28th July 2021
Use our expert advice to help you choose a decent solar panel installer, plus know what solar panel sales tactics you need to watch out for.
Buying solar panels is a huge investment, so make sure you don't waste your money. We show you how to spot a dodgy company and how to find a decent solar panel installer.
To highlight what you need to consider before having solar PV installed, we've produced a free downloadable checklist:
There is a file available for download. ( — 45 KB). This file is available for download at .
The checklist includes tips and advice on what you should do, plus the questions to ask before, during and after a visit from a solar PV installer.
At Which? we often hear concerns from consumers approached by solar panel companies out of the blue, put under pressure to make quick decisions about purchase, or offered add-ons to their existing systems.
Many solar panel firms are signed up to a consumer code which forbids pressure-selling tactics but our research shows that these are still going on in the industry.
In March 2017, five men were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud when selling solar panels. A two-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office suggested that victims were mainly elderly and have lost a suspected £13m in total.
To find out how common issues with solar panel sales are, we asked solar panel owners in May 2019 whether they felt that the quotes and information they were given were sufficient, and if they’d been given a one-off discount. As you can see, the issues remain.
Online survey in May 2019 of 1,987 Which? members who have solar panels.
Before you agree to a visit from a solar panel company, consider the following:
If a company offers you a ‘one-time’ or on-the-spot discount, don’t feel pressurised into buying. Solar panels are a long-term, complex purchase so it’s important to take the time to consider carefully and compare with quotes from other companies.
Dodgy sales tactics, exaggerated financial savings and unrealistic electricity production figures are all things to watch out for, according to our 2019 survey of solar panel owners.
So we strongly recommend that you do your own research first. Then compare the estimates of costs and savings you're given by salespeople against other sources of advice.
There are many solar panel installers out there, so we recommend that you always collect a range of quotes for comparison.
It's a good idea to use a MCS-accredited installation company that installs MCS-certified products.
Also check whether your installer is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC). This means that they have agreed to abide by high consumer protection standards. RECC also runs a dispute-resolution process if you have a complaint against an installer registered with it.
Companies that offer large on-the-spot discounts or use other pressure-selling techniques deprive you of the chance to compare quotes and take the time to think about its offer.
You can report these firms to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code by calling 020 7981 0850, and to Which? on 01992 822800.