Britains most trusted solar panel installers

Last updated: April 19, 2024

Most Trusted Solar Companies in the UK

Making the choice to install Solar PV and battery storage in your home is a huge step towards achieving energy independence, slashing your bills and lowering you carbon footprint.

However, in order to ensure that footprint isn’t on your face – you’ll need a trusted solar installer, or better yet – the most trusted solar installer possible.

For most buyers, the search for the most trusted solar and battery installers is often more difficult than the initial decision to invest in clean home energy or find the best solar panels in the first place.

Great panels exist, bad panels exist. The same is true for solar engineers. We’ve seen everything including solar pixies that will dance around your roof and charm panels onto your tiles like snakes out of a basket.

Sadly, the solar baddies might still outnumber the goodies. Gamble at your peril and don’t be surprised to see an out of season Santa on your roof in a champagne supernova, attempting to vomit your tiles back on.

This guide will equip you to find only the most trusted solar installers.

If you’d rather skip the guide and just get a quote from one of our approved installers, click here

We’ll cover the four pillars to success, using the RESP formula.

Reputation 
Experience 
Stability 
Price 

Reputation
In the renewables market, a good reputation in is well earnt. It’s also one which is quickly lost as the according to industry statistics, the lifespan of your average Solar PV installer is around 3 years.


Renewables are very complex, they require expert knowledge to properly design, install and to provide long term support for. 

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We strongly recommend checking the following:

  • Are they a UK based company or are they based overseas with a UK base? Over the years, we’ve seen lots of ‘pop-up’ foreign companies appearing to soak up profits from the UK’s lucrative market, then disappearing without a trace once the heat of aftercare or poorly designed systems starts to rear its ugly face. 

  • How long have they been trading? Our advice is clear here. If they’re still in business after 5 years, they’ve weathered the test of time. 

  • Reviews. Do they have any, what is the average score and are there any themes to the negative ones? Take some time to digest them. Things go wrong and mistakes can happen, especially with complex renewable installations. It’s how the company respond that counts.

  • Endorsements from reputable outlets such as ‘Which?’ are invaluable, they’ll also provide additional consumer protection and dispute resolution services, should you encounter any issues.

Experience 

Here at Energy Guide, we care as much about the design as we do the actual installation. A poorly designed system installed well can be as problematic as a well-designed system which has been poorly installed.  

“It doesn’t matter if a bad engineer has fitted great solar equipment or origami panels – if the kit has been fitted poorly, the only thing you’ll generate is the scowl from your neighbour as tile and panel debris beheads their cat”

System design experience 

Design covers both the fundamental system concept but also should consider the products specified. Unfortunately, we see too many systems which owners complain of underperformance where the underlying issue is that a cheaper, DC system has been specified which can never achieve the required energy to activate. 

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To avoid this, ask your installer to walk you through the basic design context and, where possible aim for installers who are using AC microinverters, these provide unlimited design options and will ensure your system will perform in any situation (and almost all weather).

Installation experience 

Only use installers who are approved by your chosen manufacturer. This ensures that they are competent to install the products required and, that you’ll benefit from the full manufacturer warranty. 

Any electrical work should be carried out by competent installers who are monitored by an accreditation body such as NICEIC or NAPIT. 

Finally, ensure your installer holds MCS accreditation. This ensures that they have been assessed to meet the standards set out by the renewable regulator. 

Spotted some unsecured daredevils on nextdoors’ roof? Stay well away from companies not willing to ensure the safety of their labour. Funnily enough, they’re always the bad ones.

Stability  

As we mentioned earlier, industry stats have revealed that the average life expectancy of a Solar PV installer is only 3 years. (Business life expectancy we should add, although the bad ones do fall off roofs a lot – but they’re mostly well clear of toddler age).

This is generally because most suffer poor cashflow or carry lots of liabilities of their poor designed or installed systems. 

Energy Guide recommends that you should only consider installers who have been trading for a minimum of 5 years. 

Long term support should be a consideration in your choice of solar installers. Using a business who has stood the test of time should ensure that you’re not left out in the cold should you find yourself requiring support or ongoing maintenance. We also advise any client to avoid using a business which is based overseas and who operates out of a UK base, we’re yet to see a success story of one. 

See also  Best Solar Panel Installers / Companies UK 2024

Price

The overall cost of your solar system will be a big factor in your decision, the old adage of “if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is” could never be more applicable than for solar quotes. 

When you breakdown a solar quote, lots of costs are fixed and applicable to each submission such as:

  • Scaffolding/access equipment 
  • MCS certification
  • DNO fees
  • Mounting systems 

Variable costs are:

  • Materials 
  • Labour 
  • Overheads 

When you consider your various quotes, you should be mindful that a large proportion of the difference between them will either be the quality of the materials, the experience of the labour and the reinvestment into the long-term operations of the business. 

At the other end of the scale, extortionate prices are largely made up of disproportionate sales commission rates of in-home sales agents looking to line their own pockets with your hard-earned cash. 

This can be easily avoided by using virtual quoting tools which remove the requirement for in home sales agents. 

On average, for a 10-panel system which uses microinverters combined with a 5KWh battery, should cost around £8500-£9500. 

Summary

Follow the rules of RESP and you’re pretty much guaranteed a positive experience.