The UK solar industry has united to build a new installer ratings website to help consumers avoid the cowboys.
The Rated Solar Installer platform, supported by the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) and the UK's National Solar Centre among others, will allow customers to rate their experience with installers and products, similar to other websites covering mechanics, plumbers, electricians and building contractors.
“The main point is that the industry is healthier now that it has been in the past three years. It’s our duty to ensure the quality remains high and the public are protected,” said Reza Shaybani, chairman of the BPVA.
“The platform will ensure high quality products and installers. The public are familiar with the concept used in Rated Solar Installer from sites like TripAdvisor and Rated People. We want the public to stay in love with PV,” added Shaybani.
“We want to cut sub-standard products and installers. A small minority have created headaches for the industry,” he said.
Users will be able to leave feedback for installers who can respond to any comments prior to publishing.
The site will also offer a ‘virtual solar system’ that will allow customers to register their roof in order to see how much power a solar array could generate for them. Undecided customers will receive a virtual cheque every month showing them how much money their roof would have generated through the feed-in tariff (FiT).
Purchases made through the website will also receive 12 months free insurance, have access to finance and be offered the option to buy maintenance contracts, Shaybani confirmed.
The site is currently in the closing stages of development.