Solar Panel Quotes: How To Find Local Installers Amy Catlow Last updated on 12 July 2022 11 min read ✔ Solar panel prices have tumbled nearly 70% since 2010✔ The Eco Experts is here to help homeowners switch to renewable energy✔ Fill in the form above to receive bespoke solar panel quotes DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which concluded on 31st March 2019In This Guide:01 | Why get solar panel quotes?02 | How many quotes should I get?03 | What to watch out for04 | Why use The Eco Experts?05 | What will my quote include?06 | What else should I know?Why Get Solar Panel Quotes? Whether you want to install a solar PV system or a solar thermal system, you should always begin the process by getting a number of quotes from trusted MCS installers. You will also want to compare between local and national installers who operate in your area.As solar panel costs can vary significantly from installer to installer, comparing quotes from a number of companies will ensure you are getting the best deal possible.Fortunately, The Eco Experts make it easy to get bespoke solar panel prices. After filling in the form above, one of our advisers will call you to discuss your requirements and provide information about the leading installer in your area.The Exo Experts only work with trusted and proven MCS accredited companies – so you can feel confident we’ll find you a great installer at a great price.Why Use The Eco Experts For Your Solar Panel Quotes?The Eco Experts is the leading price comparison service for solar panels in the UK. Each year, we match thousand of homeowners with the best solar installers ensuring they get the best deal possible.Finding local and national installers operating in your postcode on your own can be time consuming. That’s where The Eco Experts come in; we do the hard work for you. You can receive multiple quotes from a range of local and national installers by just filling in the short form at the top of this page. Plus, we only work with trusted MCS accredited installers so you can rest assured knowing that your installer will deliver as promised.How Many Solar Panel Quotes Should I Get?You should aim to get a least two or three quotes so you can be sure to get the best deal. Ideally, you will want to get a mix of quotes from local and national installers working in your area.The Eco Experts make it easy for homeowners to compare prices from local and national installers. You can start your journey now by completing this quick form, and our professional suppliers will be in touch.What Will My Solar Panel Quote Include?Now it's all very well and good talking about getting quotes, but how do you know what a good quote looks like? The first step is to know what a typical quote should include. If your quote fails to include the following information, then you may want to avoid that company.If a company can't get a simple solar panel installation quote right, how are they going to be able to install a whole PV system? NB: The following information applies specifically to Solar PV installations; solar thermal quotes will contain information specific to that type of system.The basicsYour quote should take your geographical location into consideration. Where you live will have a large impact on the number of daylight hours you'll get in a year and therefore how much energy your system may produce.Maximum system powerThe quote should definitely include the maximum system power output. For example, a 1 kw system will cost far less than a 4 kw system, but will produce far less energy as well.For price references, a 4 kw system will cost £6,500 on average.Solar panel manufacturing companyYour quote should include what brand of solar panels they'll install. Not all companies are created equal, so it's important to get high-quality panels that will stand the test of time.Number of panelsYour quote should also tell you the number of panels you're getting as this will impact the size of the installation.Total installation sizeMost quotes will also include the total area the solar system will take up. A typical 4kW system currently takes up about 26 square metres. Each kW panel takes up approximately 8 square metres.Estimated annual power outputYour quote should give you an idea about how much power your system is likely to produce per year, given your location and installation configuration. A 2kW system can produce upwards of 1,700 kWh of power a year in the UK.Power variation over the yearA good quote should also tell you how much power your system should produce at different times of the year. Obviously, in the summer most of the UK gets over 16 hours of sunlight, whereas in the winter we are lucky to get 8. In other words, in the summer you'll produce far more power than in the winter.Energy efficiency of your houseAny quote you get should take into account the energy efficiency of your house (EPC rating) as this will affect the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments you will receive.Estimated feed-in tariff incomeYour quote will most likely include information about how much money you can expect to make from the solar Feed-In Tariff. Since the Feed-In Tariff increases along with inflation, watch out for estimates that overstate the expected inflation rate over 25 years. Also, make sure that the FiT estimates reflect the payments you'll receive based on your install date. FiTs are falling, so it pays to get the system installed sooner rather than later.Estimated energy savingsYour quote should also give you an idea about how much money you could be saving by getting your power from the sun. Saving money is the best reason to invest in solar panels. Look at your quote closely and see if the savings look realistic. If your energy bills are £80 a month and a company promises to save a £100 a month off your bills, you know something is fishy.Comparison with other investment optionsYour quote may include a comparison between getting solar panels and the amount of money you can save from solar panels plus your Feed-In Tariff payment amount. Again, look at their assumptions as most companies will try to make the comparison as favourable to solar as possible.The total cost of your systemFinally, and most importantly your solar panel quote will offer the estimated final price for your system. Ideally, they should break down the cost for labour and material so you can see where you are spending your money. Most installers will insist you buy from them, but it may be possible to work out a deal where you buy the panels yourself and then just pay for installation.Assumptions To Watch Out For When Getting Your Solar Panel QuoteAre the solar output figures reasonable? The first thing to watch out for when getting a quote, is the amount of energy the installer estimates you can produce in a year. Companies have to make assumptions about how much power you'll likely receive in a year, but check around and see if these seem realistic given your circumstances.Are the shading estimates realistic? Many companies will tell you how much you can expect under ideal circumstances. This includes estimates that don't factor in shading, which dramatically impacts PV output.If your house is located next to tall trees or you have planted trees that are likely to grow tall, you shouldn't expect to have no shading. A good quote will take this into account, when calculating your expected energy output levels.How long your system will last? In an ideal world, all parts of your solar PV system will last for 25 – 40 years with no breakdown. For many homeowners this is the case. The only moving part is the inverter, and that is stored indoors.However, you should double check what assumptions the company is using to calculate this. Are all parts going to realistically last for 25 years or will some need replacing? The panels themselves will possibly last for up to 50 years, however the inverter may need replacing every 15 years or so.Are inflation figures realistic for FiT payment increases? Your quote will likely include an estimate of how much money you'll earn from Feed-In Tariff (FiT) payments. For those that install now, the FiT payments are linked to inflation. Thus, they will increase as inflation increases.However, some companies assume higher inflation rates that have historically been the case. Between 1980 and 2011 inflation in the UK averaged 4.1% a year. Thus, if a company is estimating much more than that, be cautious. This will make payments seem too good to be true.Do the alternative fees you would have paid for power seem right? Part of your quote will also likely focus on how much money you'll save by not having to buy power from the power company. Have a close look at these figures as they may assume higher than expected prices.Since 1990, electricity prices have gone up faster than inflation as a whole, so it may be reasonable to assume that they will continue to do so going forward. However, as no one can predict the future – any increases much beyond 5% a year should be viewed skeptically.Not including everything you'll need in your quote. The final assumption to watch out for is to make sure your quote includes everything you'll need for your solar PV system. This includes the panels themselves (obviously), the cost of labour and the parts and labour necessary to connect your system to the grid. Some more unscrupulous companies will leave this last section out to make their prices seem more appealing. Make sure you know exactly what your quote does and does not cover.Most people getting solar panels installed will have no idea about many of the items listed above. What is realistic and reasonable and what is fantasy.What else should I know?Once you get your solar panel quotes, your work is not quite done. You still need to make sure the company you choose is of the highest quality. We try our best to work with only the best companies in the business, but we're only human, so you need to make sure you do your homework. Here are just a few things to watch out for:Parts usedMake sure you find out what type of parts the company is going to use. Obviously, you want the best solar panels from a reputable manufacturer. Just remember that a solar PV system will have several other parts. There is no point buying great solar panels if your inverter breaks after just 3 years.ReputationThe solar installer you use will likely have a history of doing installations. Ask if you can speak to any past customers to find out what they thought of the service provided. If a company is not forthcoming with that information – or if the people provided seem to just be friends of the installer – then you may want to move on. Trading history is very important.CertificationTo qualify for the Feed-In Tariff payments from the government your installer must be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Only MCS certified installers can put in the paperwork necessary to get your FiT payments. Moreover, installers who meet this criterion have a least a basic knowledge of what they're doing. Again if they don't have it, don't use them.Finding an installerBy now, you should be ready to go solar – especially as they can make your home more saleable. 65% of people told our National Home Energy Survey they were likely to buy a house with solar panels.The next step is comparing prices. It's easy – simply put your details in this quick form, and our qualified installers will contact you shortly. Amy Catlow Publishing Director As the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Green’ Amy has been an environmental evangelist for as long as she can remember. Whether it’s crunching the data or helping visualise it, Amy has the nous to help you turn your home into an money saving eco-fortress.