PV installation in 3-5 weeks. Too good to be true?

Hello, 
I have a quote for a PV system from an installer who says he has the batteries in stock and, after site inspection, expects to install within 3-5 weeks. 

The quote is £8700 for supply and installation of a 3.8kWh system including:
Solax x1 G4 Hybrid 3.7 inverter
Solax triple power HV 5.8 Kw battery
10x JA Solar 380 W panels.  

I've looked him up on the RECC website and he IS registered with them. 
He says that he is recently MCS certified but I cannot find him on their website. I've emailed MCS and he is definitely not registered with them yet. 
I've looked up his businesses on companies house and there doesn't seem to be anything suspect about his company. It looks like he only began his business in 2020.  
There are very few online reviews of his business and all are related to EV charging systems.
It appears that PV systems are a new venture for him which seems like a sensible business decision. 
On the phone he seems friendly, polite and has been very efficient in getting a quote to me. 

Firstly, does this quote seem reasonable?
Secondly, does this all seem too good to be true? How useful is a registration with the RECC when choosing an installer? 

I will not go ahead with anything until I can be certain he is MCS certified but I would really appreciate any advice anyone is willing to give. 

Thanks, 
MA

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Comments

  • Just to add, the deposit would be 25% up front paid by bank transfer so no protection should something go wrong. 
    My gut feeling is that this is too risky. 
  • Magnitio
    Magnitio Posts: 877
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    Just to add, the deposit would be 25% up front paid by bank transfer so no protection should something go wrong. 
    My gut feeling is that this is too risky. 
    You could be one of his first customers for PV and he might do an excellent job so you provide a good reference.
    However, it would be risky paying in this way and I doubt you'll get anyone advising to stop worrying and go ahead with it given the information you have provided.


    6.4kWp (16 * 400Wp REC Alpha) facing ESE + 5kW Huawei inverter + 10kWh Huawei battery. Buckinghamshire.
  • My gut feeling is that he's a decent man and will probably do an excellent job, even more so if we are his first installation. 
    BUT I cant spend that kind of cash without a guarantee eg by paying with a credit card. 
    Would it be more usual to be able to pay a deposit for the system with a credit card? 
  • Magnitio
    Magnitio Posts: 877
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    Yes, it is sensible to pay the deposit with a credit card. Most reputable suppliers understand the desire to pay that way.  Also payment of the final invoice should only be made when entirely satisfied and on receipt of all relevant documentation. If he’s serious about his business, he will have MCS certification, provide a detailed written estimate, payment schedule and allow credit card payments. Has he been round to do a site survey?
    6.4kWp (16 * 400Wp REC Alpha) facing ESE + 5kW Huawei inverter + 10kWh Huawei battery. Buckinghamshire.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,116
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    Hi there! 

    I evaluated my installers similarly but also look at  the quality of the kit on offer - I'm not the biggest fan of Chinese kit and everything on your quote is considered "budget Chinese". I hope you won't mind a couple questions:

    1) May I ask where you are located?
    2) Have you considered not purchasing a battery and exporting your energy via Octopus Agile Outgoing instead?
    3) Have you asked for more quotes?
    4) Any shading on the roof from trees etc.?

    As a matter of caution, I always recommend the following for any installer:

    1) Pay with a credit card, even if its just the deposit. This will provide Section 75 protection incase the installer disappears.

    2) Always check each component (but especially the optimizers and panels) when they arrive at the location prior to installation. Sometimes they get incorrectly switched due to error etc.

    3) Be politely detailed with any installation instructions when it comes to wiring on the day of. Installers always chose the path of least resistance, which may not match aesthetic requirements. 

    4) Request bird netting as part of your quote (if a pigeon issue exists anywhere around you). Otherwise, don't worry about it.

    5) Insist in writing that final installment (10%) will only be made upon receipt of the MCS certificate. If they object to this, which many do, then insist after 48 hours of successful continuous operation. 
    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)
  • Hi! 
    I'm thinking I'll explain my reasons to this guy and move on. There's just something a little suspect about the whole setup. 

    In answer to your questions:
    1. I'm located in North West England. 
    2. I was originally considering no battery. I suppose there's nothing to stop retro fitting a battery once prices and technology have improved. I've been looking at quotes with batteries to establish whether it's worthwhile. 
    3. I'm on a waiting list for other companies to give quotes and I've signed up to the Solar Together scheme to see what they come up with. It's proving difficult to get quotes. 
    4. We have a South facing roof with a gable extension on the east side that will cause a small amount of shade in the early morning to the panels lower on the roof. There's no shading from trees. 

    I absolutely will be having pigeon netting installed. That is the one thing I'm certain of so far!
    I've spoken to one provider who is hoping to start installing enphase systems from next year and was very enthusiastic about them.
    I'd be interested in your opinions on panel and inverter manufacturers. 
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,116
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    edited 7 September 2022 at 8:24PM
    I'd be interested in your opinions on panel and inverter manufacturers. 
    Thanks for sharing! A few follow up thoughts:

    If you have any shading, this can dramatically lower PV solar generation. I would suggest going with an Optimizer setup or with those cool Enphase microinverters, if budget and roof accessibility isn't a concern. 

     I only recommend Solarwatt, Hyundai or Sharp 400W panels only (in that order). I also only recommend Enphase or SolarEdge Inverters + Optimizers, all of which are available with a 25 year warranty. 


    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)
  • Magnitio
    Magnitio Posts: 877
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     I only recommend Solarwatt, Hyundai or Sharp 400W panels only (in that order). I also only recommend Enphase or SolarEdge Inverters + Optimizers, all of which are available with a 25 year warranty. 


    Why such a limited list of recommended solar panels?
    6.4kWp (16 * 400Wp REC Alpha) facing ESE + 5kW Huawei inverter + 10kWh Huawei battery. Buckinghamshire.
  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,144
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    Sinophobia?
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Solar PV 5.25kWp SW facing (14 x 375 Longi) Lux 3.6kw hybrid inverter and 4.8kw Pylontech battery storage installed March 22
    Octopus Agile/Fixed Outgoing and Tracker gas
  • Do you know what the deposit is actually for? If it's for the installer's peace of mind that you are serious and won't back out once he has bought the panels, then would there be an option where you buy the panels yourself from the supplier he uses? He then knows you're serious, and if it turns out he is a scam artist then at least you have the panels and can get another installer to fit them.

    Incidentally, I'm from Manchester area and we used Leeds Solar for both of our installations They have been in business for years and were fantastic. Note, I have no connection to the company other than being a satisfied customer!
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 350L thermal store.
    100% composted food waste
    Mini orchard planted and vegetable allotment created.
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