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Compare solar PV prices with Solartwin.
Q1 – How can I compare solar PV installation quotes properly?
A – Yes, if you compare “like for like” in your solar comparisons. You can also adjust for differing factors. Do your solar PV quotes include VAT at 5%? Do the solar PV quotes have the same Kilowatt-peak (kWp) ratings? Are the solar prices offering the same PV installation output over a year? Is roof access included, or do you have to provide this? What about all the paperwork such as official MCS registration? How do the solar warranties compare – component by component? Is a remote solar energy monitor or PV performance display provided (this can make a difference of around £400.)? Does the solar supplier have nationwide UK coverage? How long have they been installing photovoltaics? Do the PV suppliers answer the phone promptly and helpfully?
Q2 – Why are solar PV installations cheaper than solar PV modules which are bought off the shelf or via Ebay?
A – This is because the retail installed price per watt of solar PV panels does not just cover the PV panel itself. Other marginal costs which always increase with peak solar wattage are:
1. A small warranty / damage / theft contingency sum.
2. Solar equipment handling and delivery
3. More solar PV cabling (this can also be thicker throughout for larger installations)
4. More solar PV fixings and roof support structures
5. More PV installation labour, of course – PV qualified electricians have huge annual accreditation / working at height insurance overheads – and are thus very expensive per hour. We usually pay our installers a fee per watt.
In addition, PV installation pricing step changes which sometimes cut in but we choose to apply linearly in our “per watt” PV installation price formula are:
6. Sometimes a larger PV inverter (a step-increment component which increases with system power)
7. Sometimes extra scaffolding for your photovoltaic project
8. Sometimes thicker power cabling is needed if larger PV installations are chosen
These 5-8 extra costs are not covered in the off-the shelf price of a PV panel or PV module.
There is also a profit element, but this is not very high. I hope you will agree, on reflection, this explanation is reasonable, like our PV installation prices!
Many thanks to Solartwin PV customer, JH, for asking this question!