Heating helpline assists homeowners in choosing the right solar heating

Expert advice is issued from Heating Helpline for homeowners who are considering purchasing fitted hot water solar panels – with guides on how they can turn away from the rip-off actions of the numerous “solar cowboys” who are operating in the UK.

With the outstanding rise in energy bills in households over a course of three years, many homeowners have been researching ways to cut down on their high expenditures and traders have been very ready to end this situation with a big push for heating systems that are solar; making exaggerated disputes about the benefits and the amount of money that they owner of the home will be able to save.

Just to worsen the matters, once they are fitted many owners of homes have had to contact the courts to attempt to get back their money as a large number of the installations were not performed correctly, which resulted with horrible and many times dangerous workmanship.

Blane Judd, Chief Executive of B&ES, the Building & Engineering Services Association, who operate the free consumer advice service the Heating Helpline, comments, “Fitting solar heating systems that operate to peak efficiency is a skilled exercise and beyond the expertise of most of these ‘solar cowboys’.  Regrettably there are far too many ‘rip off’ rogue solar heating installers operating in the UK; unscrupulous companies that have jumped on the renewable energies bandwagon”.

To help homeowners thinking about getting solar hot water panels fitted make the right decision, the Heating Helpline has just issued these top tips:

Ensure that the installer you choose is registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).  MCS is an industry-led and internationally recognised quality assurance scheme, supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).  All MCS members are closely vetted by the scheme operator to ensure high quality installations and good business practice.  Importantly, only MCS installations will qualify for local and Government grants.

Look at the installations these companies have carried out.  Ask if they are willing to let you speak to one of their customers.

Ask about warranties on the solar modules specified – system warranties may vary.

Ask about the guarantees of the work carried out by the installer.

Discuss and ensure you have enough space for the installation.  For a correctly installed, fully efficient system there is a lot of equipment involved, such as an expansion vessel, pumping station, controls and modules.

Discuss the after sales service and ensure you will be given a demonstration of the system and a handover pack.

Blane Judd adds, “Using competent MCS registered installers will ensure you get quality workmanship and that the installation meets all the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations; a warrantee that actually means something together with the best energy efficiency from your new solar installation.

“The simplest way of locating a competent installer is to use the MCS website at http://www.microgenerationcertification.org.  By employing the services of an MCS member, homeowners can have complete confidence that listed businesses are competent, have the right insurances and qualifications and that their work is regularly inspected.

For more information visit the Heating Helpline website at: http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk.