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Best solar panel installers UK: How to choose the best company to fit your panels

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To make your solar PV system a worthy investment, it needs to be set up properly. Here’s how to find the best solar panel installer.

Solar panels are a great buy, replacing pricey energy bills with an infinitely renewable source of free electricity. However, to ensure that your solar PV system produces maximum electricity for decades, it’s important to hire the best solar panel installer for the job.

The best solar panel installers are qualified specialists who fit the hardware, offer the best workmanship and the aftercare your system needs. They will work with you to calculate how many solar panels you’ll need, and then install them so well that they will generate enough energy to cover your home’s needs for many years to come.

In this article, we reveal the questions to ask to find the best solar panel installer for you. Then we’ll highlight the best installers currently working in the UK, comparing factors such as product range, warranties and customer feedback.

READ NEXT: Best solar panels

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If you’re ready to chat to solar installers in your area, enter a few details in our short form below. Our trusted specialists will be in touch with tailored quotes.

How to choose the best solar panel installer for you

How do I find a solar installer?

Our quote-finding form (above) is the easiest place to start. To get a good idea of the going rate for the type of solar PV system you want, and for system and installation costs in your area, it’s best to get at least three quotes from different installers. You might also find it helpful to check out our article on solar panel and installation prices.

Once all the quotes are in, compare them side by side and ensure they include itemised details of exactly what you’ll be getting for your money.

Each quote should set out:

  • What the whole system will cost, including installation and inverter;
  • How much electricity it will produce per year, in kilowatt-hours (kWh);
  • Whether this will cover your daily needs, based on your actual usage;
  • How much money this will save you, based on your energy bill history.

If you’re considering accepting a quote, ask the company to send out a registered surveyor to thoroughly inspect your roof and discuss your energy usage.

Don’t be pushed into sealing the deal when the surveyor visits. Instead, ask them about the company and the proposed installation, then consider your options. With the Energy Saving Trust estimating that the average domestic solar PV system costs £7,000, this isn’t a decision that should be rushed.

What questions should I ask a solar installer?

Here are the details to find out before you sign on any dotted lines:

Q: What accreditations do you have?
In the UK, all solar panel installers and panels must be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), so be sure to check this is the case. This not only ensures that the work meets industry standards, but it also means you can benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The SEG pays you for the solar energy your panels produce that you don’t use, but only if your system is MCS certified.

Also ask about the training your installers have had, and make sure the installation will be carried out by the company and not by subcontractors. We’ll have more detail on solar industry qualifications in the next section.

Q: What are the specs of the proposed system?
Find out the make and model of the solar panels the company wants to install, how many you’ll need and the total system size in kilowatts (kW). Also ask about the type and model of the inverter. All inverters convert DC (direct current) electricity into safe household AC (alternating current) electricity, but there are different types available with different pros, cons and costs.

Q: How much will each component cost?
Get an itemised breakdown of the system cost, including any incentives or grants that may be applied. Check whether the cost is fixed and whether some components (such as monitoring tools) are optional. Also ask about the pricing structure and payment options.

Don’t rush into agreeing upon a price. If a company offers you a discount on the condition that you sign up right here and now, it’s a red flag.

Q: What guarantees do you offer?
Inquire about product and performance warranties for your panels and inverter, plus workmanship warranties for the actual installation. Check for any special conditions.

Q: Are you insured?
Reputable installers will have various types of insurance, but the most important to you is Public Liability Insurance, which protects you if something happens to your property during installation.

Q: What’s the installation process and timeline?
Ask how soon work can begin and how long it will take. A full installation normally takes two days, plus extra time to erect and remove scaffolding (this will usually be done by subcontractors). The timeline will be longer if your property is a listed building or in a conservation area, where you may first need to obtain planning permission.

Q: What solar panel aftercare do you offer?
Solar panels are very low maintenance, but there may be a situation whereby you need help with a technical problem. The best solar panel installers should offer to investigate and remedy an issue for you, and may even have an online registration system where you can report any hitches with your system.

Q: How long has your company been operating?
Several UK solar panel installers have gone bust in recent years. Getting the aftercare or even the installation you’ve paid for won’t be easy if your installer has vanished into liquidation. Longer-established companies are likely to be low-risk in these terms, and will also have more experience.

READ NEXT: Do you need planning permission for solar panels?

What qualifications should you look for when choosing a solar panel installer?

A solar panel array is a complex electrical system, so it’s important that your installer has the required compliance certificates. As mentioned above, the one absolute essential is MCS, which you can check by looking up your installer on the MCS website.

Other accreditations tend to focus on consumer protection and standards, and help to offer peace of mind as a consumer. Here are a few to look out for.

National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT): Members of this UK government-approved scheme pledge to carry out building work to the latest health and safety standards.

Home Insulation and Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme (HIES): As well as overseeing a strict code of practice for the renewables sector, this organisation offers insurance-backed guarantees on workmanship warranties. This means that if your solar installer goes bust, but was a member of HIES, you may be covered for any aftercare and new work.

Energy Performance Validation Scheme (EPVS): This scheme was founded to combat mis-selling and malpractice in the renewables industry. Each EPVS member goes through a rigorous admission process, and is then monitored to ensure they keep up the good work.

Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC): This voluntary code enshrines high consumer protection standards. RECC runs a dispute resolution process if you have a complaint against an installer registered with it.

International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO): A global benchmark for products and services. Members must adhere to a high level of quality in their work, or their membership will be revoked.

TrustMark: This UK government-endorsed quality scheme covers any work carried out in or around your home.

Should I choose a local or regional solar panel installer?

Most solar panel installers in the UK operate locally, within a city or county. Some operate nationally. There are pros and cons to each option.

National solar installers tend to offer a wider range of the latest products, including solar storage batteries as well as panels and inverters. Such companies are likely to have extensive experience in handling large-scale projects, and can afford to provide robust warranties.

Regional solar panel installers are more likely to offer a more personalised customer service, and their response times may be faster if you encounter any problems with your solar system post-installation. They will also have in-depth knowledge of local regulations and incentives. For example, Scottish solar installers will be better versed on the solar grants that you can get only north of the border.

Prices aren’t uniformly higher or lower from local or national installers. National installers can offer lower prices, thanks to economies of scale – but they don’t always do so.

How we test solar panel installers

With roughly 2,000 solar panel installation businesses operating in the UK in 2023, and as a result of a solar installation being such a huge job, this wasn’t something we could review by testing at home. Instead, we analysed the market, looking for key factors such as warranties, experience and reading hundreds of customer reviews.

To help us crunch data from customer feedback, we drew upon a survey carried out by The Eco Experts, and considered Trustpilot reviews and ratings. This provided a thorough insight into the experiences of real people with hundreds of different solar installers, both national and local.

READ NEXT: Solar panel grants

The best solar panel installers in the UK

1. Project Solar UK: Best national solar panel installer

Get a quote from Project Solarbest solar panel installers uk Project Solar
Burton-based Project Solar instals a wide range of solar panels and related products all over the UK. The company claims it has carried out 45,000 installations in little over a decade, and customer ratings are overwhelmingly positive, with an average 4.4 (“excellent”) on Trustpilot.

Project Solar’s warranties are unbeatable in the industry. It offers a 10-year labour warranty, which is significantly longer than the typical two years, and all its solar panels come with an outstanding lifetime product warranty.

Customers cite good customer service and hassle-free installations, though some mention a lack of communication from the company. Project Solar’s team responds to every review, positive or negative, and this seems to reflect a commitment to engaging with people.

Key specs – Founded: 2011; Area covered: UK; Panels offered: A wide range, including Evo Super Max, SunPower Maxeon, roof tiles and EV chargers; Labour warranty: 10 years; Product warranty: Lifetime

Get a quote from Project Solar

2. Everyone’s Energy UK: Best regional solar panel installer

Get a quote from Everyone’s Energybest solar panel installers uk Everyones energy
We can almost hear the weeping of rival companies as they read Trustpilot reviews from Everyone’s Energy UK’s customers. “First class”, “outstanding”, “seamless”, “courteous”, “professional” – all help to nudge this Hertfordshire-based company to a whopping Trustpilot average rating of 4.8.

Besides impressing customers with its products and services, Everyone’s Energy UK has found an innovative way to keep costs down. It partners with Solar Together, which gets homeowners and local authorities to buy solar panels collectively, reducing individual costs while sharing the benefits.

The main downside to Everyone’s Energy UK is that the company doesn’t yet serve the whole of the UK, focusing instead on London and the South East.

Key specs – Founded: 2019; Serves: SE England; Panels offered: LG and others, with Solar Edge and Lux Power inverters; Labour warranty: 2 years; Product warranty: 25 years

Get a quote from Everyone's Energy

3. Heatable: Best solar panel installer for a fixed quote

Get a quote from Heatablebest solar panel installers uk Heatable
If you’re horrified by the idea of negotiating in your home with an installer or a sales rep in a suit, here’s some good news. Heatable’s quotes are all done online using an interactive design tool, eliminating the danger of hard-sell pressure tactics.

Heatable doesn’t offer a wide range of panels. However, its exclusive REA Fusion solar panels are ideal for UK users, since they’re optimised for low-light conditions. The company includes 24/7 performance monitoring and ongoing maintenance, and all the work is covered by an independent insurance company and HIES.

As for Trustpilot scores, Heatable boasts an amazing 4.8 average, with no fewer than 98% of people awarding the company four or five stars. However, Heatable isn’t a solar specialist, so a good number of its reviews are for boiler installations and other services.

Key specs – Founded: 2017; Area covered: UK; Panels offered: REA Fusion (exclusive); Labour warranty: 2 years; Product warranty: 25 years

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4. Warma UK: Best solar panel installer for customer service

Get a quote from Warma UKbest solar panel installers uk Warma
Cheshire-based Warma used to operate only in the North West, but now works with installers across the UK. The company is renowned for its excellent customer service (before, during and after installation) – arguably the most important factor when you’re having solar panels installed.

If cost is more important to you, then Warma excels in this regard, too, because it proactively tries to get you government grants that will cut your installation bill to as little as possible. Prices vary according to your needs and home, but the company’s website says that a solar panel and battery installation costs “from £5,995”.

Key specs – Founded: 2016; Area covered: UK; Panels offered: Longi; Inverter warranty: 10 years

Get a quote from Warma UK

5. Effective Home: Best solar panel installer for flexible payment options

Get a quote from Effective Homebest solar panel installers uk Effective home
A relative newcomer to the solar installations market, Effective Home has already gained a solid reputation for quick, professional installations and good customer service. It offers a range of flexible payment options, including monthly payment plans over 15 years, and it will help you apply for government grants if you qualify.

Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with responses mentioning non-pushy sales teams, professional installers and good aftercare.

Key specs – Founded: 2016; Area covered: England, Wales and parts of Scotland; Panels offered: Various, subject to availability; Labour warranty: 2 years; Product warranty: Panels, 25 years

Get a quote from Effective Home

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