One of the most common questions we’re asked about solar is, “How long does it take to install?”
Before we go ahead and provide one simple answer, every installation is different, so let’s have a look at the installation process and what’s involved!
“We tend to ask a lot of questions in the call centre,” says Phil Harrison, Managing Director, Harrisons Energy. “That way we’re pretty well informed before we go out there, and we can make sure the house is a good candidate for solar.”
These questions include: what’s your main reason for going solar, how much are you spending on power, and so on. “A lot of people don’t really understand about solar,” Harrison says, “so we try and take all the jargon out of it and explain it in layman’s terms. For example, how solar works, some of the key things you’ve got to get right, key things to look out for and mistakes you don’t want to make.”
Harrisons calls this part of the process “an education,” but says some customers have already done a lot of research and are well informed. “It doesn’t matter if they’re not,” he adds, they will be by the time we’ve talked to them.”
2: Site Visit and Quote
If the house sounds like a good candidate, then the next step is a site visit.
“From the time we come onsite, we can usually give the customer a price then and there,” Harrison says.
“That way there’s no waiting. We’ll have a look at a copy of their power bill so we can see what they’re consuming and when, then we’ll do a full inspection of the roof, the orientation of the house, and any factors that come into play. Then we’ll design the system. We’ve got some super clever software that helps us with that. It gives us very accurate data about what you’re going to generate and what you’re going to save. This means we can give the customer a price at that first appointment.”
Harrison is adamant the business never wants to sell in a system that won’t work. “We don’t want to sell something like that. We want people to be stoked with their purchase. For us, that’s how it works.”
If the customer decides they like the price and the savings they’re going to make, then a typical installation normally takes 1 day and a 3 - 4 week timeframe from site visit to install date.
However, it isn’t always that easy!
Certain times are busier than others, or factors such as the weather play a part in causing a delay. “From there, we must sign off from your electricity retailer, which may take another couple of weeks, depending on who your line company and retailer are. There’s a lot of them around the country and some are faster than others.”
Once the system is installed and ready to go, the idea is to use as much of the generated power as possible. “Unfortunately, the power companies don’t pay very much for putting power back into the grid,” Harrison says. “The biggest savings are created by using the power yourself.”
4: After Sales Service
One of the installers must be a registered electrician who will sign off a Certificate of Compliance. Nevertheless, Harrisons do a double check just to make sure, as well as sending a certified Electrical Inspector to look over the system for added peace of mind.
“That way it gets two ticks” Harrison says, “just to make sure everything is correct.”
If you’d like to find out more, then call Harrisons today on 0800 00 33 54 or use the online form for your at-home consultation!