How to Choose Right Installer for Your Solar System
Jun 24, 2019 The Solar Man
The solar industry is sitting in a sweet spot wherein the market especially the manufacturing community is warming up to solar energy by turning their lifeless roofs into money generators. Turn the clock to 5 years back when solar was making its mark slowly, a large community still saw it with suspicion and remained fence sitters for a long time. With the reduction in prices and more and more players entering the solar bandwagon, solar energy has indeed become the talk of the town.
Even the ones who are still hesitantly adopting it are acknowledging the benefits involved while patiently waiting for their peers to go for it first. That’s universal and that’s fair as human nature is at display here. In spite of the significant price reduction, adopting solar for your manufacturing unit, the commercial entity does still require upfront capital which is more than considerable.
While going through the process of selecting the right EPC vendor for your solar plant here are a few common mistakes clients often do:-
1. Making cheap price the only criteria: Let’s be honest for a second, choosing the most financially viable option is the goal during every purchase. But focusing on value for money and on just the cheapest price available are two different things. Remember you are investing for 25 years. Invest in the material which can last this long. Think long term and choose wisely. For more info on selection of material feel free to contact us.
2. Only focussing on Bill of Material and neglecting the workmanship and capabilities of EPC player: There are few clients who don’t lie in the first category and take the pain of educating themselves. They focus on getting world-class panels, inverters, and other accessories but most of them totally ignore the integration part i.e. the workmanship and skill level of EPC team. One must take the pain of visiting the previous sites of the shortlisted installers and talking to their previous clients.
3. Fixing clear responsibilities for availing of warranties: Who will approach the manufacturers for availing the warranties of different instruments when something goes wrong? This should be clearly defined and established in the contract agreement. Generally, EPC Company/ installer should be doing this as they better ties with manufacturers and suppliers and can get the repairs/ replacements done faster.
4. Over bargain: Bargaining is every client’s right but one should understand that overdoing this may sometimes force some installers to cut corners to save costs which will result in the substandard plant. Generally, an EPC company worth its salt will defend its price and say no to a relentless over bargainer however there are few installers which are business hungry and would go to the bottom to pick up the order. In the end, both the client and the installer are at a loss.
5. Not thinking long term: If you’re looking at solar energy for a short term solution then you’re highly mistaken. Think 25 years in anything you select for your solar installation. This point needs no further impressing.
6. Not signing the contract agreement: Do sign a contract agreement with the EPC company which should cover all the salient points which were discussed during the final closing negotiation to avoid any confusion or heart burns in the future.
7. Ignoring designs: Spend some time to discuss the designs with your installer and understand it thoroughly, a thing most of the clients take lightly and ignore. Once the designs are finalized procurement will commence and clients will not have time or moral authority to change things later on.
8. Not knowing why they are going for solar: One should be aware of the exact reason for going for solar so as to select the best system for oneself. For example, if you are living in a place where there are erratic power supply there is no point going for a grid-tied system as it will serve no purpose at all.
9. Putting unreasonable time pressure on the installer: Never put time pressure on your installer unnecessarily. We construct our homes tastefully and invest 2-3 years in completing it but we want solar plant within two weeks…why? Again a professional installer performs checks and tests at his end before he delivers material at the site. The plant ‘s life is more than 25 years and it does take time to integrate a healthy plant. You were without solar for these many years a couple of weeks more will not affect anything on the ground.
10. Not Doing your homework: In the age of information, you can summon the ‘Information Ginny’ aka Google, anytime you want at the press of a button. So try to educate yourself before you start asking for quotations and site surveys. One doesn’t need to consume too much tech stuff but even the basic one will help you choose the right installer who will know he is dealing with a guy who is educated on solar. Besides the educated clients are better to deal with.