Types of Solar Panels
There are different kinds of solar panels. Thin film PV panels are the least expensive, but they are also the least efficient. Polycrystalline PV panels have great efficiency, but they are also significantly more expensive. The most efficient PV panels in terms of unit size are so-called monocrystalline panels. They are also the most expensive ones since they undergo a costly production process.
It is important to know your energy needs. Spending a little more money in the beginning can gain you more panel efficiency over some of the cheaper panels. It is essential to remember that no matter what the solar panel technology is, it still can not generate significant amounts of energy in the shade.
Realistic Price Expectations
Quality equipment and installation are not cheap and in most cases, you get what you pay for. So if the price that you have been given is considerably lower than the average, you might receive poorer quality equipment or installation in the end.
Other reason for low prices might be that some services are not included. You should go through the contract and the quotes in detail before committing to any contract agreement. Some extras and service can add significantly to the final price of the solar panel system, so you should be aware of what is included in the price, and what you have to pay extra for.
If you are interested in investing in solar panels for your home, we recommend you act quickly in order to still benefit for the Feed in Tariff in the UK. This government scheme is ending on 31 March 2019, but if you submit your application in time you could still benefit from payments over the next 20 years.
Applications for Solar PV Feed in Tariff Close in March
Read our guide on how you can still benefit from the solar PV Feed in Tariff before it ends in March 2019.
Even though whole package deals are great if you want to save some money, you should be aware that not all packages are equal. For example, a company may be using great quality panels, but try to stint on the inverter, the wiring, or the mounting system. In order for the solar system to be optimal, all the components have to be of high quality. You should carefully compare all elements. Even if the panels and the inverter are of the best quality, using low quality wiring will have an impact on the system’s effectiveness and might compromise its safety.
Read more: 7 Facts About Solar Energy
Compare the warranties offered by the manufacturers.You should expect a warranty of 25-30 years. If the warranty is in that range, you are guaranteed that your solar system is going to last long enough to pay for itself and to make some profit on top of that. The warranty provided for the inverter is really important as well, since it is the part most likely to break down. The warranty should be in the range of 5 and 10 years.
You should also take into account the reputation of the company. Many solar panel manufacturers have been established during the last few years. If the warranty offered by such a manufacturer and one with established brand is similar, all thing equal, you will better of with the established brand.Solar panel manufacturers disappear and then reappear with a another name, but they are no longer resposible for the warranty of their previously sold products.
Get Several Bids for Your Solar System
It is important to request a few quotes from different manufactures, since the prices and the services included may vary. Don’t make your decision solely based on price. By reducing the initial investment, you may end up with lower quality components. This will result in lower reliability and efficiency of the solar system, and in the long run it may cost you even more.
You should also request information about how significant your savings will be, and what part of your energy needs will be provided the solar system. A solar panel system that generated 60 per cent of your energy needs will be cheaper than a system that provides for 90 per cent.
High Pressure Sales Tactics
Unfortunately, those kind of tactics are fairly common in the solar industry. Don’t feel obliged to decide anything at the moment. You need to carefully compare the offer with other bids you have received and decide which one is the best for you. A lot of salespeople try to make you take a decision on the spot, giving you a limited time offer. Pressured decisions like this often turn out to be costly in the long run.