How to find the Cheapest Solar Panel Installations
Solar Panels are a sizeable expense, often costing as much as a car, so when considering solar panels for your property it is important that you receive a great deal. There are countless benefits from solar panels, making them the perfect addition to any property. Money saving advice and ideas can ensure that you receive the best possible solar panel deal, whether you want solar thermal or solar photovoltaics, a small solar array or even a solar farm. Below is our list of tips to ensure you find the cheapest solar panel installations for your requirements.
Tips in this guide:
Tips & Advice to save you money on your Solar Panels
1. Enquire in Winter – During the cold winter months, when the days are short and there is a lack of warm sunlight, less people are thinking about harnessing the suns energy to power their homes. As a result, during the colder months, solar panel installation companies have less work, and no company wants their staff just sitting around. This is great news for consumers, as you can certainly find a more competitive installation quote, compared to the summer months, when solar panels are working overtime to keep up with demand.
2. Recruit the neighbourhood – If you are considering solar panels for your property, it is worth asking members of your town if they are also interested in panels for their home, as many solar panel installers are happy to provide substantial bulk discounts for multiple installations in the same town. This strategy is impressively effective, and has worked in numerous communities throughout the UK. Solar Panel companies save money on travel, marketing and can place larger wholesale orders for solar panels, and these savings are passed on to consumers. The more people you can recruit, the bigger the savings will be.
3. Know the Essentials – Solar Panels are complicated, and can be a large expense, so it is important to be knowledgeable to find a great deal on your solar panel installation. We have put together a helpful solar panel jargon guide, so you understand the commonly used terms in the solar panel industry. Once you know the lingo, decide on the type of solar panels you are interested in – hot water and heating (solar thermal panels) or electricity (solar photovoltaic panels). Some other information that will be useful include the Feed-in Tariff scheme (solar photovoltaic panels), the Renewable Heat Incentive (solar thermal panels) and the requirements for solar panel installation.
4. Request multiple quotes – One of the best methods to ensure that you receive the cheapest solar panel installation is to compare multiple quotes. Quotes can often vary several hundred pounds, depending on an array of different reasons, from the travel time to the installers schedule. By receiving multiple quotes, you will also interact with each installation company, allowing you to choose your favourite installer. You do not have to choose the cheapest quote, but instead should select your favourite installer and use any cheaper quotes to negotiate a better deal with them. Request a quote with Solar Panels Cheap, and we will arrange 3 installation quotes from MCS certified installers.
5. Ask for an Itemised Quote – Having an itemised installation quote will give you a better understanding of exactly what you are paying for. In some circumstances, you may be able to save money by performing some of the required work yourself, such as installations that require roof strengthening. Of course, this would only be recommended if you are experienced with the required building. You may also find that certain inclusions aren’t necessarily required, or that an installer has not included required aspects of the installation, which could cost you money later.
6. Prepare your Property – To ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day, and the solar panels are installed in good time, have your property ready for the installation. Keep access areas clear, and try to provide close parking for easy delivery of the panels, scaffolding and tools, to ensure that the panels can be swiftly installed.
7. Ask Questions – Before making a final decision on your favourite installer, it is important to ask questions about the installation. Check that the installation includes a warranty for the work and panels, that the installation quote is all inclusive, and the installer is MCS certified. Check out our full list of important questions for your solar panel installer.
8. Carry out Roof Maintenance Before your Installation – If you would like your roof cleaned or tiles and shingles replaced, it is important to have this work carried out prior to your solar panel installation, as access will become restricted. If a problem does develop after your solar panels have been installed, and your roof needs maintenance, your solar panels can be removed during the repair work, but you will have to pay for them to be temporarily removed.
9. Choose MCS Certified Installers – One of the largest financial benefits of solar panels is the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which pays you for every unit of electricity your system generates, even if you use the power yourself. You will only be eligible for the scheme if you choose an MCS certified installer. MCS certification is a sign of excellence and trust, with most installers in the UK carrying certification. Do not be tempted by any non-MCS installers offering cheaper quotes, as you may have initial savings, but the installation will be far more expensive in the long run without the payments from the FIT scheme. SolarPanels.cheap only works with trusted MCS certified installers.
10. Avoid DIY Solar Installations – Although the idea of potentially saving thousands on your solar panel installation with a DIY solar panel installation sounds great, this option will almost certainly cost more in the long term. DIY installations are not eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which pays you for your renewable energy production, and quickly pays you back for the cost of the installation. DIY installations may also cause complications with your home insurance provider, and mistakes during installation can cause your roof to leak. It is also advisable that you have use a qualified electrician when installing your inverter, which will increase DIY installation costs.
11. Conduct an energy audit – To get the most out of your new solar panels, you should ensure that your property is energy efficient, especially as saving power is far cheaper than creating it. Having an energy efficient home is also important to ensure you receive the highest payment band of the feed-in tariff scheme, requiring an EPC rating of D or above, and will also mean that you will have more electricity to put back in to the grid, earning you bonus FIT scheme payments known as the Export Tariff.
12. Choose the right size system – A great way to ensure you are not paying too much for your system is to choose the right size system for your property. If you choose a system that is too small, you will still need to heavily rely on the national grid for additional power, and if you choose a system that is too big, you will make too much electricity. Whilst having a system that is larger than your homes energy consumption is not a long term issue, as you will be paid for any excess electricity that is generated and put back in to the grid, it will mean that the initial investment will be costlier. You can use our solar calculator to help choose the right size system for your property.
13. Free Solar Panels – If you do not have the savings to invest in solar panels for your property, but still want to benefit from solar power, you may be eligible for free solar panels. Free solar panels are a great solution for property owners who want the environmental benefits of solar panels, but aren’t too concerned about the financial incentives. If your house meets the criteria, you can have solar panels installed on your roof, and will receive free electricity, but you will not receive the government backed feed in tariff rates. If you have the required savings, these financial incentives make paying for solar panels very lucrative, but if you don’t have the required capital, free solar panels are a great alternative.
With these money saving ideas and tips, you are sure to find the cheapest solar panel installations. To start your solar panel installer search, why not request a quote today.