Solar panels

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Solar Panel Installers

Choosing the right solar panel installer is important to ensure that your installation runs smoothly and your system operates efficiently for years to come. A knowledgeable and experienced installer can maximise energy production, optimise system performance and ensure long-term reliability. Trusting a reputable installer can help avoid costly mistakes and achieve the full benefits of solar power for your home. In this guide, we we explore the basics of solar installation and how to choose the right installer for your needs.

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Ready for the solar revolution?

To set up a no-obligation consultation, we ask you to leave your details so we can contact you. Solar panels are at the heart of the sustainable revolution. Discover the benefits of solar energy at your home. The consultation will give you:

  • Exactly how much you could save with solar (up to £1,300 per year!)
  • A free, no-obligation quote on high quality solar panels
  • Industry leading performance guarantees for 25 years

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    Understanding the Basics of Solar Installation

    The process of getting solar panels installed begins with assessing the property (either in person or with Soly’s virtual consultation) to design a customised system that covers the needs of your home. Once approved, the installer obtains permits and mounts the solar panels to the roof. They will also connect the wiring and inverters, test functionality and connect the system to the grid or battery storage so you can use the power from your solar system in your home. Regular monitoring and maintenance ensure optimal performance and longevity of the system.

    Types of Solar Panels and Installation Methods

    There are two main types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are made from highly efficient single silicon crystals. Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple silicon fragments, providing a more affordable option with slightly lower efficiency. The solar panel installation method will involve either a rooftop or a ground-mounted system. Solar installers mount panels directly onto the roof of a building, or on the ground using racks or mounts. Each method has its advantages and considerations, depending on factors such as available space, roof condition and shading.

    Spotlight on Monocrystalline Solar Panels

    Monocrystalline solar panels are known for their high efficiency, typically ranging from 15% to 24%. This means monocrystalline panels tend to generate more electricity per square meter than polycrystalline panels, making them an attractive option for a solar panel installation with limited space, such as smaller rooftops. Their sleek black appearance also blends seamlessly with rooftops for more esthetic appeal.

    Assessing Solar Installer's Track Record and Portfolio

    Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Solar Installation Company

    When reviewing a solar panel installer’s portfolio, look for the following key indicators of reliability and quality:

    • Experience: Verify how long the installer has been in business and their track record of completed projects. More experienced installers like Soly (with over 10 years of experience) often have a better understanding of local regulations, best practices and potential challenges.
    • Credentials: Verify the installer’s certifications and accreditations, such as Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certification. These credentials demonstrate the installer’s expertise and commitment to industry standards.
    • Testimonials: Look for feedback from past customers regarding their experiences with the installer. Positive reviews and testimonials can provide insights into the installer’s professionalism, communication and overall satisfaction with the completed project.
    • Warranty and Support: Consider the warranties offered on installations and the installer’s commitment to ongoing maintenance and support. A reputable installer Soly (who offers industry-leading customer assurances) should stand behind their workmanship and offer comprehensive warranties for peace of mind.
    Evaluating Solar Installer’s Customer Projects

    Case studies and customer projects completed by solar panel installers offer valuable insights into their expertise and reliability. By examining these examples, you can assess the installer’s track record and gauge their ability to deliver successful outcomes. For example, case studies showcasing a variety of installations, such as residential, commercial, rooftop, and ground-mounted systems, demonstrate the installer’s versatility and proficiency across different projects.

    Sustainable future

    The Role of Solar Installers in Your Energy Transition

    A solar panel installer helps homeowners work out how many solar panels they need and how to place them to ensure maximum energy generation. Their expertise ensures that the system is optimised for efficiency, reliability and longevity. Solar installers provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process, helping you navigate the complexities of permits, incentives and financing options. By empowering homeowners to adopt solar energy, installers contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy independence.

    Solar Installers’ Tools and Equipment Quality

    High-quality tools and equipment are essential for ensuring the success and longevity of solar installations. When evaluating a solar installer’s capabilities, homeowners should look for the following:

    • Quality Brands: Reputable solar installers use trusted and reliable brands for solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and other components. Brands with a proven track record of performance and durability are preferred.
    • Proper Sizing and Design: A skilled solar installer will conduct thorough site assessments and use advanced tools for accurate sizing and design of the solar panel system. This ensures optimal performance and maximum energy production.
    • Safety Equipment: Homeowners should ensure that the installer adheres to safety standards and provides appropriate safety equipment for their team.
    • Warranty Coverage: High-quality equipment typically comes with comprehensive warranty coverage. Homeowners should verify the warranty details for the solar panels, inverters and other components to ensure protection against defects and malfunctions.
    Essential Solar Installer Equipment Checklist

    A reliable solar installer should have the following tools and equipment:

    • Solar Panels: High-quality solar panels from reputable brands, sized and designed according to the specific installation requirements.
    • Inverters: Reliable inverters for converting DC electricity generated by solar panels into usable AC electricity for the home.
    • Mounting Hardware: Durable mounting hardware, including racks, rails, clamps and fasteners, for securely installing solar panels on rooftops.
    • Electrical Wiring and Connectors: Proper wiring and connectors for safely connecting solar panels, inverters and other components to the electrical system.
    • Solar Panel Testers: Specialised testing equipment for verifying the performance and efficiency of solar panels before and after installation.
    • Safety Equipment: Essential safety equipment, such as harnesses, ladders, helmets, gloves and safety glasses, to ensure the well-being of the solar installer team during installation.
    • Solar Pathfinders or Sun Path Calculators: Tools for accurately assessing shading and sun exposure to optimise the placement and orientation of solar panels for maximum energy production.
    • Power Tools: Various power tools, including drills, saws and screwdrivers, for cutting, drilling and assembling components.
    • Electrical Testing Tools: Instruments for testing voltage, current and resistance to ensure the proper functioning and safety of the solar panel system.
    • Documentation and Permitting Tools: Software and tools for generating permits, documentation and paperwork required for regulatory compliance and approval.
    Four warranties

    Evaluating Solar Panel Installer Credentials and Certifications

    Choosing installers backed by trusted credentials and certifications helps you guarantee quality and expertise for your solar installation project. Look for installers that are MCS certified, which demonstrates that the installer has met rigorous standards of training and competence in solar energy systems. Check for licenses, insurance and accreditations specific to your region to ensure compliance with local regulations and industry standards.

    Verifying Insurance and Warranty Offerings

    Reputable solar installers in the UK should offer insurance and warranties to safeguard your investment:

    Performance Guarantee
    A performance warrantee ensures that the solar system will perform as expected for a specific number of years. At Soly, for example, customers can expect industry-leading 25-year performance warranties. During this time, we will replace any issues.

    Product Warranty
    This covers the solar panels, inverters and other components against defects in materials and workmanship. Typically, reputable manufacturers provide solar panel warranties ranging from 10 to 20 years, or up to 25 years with Soly’s industry-leading warranties. This ensures peace of mind and protection against unexpected failures.

    Workmanship Warranty
    This warranty guarantees the quality of the installation and workmanship provided by the solar installer. It covers any installation-related issues, such as leaks or faulty wiring, for a specified period after installation. A workmanship warranty of two to five years is common among reputable solar installers in the UK, while Soly offers an industry-leading 10-year workmanship guarantee.

    In addition to warranties, reputable solar installers should also carry liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Liability insurance protects homeowners against property damage or personal injury that may occur during the installation process, while professional indemnity insurance covers errors or negligence in design or advice provided by the installer.

    How to Confirm Solar Installer Insurance Validity?

    Request proof of insurance documents directly from the installer. These documents typically include a certificate of insurance issued by the insurance provider, outlining coverage details such as liability and professional indemnity insurance. You can also contact the insurance provider directly to confirm the validity and coverage of the policy. Check for any complaints or claims filed against the installer with relevant regulatory bodies or consumer protection agencies. This can give you peace of mind throughout the solar installation process.

    Solar panels

    Ready to make the move?

    To set up a no-obligation consultation, we ask you to leave your details so we can contact you. Solar panels are at the heart of the sustainable revolution. Discover the benefits of solar energy at your home. The consultation will give you:

    • Exactly how much you could save with solar (up to £1,300 per year!)
    • A free, no-obligation quote on high quality solar panels
    • Industry leading performance guarantees for 25 years

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      Comparing Solar Panel Installation Companies

      A solar installer is providing a long-term service so it’s important that you also consider their after-sales care.

      Service on personal levels

      Understanding Customer Service and Support

      Strong customer service and ongoing support ensures a positive experience from the initial inquiry to post-installation maintenance. Reputable providers prioritise clear communication and transparency throughout the process, addressing any concerns promptly and effectively. Homeowners can expect thorough consultations, personalised recommendations and timely updates on the progress of the installation. Most importantly, reputable providers also offer ongoing support after the installation is complete, including system monitoring, maintenance and troubleshooting, to maximise the performance and longevity of the solar panel system.

      From start to finish

      Personalised Customer Support in Solar Projects

      A decent solar installer provides personalised customer support by tailoring their services to meet the unique needs and requirements of each customer. This personalised approach begins with thorough consultations to understand your specific goals, budget and site conditions. Throughout the installation process, companies like Soly offer customised solutions, such as site-specific design recommendations and flexible installation options to accommodate unique projects and solar installations.

      Financial solutions

      Understanding Solar Installation Costs and Financing

      Assess the upfront costs of purchasing and installing solar panels, including equipment, labor and permitting fees. Explore financing options such as solar loans, leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs) to spread out the cost over time or avoid large upfront expenses. Compare quotes from multiple installers and financing providers to find the most cost-effective solution. Consider potential savings from reduced energy bills and available incentives such as tax credits or rebates when evaluating the overall cost.

      Incentives and Rebates for Solar Installations

      Here are the government incentives, tax rebates and other financial programs that can reduce the cost of solar panel installations:

      • Home Upgrade Scheme (HUG2): Supports low income families by providing grants of up to £10,000 for solar panels and other energy efficient home improvements.
      • 0% VAT Incentive: Buy solar panels or batteries at 0% VAT to reduce the upfront costs of a solar install.
      • ECO4 Scheme: Provides grants to fund energy-efficient upgrades to homes reducing emissions, electricity and energy bills.
      Breaking Down Solar Installation Financing Options

      There are several financing options available to finance your home solar installation:

      • Solar Loans: Solar loans allow you to finance the upfront cost of solar panel installations through a loan specifically tailored for solar projects. These loans may be secured or unsecured and typically offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms.
      • Solar Leases: With a solar lease, you can “rent” a solar panel system from a solar provider for a fixed monthly fee. The solar provider retains ownership of the system and is responsible for maintenance and repairs, while homeowners enjoy immediate cost savings on electricity bills.
      • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): Similar to solar leases, PPAs allow homeowners to “purchase” solar electricity generated by a solar panel system installed on their property, typically at a predetermined rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The solar provider owns and maintains the system, while homeowners benefit from lower electricity bills without the need for upfront investment.
      Timeline and Project Management for Installations

      Preparing for Solar Panel Installations: A Homeowner's Checklist

      The typical timeline for a solar panel installation project can vary depending on system size, site complexity, permit requirements and installer availability. Throughout the project, homeowners should expect clear communication, regular updates and transparency from their chosen solar installer. Project management steps may include scheduling, coordination of subcontractors (if applicable), quality control inspections and addressing any concerns or questions.

      What to Expect During Solar Panel Installation

      Here is a general outline of the installation process for most solar panel installation companies:

      • Consultation and Site Assessment: Initial consultation with the solar installer to discuss goals, site conditions and system options. Site assessment (Soly offers advanced virtual consultations) to evaluate roof or ground suitability for solar panel installation.
      • Design and Proposal: The solar installer designs a customised solar panel system based on the assessment and homeowner preferences. The proposal outlines the system specifications, costs, financing options and expected savings.
      • Permits and Approvals: The installer obtains necessary permits and approvals from local authorities, utility companies and homeowners’ associations (if applicable) to proceed with the installation.
      • Equipment Procurement: Solar installer orders the equipment, including solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and other components.
      • Installation: Solar panels and associated equipment are installed on the roof according to the approved design and specifications. The installer handles the wiring and electrical connections and installs the inverters to convert DC electricity to usable AC electricity.
      • Inspection and Interconnection: When completed, the system is inspected by relevant authorities to ensure compliance with safety and building codes. Interconnection application is submitted to the utility company to connect the solar panel system to the grid.
      • Activation and Commissioning: The solar system is activated and commissioning tests are performed to ensure proper functioning and performance.
      • Monitoring and Maintenance: The installer provides ongoing monitoring and maintenance services to optimise system performance, address any issues and ensure long-term reliability.

      Common Misconceptions About Solar Installers and Installations

      Many homeowners still believe that solar panels are only suitable for sunny climates, that installation is excessively expensive and that maintenance is complicated. In reality, solar installers like Soly can customise systems for various climates with panels suited to low-light conditions. Costs have also significantly decreased in recent years and maintenance is typically straightforward, requiring minimal effort from homeowners.

      Solar Panel Maintenance and Upkeep

      Solar panel maintenance requirements are typically minimal, involving periodic inspections, cleaning debris and dirt buildup, checking for shading issues and monitoring system performance. Installers may offer maintenance packages for annual services or advice on best practices.


      Long-Term Benefits of Proper Solar Maintenance

      Proper solar panel maintenance by a professional solar panel installation company ensures long-term benefits and cost savings. Regular maintenance maximises system efficiency and longevity for increased energy production and reduced electricity bills over time. Proactive maintenance also helps identify and address potential issues early, preventing costly repairs later on.


      Solar Panel Installation Is Complicated and Time-Consuming

      From orientation to the installation of solar panels, that's pretty time consuming right? Wrong. Soly has developed a working method in which we proceed with installation within just a few weeks of requesting the quote. That works smarter, faster and more efficiently.

      Soly's Approach to Eco-Friendly Installations

      Why Choose Soly as Your Trusted Solar Panel Installer

      Soly, a Shell-UK-backed venture, is committed to sustainable practices throughout the installation process. We prioritise eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient processes and responsible waste disposal to minimise environmental impact during the installation process. As a BCorp company, Soly meets high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. By choosing Soly, eco-conscious homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.

      Sustainable Materials Used by Soly Installers

      Soly, like many leading solar installation companies, uses high-quality, recyclable materials for solar panels, inverters and mounting hardware. We partner with Trina Solar, a provider committed to high standards throughout the manufacturing process. With more efficient factories, they emit less CO2 every year. Trina Solar is also a member of the PV Cycle, which means that all products are recycled at the end of their lifespan. This way, we know for sure that the solar panels we work with do not have a negative impact on the environment.

      Trends in Solar Installations

      The Future of Home Energy

      Here are some of the latest solar energy trends for 2024:

      Advancements in Solar Technology and Installation Techniques

      The latest advancements in solar technology are making solar energy more accessible and efficient for homeowners. Innovations such as bifacial solar panels, smart inverters and solar battery storage systems improve energy production and management, increasing overall system efficiency. Additionally, new installation techniques, such as Soly’s Enphase microinverters and module-level power electronics, optimise performance and simplify system design, making solar energy more viable and cost-effective.

      Emerging Trends in Residential Solar Energy

      Emerging trends in residential solar energy include Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) that seamlessly integrates solar panels into roofs, facades or windows. Solar paint technology is another emerging trend that involves developing coatings or paints that contain photovoltaic materials capable of generating electricity from sunlight. As renewable energy policies and incentives continue to evolve, homeowners should stay informed and work closely with solar installers like Soly to leverage the latest innovations and optimise their solar investments for the future.

      Ready to harness the power of the sun? Contact Soly today to get started with your solar panel installation!

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      Soly blog

      Welcome to the Soly Blog. We gladly share information about all of our products and keep you updated on every development upon the sustainable market. You will be able to find a lot of usable information on almost every topic possible.
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