Get the best out of your renewable energy system: make sure your installer tells you how
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 30 January 2012 at 9:18 am
Renewable energy installers are failing to help consumers understand the value of their system or how to get the best out of it (and thus maximise the return on their investment).
Research by Consumer Focus and the Energy Saving Trust found that while value for money is more of an influence on choice of installer than personal recommendation, it is not as important as the knowledge displayed and information provided by the installer.
Consumers need more than just financial figures to give them confidence. The research found that where customers were dissatisfied it was mainly due to lack of information. Of course, in some case it was due to the the sales process. As Consumer Focus points out "if it feels like pressure selling, it is".
The key areas where installers fell down was on helping consumers to understand the value of their system and on how to get the best out of their invesment:
- 10% of installers do not discuss energy performance
- 29% do not discuss planning and building control
- 40% do not discuss current energy use
- 64% do not discuss energy efficiency
- 40% of consumers are not provided with a guide to maintaining the system
- 66% are not given a guide to getting the best out of their system.
This last is the most distressing, as how the consumer uses the system can make a significant difference to the benefit they get from it.
If you are buying a renewable energy system make sure you ask your installer for a thorough guide to how to get the best out of it. And, installers, please sit down and write some guides right now!
Picture: Mark Chadwick
By Cathy Debenham
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