What should be included in a quote for solar panels?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 January 2015 at 11:28 am
Q: I have read your 10 questions to ask a potential installer. You say 'Make sure the quotation is comprehensive - it should itemise all the equipment'. How can you know what should be there and what might be missing? Also you suggest asking 'Are they qualified electricians? And do they use specialist roofers? I cannot imagine any salesman answering 'No' to either question. The thing is, how do you get proof of the electricians' qualifications, and how do you define 'specialist'? Is there a qualification for roofers?
A: The Renewable Energy Consumer Code has strict requirements for how renewable energy installers do business. It requires that all quotations must show:
- an itemised list of the goods to be supplied (see below for what this is likely to include for solar PV);
- the price of goods and the price of the services to be supplied, shown separately, including the costs of any required safety checks and all taxes payable including VAT;
- an itemised list of all survey, design, installation and other services (if a proposal does not include installation work or is made on the assumption that any installation will be done by the consumer or an independent person, the Code member will draw the consumer's attention to the relevant section of the consumer guidance referenced in section C4 below);
- items and services not included in the quotation, which the consumer will need to provide to complete the work, including permissions and approvals, any work needed to restore the property to its original state and any facilities for storing fuel;
- site conditions and special circumstances beyond the control of the Code member which may result in extra chargeable work not covered by the quote, and hourly or daily rates which would apply in this situation;
- any additional metering and monitoring services the consumer will be expected to pay for;
- a timetable for supplying any goods and carrying out any work at the property;
- business terms, including the payment method and timetable, how long the quote will be valid for and other conditions set out in section 6.1, below;
- completion dates for installing the energy generator; and
- the performance estimate in line with the requirements set out in the MCS standards.
The itemised list of goods/services for solar PV is likely to include:
- number of days of labour
- number of modules (solar panels)
- AC and DC isolators
- meter (two if you want to know how much you are exporting)
- materials for mounting the system on the roof
- and delivery.
I'm sure you are right that installers that are not adequately qualified are not likely to admit it. However, there are ways that you can check. Ask installers which body accredits them, and check with that body that they are currently members. You can ring up, or search on the website. The three main bodies for electricians are NECEIC, Napit and the Electrical Contractors Association. They also need to have MCS certification - again you can ask them which certification body they are with and check it. There are a number of roofers bodies, but according to Citizens Advice the main ones are the Conferation of Roofing Contractors and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.
More information about Solar Electricity on YouGen.
Need help with any Jargon?By Cathy Debenham
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