The process of installing solar panels will usually take between one and three days from initial enquiry to completion. However, there are some key factors to consider: whether you should use a national or local installer, whether the installer is properly accredited, how experienced they are and so on. This guide explains how to choose the best solar panel installer for your requirements.
How to compare solar panel installers
A reputable solar panel installer must be accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This ensures that the company employs expert installers who can install your solar panels safely and efficiently.
The best installers will have been in the business for many years and therefore be highly experienced. Evergen Solar, for example, has more than 12 years of experience, as does Project Solar.
Reputable solar panel installers provide a warranty, which is usually 25 years.
Our best solar panel installers
- Project Solar – Best warranty
- Effective Home – Best industry accreditation
- Glow Green – Best range of panels
- Evergen Solar – Most efficient products
- UPS Solar – Best payment terms available
Project Solar UK was established by engineer Gurmukh Bahra in 2011. In 2012, Simon Peat became the firm’s director, working with Andrew Walton-Green and Colin Wood to grow the company. Since 2018, it has been owned by the parent company Project Better Energy.
Award-winning Project Solar is the largest and most accredited solar panel installation company in the UK and has installed more than 45,000 solar panels. What’s most outstanding about Project Solar, though, is its product warranties.
The company offers the longest warranties in the UK solar sector, with the Evolution Titan 445 covered by a lifetime warranty. The Evolution Titan 445 has an efficiency of 21%, which makes it one of the most efficient brands on the UK market, utilising quality materials. Project Solar claims that this solar panel maintains optimal performance even with limited light. The panel has also been designed with a highly aesthetic appearance, consisting of sleek black panels that won’t clash with the colour of most residential roofs.
In addition to the Evolution Titan 445, Project Solar offers its highly efficient Evolution Super Max Series 455 and SunPower Maxeon solar panels, which are among the most efficient brands on the market and again consist of quality components with an aesthetic appearance. The company also offers its own brand of integrated solar roof tiles and Blackline mounting systems.
Effective Home is an installer covered by a range of certification schemes, including the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, which ensures that all installations of electrical components are installed according to national standards; the Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES), which focuses on consumer protection; and the Energy Performance Validation Scheme, which guarantees the energy savings promised by the company to consumers.
The company was established in 2016 to help homeowners make their properties more energy-efficient. To this end, the company provides solar panels and battery storage among a range of other products, such as heat pumps, insulation and EV charging.
Effective Home’s solar panels are covered by a minimum 25-year warranty, with a lifetime warranty for the manufacture of the modules and the performance of the solar cells.
In July 2023, Effective Home partnered with Halifax to offer a cashback scheme in which customers can receive up to £500 when installing green technology, such as solar panels.
Glow Green was founded in 2011, initially specialising in energy-efficient boilers and subsequently branching out to offer a wide range of energy-efficient products. This includes an all-in-one package that encompasses solar panels, battery storage, EV chargers, air conditioning and heat pumps.
The company’s solar panels are covered by warranties of up to 30 years, along with a five-year workmanship warranty. It also offers financing options for its products and has won many awards for its services. Its product range includes products from JA Solar, Trina Solar, Tesla, PureDrive Energy and Perlight Solar.
Evergen Solar was founded in 2010 and branched out to residential solar panel installation on new builds in 2015.
The company is accredited by the HIES certification scheme. It also offers battery energy storage systems to complement its solar panels. These can either be installed with the initial panel installation or added to an existing solar panel array.
The company’s solar panels come with an industry-standard warranty of 25 years, while the battery storage systems are covered by a 10-year warranty from the HIES.
Flexible payment options are available so that customers can spread their installation costs over several years.
UPS Solar offers a range of solar panel brands including Sharp, Qcells and JA Solar. The company also provides a 10-year labour warranty and deposit-free installation so that customers only pay when the installation is completed. The installation process is supported by the Independent Warranty Association, and the company holds certifications from the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and the MCS.
National or regional installers: Which should you choose?
The first thing a homeowner should do when deciding whether to engage a local or national solar panel installer is to carefully consider the benefits of each option and therefore be able to make an informed decision.
A significant benefit of choosing a local installer is that you will probably get a more personalised service, given that the installer will be focused on building a good reputation within the local area. That can mean responding quickly to customer questions and providing continued support. The installer will likely have a much better knowledge of local regulations and incentives that apply in the region.
Another benefit of choosing a local installer is that you will be contributing to the local economy, helping to keep smaller, local firms in business.
Alternatively, national solar panel installers are usually large companies, which means they have plenty of experience and information to offer, as well as expertise in taking on and completing large or complex projects. They typically offer excellent warranties and service agreements and supply quality products and components, especially since national installers often collaborate with well-known manufacturers and suppliers. Economies of scale also mean that national installers can offer competitive prices, helping to reduce the initial costs.
What to look for in a good solar panel installer
There are many key aspects to consider here. It’s always a good idea to examine a range of installers before you make a final decision rather than opting for the first one that appears suitable. Rule out anyone who makes a hard-sell approach, as you need information to consider, not pressure.
It’s a given that your preferred installers must be MCS accredited. To neglect this is to invite potential disaster. You also need to consider the experience and expertise of the installer and the warranties offered, and it’s wise to find and read a few customer reviews.
How long will the process take?
From the initial enquiry right through to completion, it should take no more than three days to install a solar panel system on the average home. It’s generally unwise for homeowners to involve themselves in the actual installation process – leave this to the installer. For larger systems and businesses, the process will naturally take longer.