Due to the large increase in demand for solar panels and solar power in general since energy prices began to sky rocket worldwide in 2020, there are now literally thousands of companies posing as reliable solar panel installers in Scotland. This provides an issue for customers in the market for solar, especially as it’s not as common as say a plumber or roofer who you easily can ask a neighbour or friend to recommend.
The large number of installers is compromised of competent installers like our partners, sales companies who install solar panels along with every other home improvement product going and many start up companies, looking to make a quick buck while the going is good.
Some of you will remember this from the last solar boom between 2010 to 2012/13, and many of you may be unlucky enough to have had these types install your panels and now no longer be around to service, maintain or fulfilling any promises made during your initial installation.
Like most people, you will likely conduct a search online, many of these start ups, sales companies and jack of trade home improvement companies are dominant in this domain, especially with paid ads on Google and Facebook.
I can now spot a faceless landing page a mile off, it generally has one page that looks like a promotional flyer, either won’t have a contact us page or will have an ambitious one. The images on the site will be stock photos that although sometimes have nice graphics, are very generic and don’t showcase any reality of actual solar panel installation in Scotland.
We have checked and there are literally thousands of results online for solar panel installers in Scotland, however, if you check the MCS website you will notice there are only 199 accredited solar installers.
As stated above, being MCS approved is only a good place to start, an absolute bare minimum criteria to ensure your investment works as you want it to. From this 199, there are still many sales companies, companies with poor reviews, start ups with the wrong ethos or ambigious faceless companies you can’t find much or any information on after doing some research.
Solar Company Scotland only this knows from carrying out this research and actively working in the Scottish solar industry for nearly 5 years.
You first home or small business site survey should be thorough, the roof and site assessment is crucial for designing a bespoke solar PV system that will suit your needs and deliver results.
A reliable solar installer will always conduct a detailed assessment of your property, discussing with you factors such as light or shading, your roof pitch as well as your homes energy consumption usage and patterns. If they are busy when you contact them, they may pop out or have a brief chat on the phone explaining circumstances and when they can conduct a proper home survey.
From the very start you should evaluate the installers communication skills and customer service who visit your home to provide a free quote. A reliable solar installer will be responsive to inquiries, provide clear information, and keep you informed from the get go.
If they don’t showcase this when trying to win your business, imagine what it’s going to be like getting back to fix after the installation is completed!
As previously stated, from what I’ve seen over the years one of the biggest reason for poor workmanship is lack of ownership. Make sure you are dealing with an actual solar panel company, who hire their own installers and use either limited or ideally no sub-contractors.
Having an in-house team will almost always provide better control over the quality of work and ensure a more seamless installation process.
All of our partner installers will provide a transparent and detailed quote for your entire project. This includes the cost of equipment, installation labour, and any additional fees for installations with specific requirements.
Be wary of vague or unclear pricing structures, and make sure you get at least 2 or 3 quotes to ensure you are getting value for money.
After you receive a quote from one of our installers, we encourage you to Google them!
Check the installer’s reputation on review platforms and you will discover what I did when looking for the best solar installers in Scotland.
Solar Company Scotland are limited to how many pictures of successful installations we can showcase on our website, all of our partner installers have a large portfolio or work they can showcase to you during your free home survey.
This can be useful for particular types of installations that are a little bit away from the norm, specialist array designs and other examples only a picture can do proper justice.
Verify and question the quality of the solar panels and other components the installer uses, especially the compatibility of the inverter and battery.
Reliable installers work with reputable manufacturers and suppliers, providing at least 2 options and explaining the benefits of each. In some circumstances, such as flat roof solar panels for example, it could be they only provide one option and they should provide a strong argument as to why this is best.
Confirm that the installer has appropriate insurance coverage to protect against accidents or damages during the installation process. Additionally, inquire about the warranties offered on the solar panels and the installation work.
Our partner installers will not need to be asked for this information, and will provide all essential paperwork on completion of you installation.
We have repeatedly mentioned all quotes you get via our website will be from accredited installers.
If you use a local roofer or company who is does not have the vital accreditations, your solar panels will not be properly commissioned and you will loose any product warranty!
It may seems obvious that a professional solar panel installer would either be an electrician or have plenty of skills and knowledge in this area. However, some companies have simply figured out how to fit the panels in a way that looks acceptable to the untrained eye. Many experienced installers who are time served electricians or have strong experience in this area, report issues with shoddy electric work when called out for repair and maintenance jobs.
Things such as the panel connections being loose or not even connected at all, results in poor performance and system failures.
Loose or improperly connected wires can lead to voltage drop, reduced system efficiency, and potential safety hazards. Regular inspections such as annual servicing is recommended to ensure connections are tight. However, all most of this can be avoided if it is installed right in the first place!
Corrosion of wires and connections, often caused by exposure to the elements, can impede electrical conductivity. This can result in a decrease in power output and may pose a safety risk, it should only ever apply to older panels and PV systems.
Rodents, birds, or other pests may chew on or dislodge wires, causing damage that compromises the integrity of the electrical connections. Regular inspections can help identify and address such issues promptly.
This issue is particularly common with birds and pigeons, resulting in the growing solar panel bird proofing industry in Scotland.
Poorly connected or damaged wires can generate excess heat, leading to overheating issues. This poses a fire risk and can damage the solar panels and associated components.
Using incompatible or mismatched connectors can lead to poor electrical connections, increasing the risk of arcing, overheating, and system failure.
Incorrectly wiring your solar panels, using incompatible inverters and batteries lead to underperformance or even system failure. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines during installation and use the best equipment for each job.
Inadequate grounding can result in electrical issues, including electric shock hazards. Proper grounding is essential for the safety and proper functioning of your solar PV system.
Wiring issues can contribute to shading problems, where certain panels in a string are shaded, affecting the output of the entire string. This reduces the overall efficiency of the solar PV system.
Using cables with insufficient capacity for your system’s electrical load can result in voltage drop, overheating, and reduced efficiency. Properly sized cables must be used according to system specifications, only someone with an electrical background can be sure this done correctly.
Our affiliated installers specialise in installing solar panels for residential properties. However, if you’re a small local business, landlord, or property developer, they are also equipped to support smaller scale commercial solar projects. One installer based in Glasgow, providing quotes on the West Coast can handle large commercial work and have a portfolio showcasing their work with large organisations and local government. If you are based in Central Scotland, our partner there can handle reasonable sized commercial projects, it’s best to email us with more details at email@example.com
For additional details on commercial solar panel installation in Scotland, please click here.