has many duties.

In a sort of order (there’s no set way) solar panel companies must do the following:

Disclaimer: not all solar installers will follow this list on every job, nor do we in some cases. However at least all solar panel companies should check that the client has at least thought about the following.

Site survey

Every job needs a site survey at some point.  This is usually before the solar installation happens. It is then that the design can be finalised. A shading analysis will also need to be completed and drawn in at design stage.

Design

Both the roof and electrical installation should be designed for each job. Obviously the roof layout needs to be considered, the type of roof or ground mounting system. Electrically the size of the cable, the state of the original electrical installation and the earthing should all be considered. To name just a few things.

First Quotation

It may be subject to a site survey, but once a few of the key points have been discovered it’s time for the solar panel company to quote.

EPC

Stands for energy performance certificate. For a typical solar installation the property has to have a D or above EPC rating. In some case the property could be exempt, places of worship for example.

DNO application

Stands for district network operator. For solar panel installations where the inverter can output 3.68kW or more per phase a DNO application must be made. This is generally completed by the solar panel company, they may charge a small fee for this, we do as it requires some effort on our part but it’s deducted from the final bill should the installation go ahead.

Planning permission

The solar panel company should make the client aware that planning permission should be considered and in some cases might be needed, albeit rarely. It’s mostly the clients responsibility to check with there local planning office.

Structural survey

We have experienced operatives within our solar panel company that can usually tell whether a structure is more than adequate or if there is any doubt when a structural survey is needed. It depends from job to job, every job should at least be considered particularly where lots of panels are being added.

Order, contract and acknowledgement

So once a solar project is agreed between the company and client in principle a contract will be signed, order given and acknowledged by the solar panel company to the client. The contract should clearly outline what is expected of both the solar panel company and the client.

Deposit payment

Deposits need to be secure its common for solar installers to keep this in a client account that is secure against if the solar panel company where to go bust, for example. Deposits are needed in order for the solar company to start ordering materials and scheduling labour.

Wind loading calculation

A wind loading calculation should be completed as part of be design process to ensure adequate fixings and solar mounting equipment is achieved.

Ordering materials

At this stage the solar panel installer will look to start ordering materials, placing orders is important particularly at a time where the feed in tariff is set to reduce as solar panel suppliers historically get busy at this time and stocks can reduce or disappear!

Scaffolding

If the solar PV installation is on a roof then scaffolding will be required. It is usually the responsibility of the solar panel company to arrange this. In some cases though the solar panels could be fitted to a new build property that is likely to already have scaffolding. At quotation stage solar panel companies are likely to include a schedule that will show if scaffolding is included as one of their responsibilities of the contract.

Interim payment

Before the job starts an interim payment will be taken. This is usually the balance of materials due to land at the clients building.

Installation of the solar panel system

Once all the previous steps are completed the solar panel company will set an installation date and come and install the solar panels to the latest MCS (microgeneration certification scheme) standards. To check that the solar installer you have chosen is registered under MCS check here by typing in their company name. MCS Installer search. Type Energy Creation Experts Ltd to find us.

Feed in tariff application

It is down to the client to apply for the feed in tariff and meet all deadlines. Deadlines are tight with literally no grace period. The solar panel company will most likely have to help with some of the technical questions on the form, however they are generally easy enough for the client to complete.

Handover documents

All solar panel companies have a responsibility to generate documents that relate to the solar installation. The handover pack will include a handover certificate, an electrical installation certificate, DC test results, warranty certificates, start up shut down procedure and schematic diagrams and drawings if applicable.

Final payment

Once the job is finished and handover documents have been created the final bill with be due.

Building regulation notification

If applicable then the solar panel company must notify buiding control that the solar panels have been fitted. Registered solar panel companies won’t have a problem with this as they can notify under their CPS (competent persons scheme).

MCS certification

Almost all solar panel installations in the UK under 50kW will need to registered ion the MCS database in order to obtain the feed in tariff.

Maintenance agreement

This is optional and solar panel companies will mostly charge a monthly or annual fee for this.

Conclusion

Hopefully this has been helpful to you in understanding some of the key responsibilities of the solar panel company. Although not all the above will be applicable for every job at least you know what to expect from your solar installer. If you would like a quotation for your solar PV project then please contact us today.

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