Aunt Meg Recommends > Solar > If You’re Considering Solar… Read This & AVOID The 7 Biggest Mista…

If You’re Considering Solar... Read This & AVOID The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Cost Homeowners £1000’s More Than It Should

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Last week I was sitting down with a cup of breakfast tea, searching the news in my morning newspaper.

What I read almost had me falling off my chair.

I was reading the Guardian and they reported that UK power networks raked in £15.8bn in profits last year.

Well good for them, but what really gets my knickers in a twist

Is all the people that are struggling to put food on the table.

Making the decision between food and heat.

All so these greedy giants can report these billion pound profits.

Maybe this is why so many people are considering solar!

Which is why I put together this guide.

It goes through the 7 mistakes people make when getting solar, that end up costing them £1000’s more in the long run.

I like to call these Solar Sins!

The solar panel journey can be confusing and a new experience for many.

So this is a MUST READ for anyone seriously considering solar panels for their home and want to side-step those mistakes.

Print this article out, stick it on the fridge or share it with your solar curious friends.

Let’s dive in.

The 1st Sin: Hiring Cowboys & Newbies

The biggest thing is that there’s so many shysters out there, that you don’t know who to hire.

Well, let me make this easy for you.

You’re going to avoid 90% of the cowboys, inexperienced and dodgy operators out there is you look out for this symbol…

It’s called EPVS.

With the boom in solar installations (Just over 3,000 solar installations are being carried out every week).

The market for malpractice, poor standards and service in the solar industry was blown wide open.

The EPVS which stands for the ‘Energy Performance Validation Scheme’ is an independent body that combats this.

So having a solar panel installer that is EPVS registered makes it nearly impossible for your project to be faulty, overpriced or unreliable.

The 2nd Sin: Buying A Banger Of A Solar Unit

No one wants to buy a car that breaks down and costs them a fortune later, regardless of how cheap it is to begin with.

It’s the same way with solar.

So how do you avoid that?

By making sure that the people you buy from, use panels that are made by the top 2% of manufacturers.

Here’s why.

Companies that make panels that fall outside of that top 2%, are less experienced and rely on more manual work through human production lines to produce their product.

Some of these are just assemblers who buy all their parts from other manufacturers and put them into a panel, to pass off as their own.

Whereas if your panels are made by the top 2%…

They are produced by an advanced robotic process to remove human error which avoids defects in the finished panel.

Plus, they come with high warranties such as a 12 year product warranty and a 25 year linear performance warranty. More importantly, with them being experienced companies, there’s a high likelihood the company will still be around in 20+ years.

The 3rd Sin: Not Choosing A UK-Friendly Panel

It comes as no surprise that solar panels need sunlight to function effectively.

Unlike places like California, Florida and Sydney that are known for their notoriously sunny weather…

The UK’s rainy, cloudy and sometimes downright gloomy conditions don’t seem to fit the bill.

If you suspect that not all solar panels are created equal, then you’d be right.

Older, traditional solar panels don’t generate enough power in low-light conditions and would make solar use in the UK very hit and miss.

They can drop to as little as 10 to 25% of their normal electricity production on cloudy days, but fortunately, thanks to modern technology, this is no longer a problem.

The higher your solar panel efficiency, the less you will notice a drop in the panels’ productivity.

That’s why it’s important to use UK-friendly panels. E.g. ones that still work well in overcast and low-light conditions like Monocrystalline PV, so you can harness the full potential of solar.

The 4th Sin: Only Paying For Solar With Savings

Most folks don’t want to dip into their life savings for solar!

And I don’t blame them.

But, this is where you need to be careful so you don’t get caught out.

There are a lot of unfavourable lenders out there.

They’re not going to come and break your legs for not paying, but they might charge you a 20% – 30% interest rate which could be far more painful.

So when you go for solar…

Make sure you find a provider that can provide you with options such as zero money up front, 0% APR finance, or super low interest rates on any Finance, Loans or Hire Purchase agreements.

The 5th Sin: Not Offsetting Energy Savings

There’s no doubt about it… getting solar installed is going to cost money!

How much it ends up costing will mainly depend on:

  1. The size of your home.
  2. The size of the solar system needed.
  3. Whether you’re eligible to get some of the costs covered through the ECO scheme.

But two of the biggest mistakes I see people make time and time again, is NOT taking advantage of finance options and overlooking the cost vs savings comparison.

If you forget to offset the amount of money saved on your energy bill each month against the monthly finance payment…

Then solar is probably going to look like too much of a stretch on top of an already expensive energy bill.

That’s why the solar installer you choose should not only offer you competitive finance deals…

But should also take the time to help you understand how much money you’ll be able to offset against your finance payment from electricity bill savings.

I’m a numbers kinda gal and I thought I’d share some workings out on this:

The electricity bill savings would offset the FULL 5 year interest on the loan in just 2 years.

For the rest of the duration, it would be like having an interest free loan with the money saved from the reduced energy bills offsetting the cost of investment.

To keep it simple, we’ve not even talked about the extra savings that can be made selling any energy you don’t use, back to the grid with the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The 6th Sin: Going Up Against The Council

Most of the time, your local council will welcome your decision to get solar panels.

However, putting up panels that aren’t permitted in your area will have you locked in a battle with the council, that you might not win.

Most companies are happy to take your money and let you hash it out with the government.

To make your life easier, you need to choose a solar installer that knows what’s permitted and what’s not.

That way, if any issues come up…

You can discuss swapping out traditional panels for solar roof tiles or get the correct permissions BEFORE you part with any cash and have a potential reversal of work on your hands.

The 7th Sin: Wasting Generated Energy, Only To Need It Later

A huge mistake people make is discounting a battery that’s going to give you power when you need it the most!

The majority of us are out of the house during the day and hit our electricity harder in the evening.

Without a battery, all that sun power you’re generating whilst you’re out is going to waste.

Meaning when you get home, you’re still having to rely on standard electricity to power you throughout the evening.

By installing a battery you can harness and store energy that’s generated during the day when you don’t need it. Then it’s ready to be used at night when your electricity bill would usually rack up the £££.

When choosing an installer, you need to make sure they can offer you a battery that’s right for you and your needs.

It needs to be the right size to match your solar system and have the capacity, power and cycle life to meet your energy consumption needs.

What's next?

So, now you’ve got the low-down on what NOT to overlook when deciding on solar…

You need to:

  1. Make sure your installer is EPVS registered.
  2. Make sure you buy panels that are made by the top 2% of manufacturers.
  3. Make sure you choose UK-friendly panels that have enough horsepower to work in overcast conditions.
  4. Make sure your installer can provide you with competitive finance options.
  5. Make sure your installer can help you understand how much you’ll be able to offset against a finance payment from electricity bill savings.
  6. Make sure you choose an installer that knows what’s permitted in your area.
  7. Make sure your installer can offer you a battery that’s the right size, power and capacity for your needs.

There’s dozens and dozens of solar companies that will meet this criteria and thousands that won’t.

If you’d like to do your own research, that’s great, however…

If you’d like to save yourself some time and have me send over the handful of approved installers I’ve found that meet all 7 of these…

Reach out to me via the box below and I’ll email these over to you.

Always on your side,

Who is Aunt Meg?

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