In recent years the introduction of government subsidies and tariffs has encouraged a large influx of new installers and suppliers to the renewable energy market. To the inexperienced buyer the sheer range of choices and options can at times, prove overwhelming. Telling the difference between an experienced and reliable company and the more opportunistic and untested can be difficult.
Unfortunately this difference is vital to ensure a high-quality end-product and a system that the client will be happy with. No two projects are the same so good product selection and effective design are key. Some installers may prove excellent at using one favoured brand or technology, but lack the experience to use other systems that may prove a better fit for your needs. Other installers are willing to use any product but lack the in-depth knowledge and technical know how that comes with experience.
A good installer should be willing and able to offer you a realistic alternative product, have a good level of prior experience and be able to guide you with sound and clear reasoning on why a certain product suits your particular needs.
As many end users have little or no knowledge dealing with renewable energy projects, it helps if you keep in mind some simple goals and tips for assessing potential installers.
Most people have simple requirements from the product. It needs to work economically and continue to do so for long periods of time. In order to get your money’s worth here are the questions you should be asking about your installer:
- How long has your installer been in this market and do they have experience with both the product and building type you have chosen?
- What’s their financial track record like?
- Can they show you any examples of their work and support them with actual running data?
Both the number of prior installations they have carried out and the level of customer satisfaction are also important facts to check out.
If they aren’t willing to provide case studies for your perusal or let you visit prior installations then you should consider searching elsewhere. Being able to trust your installer is vital. The quality of the information and explanation provided both before and during the installation is a good barometer of their quality as is the level of post project support they provide. Speaking to existing clients will help you establish that.
Examining all of this, as well as more in-depth questions like ‘how financially secure is the company?’ provides a solid foundation during the selection process. Be prepared to take time and care doing this, the effort spent now will save a fortune in both time and money later. A faulty installation and sub-par service is always the more costly choice.
Product selection is a similarly in-depth process though a good installer will likely provide some measure of advice and guidance in this stage. A good installer will be impartial to the specific technology used. Instead they should focus on what will suit your needs even if that means sending you elsewhere. A bad one will herd you towards their preferred brands and models regardless of suitability.
Things to consider about your choice of product include:
The regulation requirements: the renewable heat incentive will provide a significant income to offset the cost of your project, but only if you meet the government-prescribed requirements. This is easy to check online and will save you a lot of money later so don’t forget about it.
Manufacturers: How well established they are and how long their business has been in the market are important things to check. Generally speaking the best, most reliable manufacturers have been established elsewhere in Europe before making the move to the UK. Being able to access a UK based website and English manuals is also a good sign, as is a solid reputation for quality and reliability in the market as a whole.
The availability of a UK branch or agent is also a key consideration as is the length of time they have been operating within the country. You need to give thought to the availability of spare parts and replacements and who stocks them and how quickly they can be made available should you suffer a break down. Knowing what your options are if the manufacturer goes out of business or leaves UK operations is also something worth thinking about.
Here at isoenergy we’ve been actively involved in the renewable energy business for over ten years. We’ve conducted over 1,000 installations across England and Wales and have particular expertise with hard-to-heat homes such as listed properties. We also endeavour to provide an extensive service and maintenance package to ensure continued efficiency beyond the original installation.
If you have been provided a proposal by another company, you can discuss it with our team here who will help you identify the differences between their proposal and our offering to you. What may seem cheaper on paper may not turn out to be cheaper in the whole.
If you are considering renewable energy for your property, get in touch for a free, no obligation discussion and a site visit if required.