If you’ve clicked on one sustainable energy advertisement somewhere along the line – it’s likely you’re inundated with countless companies coming at you from all angles with their offerings and sales pitches. Remember, not all companies are made equal and we’re here to help dispel some myths with some facts. Buyer beware.
With the energy crisis in full swing, people are looking at alternative ways to make their homes more fail safe. One way of doing that is by turning to solar energy systems and lessening your dependency on traditional energy suppliers. That comes with responsibility. You need to make decisions wisely and based on an array of factors, not just cost.
Many companies put their warranties out on display as a righteous badge of sustainable honour. There is some security in that to a degree but a warranty has little to no value if a company bites the dust and disappears. While there’s not much you can do about that specifically, you can ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company. One that is registered, experienced and has a good track record. At Caldor, we would invite you to check out our google reviews and read the case studies we have available on our website. We’re one of the few Irish solar companies in existence as far back as 2015, with thousands of residential properties having availed of our services. It’s this experience that sets us apart.
Exaggerated performance claims
An ethical and reputable company will look at your current energy usage over several months, potentially recommend you do an energy audit and then be able to give you an accurate estimate on what your house might save. They will also look at your home’s location and irradiance levels. Don’t expect to simply swap out electricity or gas for solar, expect to reduce your dependency. Companies that tell you that’s possible are likely misleading you.
In addition to that, be wary of installers who suggest placing panels in areas that are in shade during peak sunlight hours. If shade covers even a small area of the panel, it will reduce the system’s performance. In some situations less is more, the payback period needs to make sense when put against your upfront investment.
There is a good restriction in place when it comes to government grants for solar. You must work with an SEAI registered company in order to draw down the grant. For good reason. A registered installer needs to have a recognised solar PV qualification and be a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) with Safe Electric Ireland which holds them to a standard. This is a good indicator that they are using certified components but it is still a worthwhile question to ask.
A good installer will also make the call and tell you if solar panels are not suitable for your home. If you are currently wasting energy, it’s likely they will advise you to make amends before undertaking an installation. These amends will usually relate to your home’s current efficiency. They may well suggest that you upgrade to higher efficiency appliances and improve the insulation of your home before jumping the gun with a solar solution. You can read our blog on energy saving tips here.
Why these changes first? To get solar panels to do what you want them to. Work hard. The more efficient your home, the less energy you need. The less energy you need, the less dependent you are on non renewable energy sources. At this point, installing a solar panel solution will have the most impact on your home and your bills. We need to approach our energy usage from a holistic perspective. Making one change won’t obliterate your bills but making several smaller changes and rerouting as much of your energy supply to a green source as you can, will dramatically improve them.
While we ourselves will make you aware of grant deadlines that are approaching we won’t pressurise you into making a decision quickly. Beware those who do. One off discounts and time limited offers should always be questioned. You need time to gather information, compare quotes and make a decision. A good company will give you the breathing space to do so.
These are just some of the complaints we have heard from our clients about unscrupulous pressure selling techniques. It’s always worth your while to give yourself time.
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