As solar panel sales are at an all time high everybody seems to be looking for ways to save money on their ever increasing energy bills. They’re also trying to live greener lives, so it comes as no surprise that there are rogue traders out there trying to get in the boom!
In a recent study by Which? they found that more than half of the solar panels installed on our homes were put in shaded areas of the roof or the sales adviser failed to ask how much energy was typically used in the house. That’s two obvious things to watch out for if a solar salesman is at your home, if they don’t check these, ask them why they missed these, the answer will be a good indicator of their credibility. Installing solar panels in a shaded area significantly reduces the operational efficiency, if the sunlight doesn’t hit them as effectively they’re not generating as much energy for you.
To ensure you are not ripped off by a solar cowboy here are a few tips to avoid losing out;
- Do some research online – Look at a few company’ss solar selection, what they are suggesting the savings could be and also at forums for FAQ’s.
- A cowboy won’t inspect your home – If you have a professional they will ask questions about your energy usage, the construction of your home and not just give you a price. Some rogue salesmen have even carried out “surveys” which mean nothing, so ask them questions about each part of their “survey”.
- Pricing – there are a couple of things to look out for here. Is the price lower than you expected? This could mean that it is a poorer product or potentially a poor installation.
- Presentation – If the salesman doesn’t present himself well you will probably feel uncomfortable around them and not want to purchase, but you should also check the leaflets/brochures quality. The company should have good quality materials as they want to give a good impression.
- Pressuring – If they are pressuring you to sign now, don’t. Only sign when you are completely confident and sure it is the right choice for you.
Solar panels do have great potential to save you money over their lifespan and can be well worth the money. The amount of energy produced and money saved (or earned) depends on the location of your home, the position of your roof and the direction your roof is facing. For example a south facing roof in the south of England will probably produce more energy than a north facing roof in Scotland. This is due to the average amount of direct sunlight, clouds and other variables that affect how much energy a solar installtion can produce.
Anglian Home Improvements raising the standard of our homes energy efficiency. Visit the Anglian website for information on our photovoltaic solar panels.