Lead times on solar and battery as well as price increases

Back in March 2022, I paid the a 10% deposit for a 5 panel solar 2kWp and 15kWh home storage battery system install by a solar MCS installer . At the time I was told the lead time was 8 to 12 weeks. However, due to supply shortages I've been continuously been informed of delayed delivery of parts because the suppliers have not had stock. The latest update is that it will be delivered in December which is about a 9 months duration since deposit. During which time, my original quote has increased in cost by 15% due to increased costs from the suppliers and I've been asked to pay another 50% of the total cost with the remaining balance to be paid on completion. I have been told by the solar installer that the delays and price increase is something they've had to do with all their customers and it's fairly representative of the entire market and what other solar installers have had to do. Given the current energy markets, it seems plausible but I just wanted to check.

Question 1: is the lead increase of 3 months to what will now be 9 months fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

Question 2: is a 15% increase in cost fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

My system setup is:
  • 5 x panel with a total 2kWp (this is as many panels as I can get on my roof
  • 15kWh home storage battery
  • 5kW hybrid inverter
The total end cost (including the 15% price bump) comes to £14k.

Question 3: does £14k for the above system seem reasonable?

I've tried to call a few other solar installer companies but none have returned my calls or gotten back to me. I'm guessing they are absolutely swamped with orders.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?

Comments

  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,630
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    Personally, given the delay and the high price I'd be asking for my deposit back.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,117
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    edited 24 September 2022 at 9:19PM
    tallac said:

    Question 1: is the lead increase of 3 months to what will now be 9 months fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    Absolutely not. A 2 month wait is the new normal. I would run as far away from this installer as possible.

    tallac said:

    Question 2: is a 15% increase in cost fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    My system setup is:
    • 5 x panel with a total 2kWp (this is as many panels as I can get on my roof
    • 15kWh home storage battery
    • 5kW hybrid inverter
    The total end cost (including the 15% price bump) comes to £14k.

    Question 3: does £14k for the above system seem reasonable?

    I've tried to call a few other solar installer companies but none have returned my calls or gotten back to me. I'm guessing they are absolutely swamped with orders.

    Anyway, any thoughts on this?
    A few adjectives come to mind. Reasonable is not one of them. Where are you located? What brands are the components in your quote?

    Here's a quote from last week that I believe is hard to beat and should give you a steer:

      5 x 400w Sharp solar panels, 25 year warranty to 86.2% efficiency and a 15 year product warranty

      5 x Solar Edge optimizers fitted to each panel. 25 Year warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Hybrid HD Wave single phase inverter 25 year product warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Energy store 10kh battery 10 year warranty

      1 x Emergency power backup supply

      1 x MCS and G98 Certificates 

    Fully fitted price of £11,250.

    -  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)
  • QrizB said:
    Personally, given the delay and the high price I'd be asking for my deposit back.
    Rather depends if you want to continue with the order or go elsewhere, assuming you can and not just rejoin a queue. The only installer I have been able to get a quote from (as well as a visit), gave a higher figure than yours, but for a 4kw install, but wants 75% up front and quoted 6-8 weeks. It's possibly longer now as I am still doing the payback period calcs. Can't get it below 13 years and thinking I may not still be in the house by then...
  • tallac said:

    Question 1: is the lead increase of 3 months to what will now be 9 months fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    Absolutely not. A 2 month wait is the new normal. I would run as far away from this installer as possible.

    tallac said:

    Question 2: is a 15% increase in cost fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    My system setup is:
    • 5 x panel with a total 2kWp (this is as many panels as I can get on my roof
    • 15kWh home storage battery
    • 5kW hybrid inverter
    The total end cost (including the 15% price bump) comes to £14k.

    Question 3: does £14k for the above system seem reasonable?

    I've tried to call a few other solar installer companies but none have returned my calls or gotten back to me. I'm guessing they are absolutely swamped with orders.

    Anyway, any thoughts on this?
    A few adjectives come to mind. Reasonable is not one of them. Where are you located? What brands are the components in your quote?

    Here's a quote from last week that I believe is hard to beat and should give you a steer:

      5 x 400w Sharp solar panels, 25 year warranty to 86.2% efficiency and a 15 year product warranty

      5 x Solar Edge optimizers fitted to each panel. 25 Year warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Hybrid HD Wave single phase inverter 25 year product warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Energy store 10kh battery 10 year warranty

      1 x Emergency power backup supply

      1 x MCS and G98 Certificates 

    Fully fitted price of £11,250.

    I have been quoted £13k for a 4kw install, which others have said is much too much. Maybe, if I could get anyone else to quote or even come and do a survey (it's 12-16 weeks for a map/photo estimate around here!), I could be more sure. That quote came with a 75% deposit requirement (which I think is to earmark product they have in stock).
  • uk1
    uk1 Posts: 1,839
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    edited 25 September 2022 at 12:56AM
    tallac said:
    Back in March 2022, I paid the a 10% deposit for a 5 panel solar 2kWp and 15kWh home storage battery system install by a solar MCS installer . At the time I was told the lead time was 8 to 12 weeks. However, due to supply shortages I've been continuously been informed of delayed delivery of parts because the suppliers have not had stock. The latest update is that it will be delivered in December which is about a 9 months duration since deposit. During which time, my original quote has increased in cost by 15% due to increased costs from the suppliers and I've been asked to pay another 50% of the total cost with the remaining balance to be paid on completion. I have been told by the solar installer that the delays and price increase is something they've had to do with all their customers and it's fairly representative of the entire market and what other solar installers have had to do. Given the current energy markets, it seems plausible but I just wanted to check.

    Question 1: is the lead increase of 3 months to what will now be 9 months fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    Question 2: is a 15% increase in cost fairly representative of what is going on with other people?

    My system setup is:
    • 5 x panel with a total 2kWp (this is as many panels as I can get on my roof
    • 15kWh home storage battery
    • 5kW hybrid inverter
    The total end cost (including the 15% price bump) comes to £14k.

    Question 3: does £14k for the above system seem reasonable?

    I've tried to call a few other solar installer companies but none have returned my calls or gotten back to me. I'm guessing they are absolutely swamped with orders.

    Anyway, any thoughts on this?
    Hi,

    I was concerned to read your story and have the following observations.  

    You described the arrangement as a “quotation” and not an “estimate” and presumably you paid a deposit to secure the prices in the quotation.  A quotation is an agreed fixed price that is guaranteed to you at the moment you place a deposit. It is at that moment a contract was established.  

    If a merchant predicts that he might wish to vary the price after you have agreed to proceed  that must be called an estimate and not a quotation. He might ask for a deposit but must return it promptly if a higher price is demanded or any  other variation is envisaged.  It might be reasonable to delay an installation if the items haven’t arrived into stock but you must then be offered a prompt refund.

    At the moment on the basis of your post  I’m not convinced that you need to take a price increase if you proceeded on the basis of a “quotation”.  If it has the word “quotation” anywhere in the document then you legally have full price protection. 

    https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/difference-between-quotation-and-estimate

    I hope this is helpful.  If you need any further help on that aspect - then ask. 

    Good luck. :)
  • tallac
    tallac Posts: 363
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    Just to be clear, the solar installer company has been very apologetic over the delays and the price increases but it seems to be outside their control. They have offered that I am entitled to a full refund, so it is a case of accepted the price increase or getting a full refund but then I would need an alternative solar installer. The paperwork does specifically mention it is a quote and not an estimate.

    The specific components are:
    • The solar panels are Q Cells 410w ML G10 
    • Hybrid inverter is a Huawei 5kW L1 HV 1ph with Huawei Luna BMS
    • And the battery is a 3x Huawei Luna (each 5kWh so a total of 15kWh)
    Can anyone recommend any MCS solar installers who do both solar and battery, with reasonable lead times and who cover the London area? I have tried to contact a few but none of them have come back to me.

  • tallac
    tallac Posts: 363
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    A few adjectives come to mind. Reasonable is not one of them. Where are you located? What brands are the components in your quote?

    Here's a quote from last week that I believe is hard to beat and should give you a steer:

      5 x 400w Sharp solar panels, 25 year warranty to 86.2% efficiency and a 15 year product warranty

      5 x Solar Edge optimizers fitted to each panel. 25 Year warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Hybrid HD Wave single phase inverter 25 year product warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Energy store 10kh battery 10 year warranty

      1 x Emergency power backup supply

      1 x MCS and G98 Certificates 

    Fully fitted price of £11,250.

    This seems somewhat similar to my quote except I have an extra 5kWh on the battery which makes up some of the cost difference. What company is this quote from?
  • tallac said:
    Just to be clear, the solar installer company has been very apologetic over the delays and the price increases but it seems to be outside their control. They have offered that I am entitled to a full refund, so it is a case of accepted the price increase or getting a full refund but then I would need an alternative solar installer. The paperwork does specifically mention it is a quote and not an estimate.

    The specific components are:
    • The solar panels are Q Cells 410w ML G10 
    • Hybrid inverter is a Huawei 5kW L1 HV 1ph with Huawei Luna BMS
    • And the battery is a 3x Huawei Luna (each 5kWh so a total of 15kWh)
    Can anyone recommend any MCS solar installers who do both solar and battery, with reasonable lead times and who cover the London area? I have tried to contact a few but none of them have come back to me.


    Seems like reasonable kit. If only it was a little cheaper, but there is a lot of demand currently and prices have gone up.
    6.4kWp (16 * 400Wp REC Alpha) facing ESE + 5kW Huawei inverter + 10kWh Huawei battery. Buckinghamshire.
  • uk1
    uk1 Posts: 1,839
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    tallac said:
    A few adjectives come to mind. Reasonable is not one of them. Where are you located? What brands are the components in your quote?

    Here's a quote from last week that I believe is hard to beat and should give you a steer:

      5 x 400w Sharp solar panels, 25 year warranty to 86.2% efficiency and a 15 year product warranty

      5 x Solar Edge optimizers fitted to each panel. 25 Year warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Hybrid HD Wave single phase inverter 25 year product warranty

      1 x Solar Edge Energy store 10kh battery 10 year warranty

      1 x Emergency power backup supply

      1 x MCS and G98 Certificates 

    Fully fitted price of £11,250.

    This seems somewhat similar to my quote except I have an extra 5kWh on the battery which makes up some of the cost difference. What company is this quote from?
    The bottom line is fwiw, if you are content that your cash is safe, and you have confidence with the company then it seems to me you might be better off remaining with them to get your system installed. 
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