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Getting Solar Panel Quotes
The Renewable Energy Hub guide to getting solar panel quotes
You've seen solar panels on the roofs around you and you're thinking of taking the plunge and getting some quotes. This short page has been set up to help you make the best decisions moving forward. It's the best place to start when seeking solar panel quotes.
At The Renewable Energy Hub we can assist you by looking at the various factors to consider moving forward and providing all the information on switching to solar power to save money on your bloated energy bills. We aim to provide you with the necessary information and, if requested, three quotations so that you can make an informed decision on whether solar is a good fit for you. Please visit our Solar Panels pages for further reading.
Solar power prices can vary considerably so it's important you receive the right information and quotes from the best companies in your area.
We have two options for acquiring quotes through us: You can either send us your name and phone number, we'll give you a call, take a look at your roof from Google maps and answer any questions you have, or you can search our comprehensive database of installers in your area.
We can have up-to 3 reputable local installers provide you with no obligation quotes and there is no cost to yourself for this service.
All our installation companies are MCS accredited and filtered through our trusted installers checklists.
Solar panels and the use of solar energy has been growing and evolving for many years and over the last century has become more efficient and affordable, saving homes and businesses money on energy bills whilst lowering their carbon footprint. Let’s look at a few things to consider when looking at what best suits your home and what kind of solar panel quotation you may receive.
COMPARE PRICES FROM LOCAL INSTALLERS
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It's essential to gather multiple quotes to ensure you get the best deal from the right company. Here's a list of considerations.
- Research and identify local installers. Check that companies have positive feedback and reviews. A proven track record, you may also want to check Companies House and make sure that everything is in order. Local installers are often more familiar with regional regulations like conservation restrictions and may be able to provide you with a more personalised quote. We have an inbuilt ratings and reviews system but there are plenty of third party websites that offer a similar service. We never chase people for reviews so please feel free to use this service and let us know how you get on.
- Understand your energy needs. How much electricity are you using and at what times? Is it fairly consistent? If you have low daytime usage and high nighttime usage then a larger battery system could be a good option. You don't get much for sending electricity back to the grid these days so working out if the extra expense of a battery is worthwhile and what capacity battery storage you may need is an important factor. You may benefit from a smaller system if your usage is low so don't overspend on a large system if you can't utilise the electricity. Our installers will design a system to meet your needs but it's always good to have an idea of system size before you go ahead with quotation.
- Get some solar panel quotes in. You should be looking at gathering at least three quotes. Prepare your consumption data and any other relevant information, although the installers can assist you obtaining this information, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Don't get overcharged for quotation. Some companies are extremely busy in these times of rocketing energy costs and have started charging a fee for quotation, this should always be negotiable.
- Some installation companies will provide an initial quote using an app or Google Maps. This can work in cases where the install is very straight forward but we generally recommend a site visit to evaluate the property, just to ensure their aren't any surprises when the team show up to install.
- A quote should include a details design and itemised breakdown of costs. The design should include the number and arrangement of panels, the inverter system and details on any other components including diverters for domestic hot water and battery systems with costs included and the make/model of all components.
- Compare the different quotations. Consider any applicable warrantee and maintenance agreements. If the installation company is a long distance from you, what will they charge as a call-out if there is a problem?
- Consider the pay-back period. Obviously, solar panel systems aren't cheap and unless you're driven solely by lowering your carbon footprint, you're likely hoping for a financial return on your investment.
Your pay-back period can be worked out by the installers. It will be based on the expected output of your solar panels over time against the current and projected cost increase of electricity from the grid.
A 5-10% increase in the annual cost per unit of electricity is usually factored into things when installers work out the pay-back period, so check this hasn't been inflated. The figures should be clear and concise.
- Evaluate financing options. How much will any financial payment schemes effect the pay-back period of the system? If you're not paying for the system upfront then it's always good to compare the installation companies finance options with third parties.
- Check the company has the correct accreditations, you can verify MCS accreditation on the MCS database online. You can also ask for references if you feel it necessary.
- Once you've chosen your installation company, it's time to finalise the contract. Review the contract thoroughly before signing. Ensure it includes all the agreed terms and conditions, timelines and payment schedules.
By following these steps, you can confidently gather quotes and make a sound investment. The Renewable Energy Hub is an information service with a network of over 800 approved installations companies across the UK.
Feel free to contact us directly by phone/email or by using one of the forms you will see on the website.
How much do solar panels cost
Most will cost between £5000 and £8000. Whilst the initial outlay may seem high, what you need to look at is how over time, they can save you money as any energy you produce is free power for your home and offsets the growing price of grid supplied electricity.
Solar panel prices have plummeted over recent years with many companies offering affordable set ups. With energy prices more than doubling in 2022 and solar panel prices have dropped by considerably, the pay-back period for solar panels is a lot more attractive than it has been.
The average solar power system can save you £365/£852 a year on your electricity bills depending on the size of the system installed and the location it's installed in. Most quotes you receive will include installation and associated costs.
Previously, you could have earn't money on any extra power you produce by selling it back to the grid via the feed in tariff, but this scheme no longer exists, changes to legislation however allow energy companies to 'bid' for the price they will pay you for the excess energy your system produces.
The SEG or Smart Export Guarantee is provided directly by your energy company. The rate of financial compensation provided under the SEG is determined by your energy provider but is usually between 3-15 pence per kilowat or ppKwh.
A solar battery for your system has become a far better option to store the extra energy for non-daylight hours as using your 'free' electricity will always be cheaper then purchasing electricity from the grid and energy companies will never pay you for your electricity at the same rate they sell it back to you.
Battery technology has come a long way recently and the price of purchasing one with a solar panel system has fallen as well. They are becoming increasingly efficient which will give you the potential to use very little electricity from the grid.
The amount you can save really depends on the energy efficiency of your system, the location of your property and the type of property - you will find new builds are cheaper to have them installed as often the systems required are very small (1-2kW) and can cost as little as £2000 fully installed.
The best position for solar panels is south facing as this is when they will be most efficient as their efficiency depends on how much sunlight strikes the panel so it can convert into electricity. The most efficient panels on the market is around 22.8% efficient, so shopping around is important.
Solar panels will upgrade your EPC rating, but it is worth mentioning that insulation is an important factor in keeping your home and power use efficient and pass building and environmental regulations if you are constructing a new home or seeking to improve your EPC to let a property.
The quotes you receive from local solar panel installers
Installers should look at your property location, which way your house faces and what size of installation you are able to have. Then they will give you an idea of how much power an installation on your roof would produce at all different times of the year.
The energy rating of your home will be considered within the quote. You should then be given a rough calculation of the amount of money you could save by switching to solar, and, of course, you will need the total cost of the whole system which ideally needs to be broken down for you with prices for materials and labour.
All these things will consist of a good quality quotation which our installers will provide. Solar panels can be expected to last up to 50 years for the panels themselves, but other parts, such as the inverter, will need to be changed every 15 to 25 years and will cost between £500 and £1000 (depending upon its size and manufacturer).
The inverter converts the electrical current made by your solar panels into usable electrical current for your home, so is essential to your set up. Upkeep is low, though they will generally not need to be serviced. On average, you will be charged about £200 for a system service, but you could do the yearly checks yourself and have an installer check them every 3 years or so or if you sense something is wrong.
Solar Thermal options
As well as solar panel systems for your electricity, another option is solar thermal which would be a system to heat your water for domestic hot water (DHW) requirements. It can be used for residential or commercial use and is typically 70/90% efficient with the cost of solar thermal being from £2000/£5000 for parts and installation.
This technology does have government incentives that are very attractive so read our content pages about this technology if this interests you. It is important to make sure you have all the right information and check that all parts and labour are accounted for in the quotations. The installers do have to work on some estimates and predicted increases but it’s important to check that these seem reasonable.
Your quote should take into account anything that could drastically affect the output of your system, such as trees that will provide shade and will compromise how effective your panels will be. We are very careful to use certified, reputable, local installers but of course it is it still wise to be careful. You could check reviews and ask to speak to one of their previous customers and they should be happy to help you do this.
Check that the installers are using quality parts by asking where they get the parts from and researching their supplier. And, lastly, check they have a MCS accreditation.
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