Portal to obtain quotes for solar installations

It's really hard to find out information about installing solar in our homes today.

We recently went to a large store in Bristol who just started selling solar installations.  First, registered interest online.  No reply.  Went in when we happened to be shopping there anyway.  They pulled our house up on Google maps, measured our roof and said our roof was too small for their systems*.  (That's why we hadn't had a reply.)  Maybe in the future they'll do smaller systems.

Now, I'm put off.  I don't have time to go out to all of the different solar providers and ask for quotes, then get sales people around with a hard sell.  We need one central portal, where homeowners can register interest in having solar installed on their roof, and this information is passed to all the approved providers who can give us ballpark estimates.  Or better yet, give us online estimates.  Perhaps have a mechanism  where customers can feed back the actuals post-purchase to rate how good a company's estimates are.

If we're serious about being a solar city, we need to make the process easier.

* By the way, our house is a standard-size house in Bristol. 

Why the contribution is important

Makes the process of getting solar installations easier.

Supports our Solar City initiative and European Green Capital.

by user419622 on December 08, 2013 at 10:34AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by user439515 January 08, 2014 at 15:03

    It might be helpful to have a look at our solar map in the first instance.
    If you type in your address, you can see whether solar generation is suited to your home. The map is based on a technology called Light Detection and Ranging (LiDaR) which is basically a 3D model of the City of Bristol incorporating the annual characteristics of the sun and building outlines. This technology is not always 100% correct as it is based on a model, so we always advice householders to double check with their chosen installer whether their home is suitable for solar PV/thermal.

    Whilst it might sound very appealing to get ballpark figures for the installation of solar PV/thermal on your home, this is not really possible in practical terms as many factors such as structural integrity of the roof, shading (such as for example nearby trees), the energy performance of the building etc. have to be considered before the installation can go ahead. When installing solar panels on our own properties, we always do a quick desktop study via google to determine whether the building would be suitable or not before a qhantity surveyor goes out to carry out a detailed assessment.
    In your case, as you have not been satidfied with the response that you have had so far from your chosen installer, I would suggest that you get in touch with another installer or two who can come out to your home to assess the suitability of your roof before going ahead with the installation. It might be that the installer you are referring to is only selling one system size so I would strongly advice you to get further advice on this matter.

    It might be also of interest to you to know that we are in the process of revamping the solar map to incorporate the West of England with more information for householders and a mapping facility which would show you how many installations have been completed. We will make sure that we keep your idea about registering interest and providing a list of certified installers in mind.
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