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There is a lot to consider before and after installing a renewables system. Our useful guide will help to ensure you cover all important first steps for installation, so that you can get the most out of your system.
All installers or suppliers should be able to provide a detailed breakdown of the specification and costs of their proposed system. They should also be able to:
We recommend you get at least three quotes from three different installers. Beware of heavy-handed sales techniques, such as pressure to sign on the day, high prices with large discounts for signing on the spot, or bogus monitoring scheme discounts.
Don’t compare installers on cost alone – the cheapest may not be the most appropriate.
Check quotations for details including:
Depending on the kind of property and installation, you may also need to get planning permission or a building warrant from your local planning authority. Make sure you have the right permissions in place before beginning installation.
You should always check with your local planning department to find out if planning permission or building warrants are required. If your home is a listed building you will almost certainly require consent from your local authority.
For more information on planning permission in your nation use the following links:
Planning Portal - for England and Wales
Scottish Government website - for Scotland
Northern Ireland Planning Portal - for Northern Ireland.
Check with your home insurance provider to make sure your policy covers the changes to your home, and make any adjustments you need. Some policies cover the more common systems such as solar PV.
There are many schemes offering financial support and incentives for installing renewables. You may have to apply for funding before proceeding with the installation so it’s worth checking beforehand.
Check out this Top tips video from RECC (Renewable Energy Consumer Code):
Once the renewables system has been commissioned you should receive an MCS installation certificate from your installer. MCS requirements state that your MCS installer should have registered your system within ten working days of the system being fully installed. Householders must use an MCS certified installer and product for most funding schemes.
You may wish to get a follow-up EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) carried out to update the energy efficiency rating of your property.
An EPC is now required if you wish to rent your property in the UK or sell your house in Scotland. EPCs are also required to pre-qualify for certain government financial incentive schemes for renewables systems and insulation.
If you get any energy saving measures retrofitted in your property such as wall, floor or loft insulation which will not be visible, it is very important to keep evidence of this work. Take photos before and after installation, keep receipts of materials and builders' invoices and building warrant plans.
If an EPC surveyor cannot visually see the measure because it's inaccessible they will need to see documentary evidence of the work undertaken in order to validate the EPC.
If you do not have evidence of retrofit insulation, this insulation cannot be factored into the EPC rating and will be ignored. Instead the level of insulation will be assumed based on the building’s age. This may significantly affect the EPC energy rating and the rating may not be as high as it could be.
Check to see what paperwork is required to complete your application. Most schemes will require your MCS certification to process your claim.
Make sure your installer explains how your system and its controls work before they finish, and that they hand over any manuals that come with the system.
This is a standard part of the installation process and any competent installer should be happy to take you through this.
If you want more information and advice on planning and you live in England or Wales contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. If you live in Scotland contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-5pm). You can also contact your local planning department.
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