Checklist for a Solar PV Installation

Getting a solar electricity system installed in the UK is a fantastic idea, but there are many things you need to be aware of. Here is a checklist that you may find useful when evaluating the feasibility of solar micro-gen and when getting the system installed.

Research

Pre-signup

  • Verify the equipment specifications on the quotation
  • Check the deadline for the desired level of FiT payments (the longer you leave it, the lower they go!)
  • Check the details of deposit protection and cooling off period
  • Check terms of warranty on workmanship and materials

Post-commissioning

  • You will need these documents and bits of information for the FiT application:
    • Your MCS installer certificate number
    • Electricity customer account number
    • Proof of ID (passport / driver licence copy)
    • Proof of ownership (installer's invoice or sales agreement)
    • Total generation meter details (make, model, serial number, reading on date of FiT application)
    • Installer details (company, contact name, telephone number)
    • Electricity supply details (unique electricity supply number, usually at top right of utility bill)
  • If your generator is under 4kW in size you must notify the electricity distribution company (form G83) that you are connecting a microgenerator to the grid. I've been told by my local distribution company (EDF) then I actually need to contact UK Power Networks on 08456014516. I've also been told by my solar panel installer that they've already submitted the G83 form, so there should be nothing for you to do here; it might just be worth checking that they've done it, though.

    If you need to have your metering equipment changed, then your current supplier (who you pay bills to) should be the one to arrange that for you with the Meter Operator.

    If you need to find out who is responsible for your own supply line, look here: Electricity Distributor List or here: EnergyLinx Electricity Distribution Network Operators

  • Note: FiT payments start when your energy company receives completed FIT sign up form.


Comments

by Chris Rivers on 03 November 2011 Reply
This is indeed helpful for newbies! Just a few points re the document (also maybe a cautionary note should be added because of the current DECC consultation proposals to reduce the FiT to 21p/kWh!)

* Your MCS installer certificate (I think it's the document and not only the number that's required)

* Proof of ID i.e. passport/driver licence copy (Not required if you are already with the utility company that you are registering your PV system with)

* Total generation meter details and Installer details (these are usually part and parcel of the FiT application form)

* Electricity supply details (basically the electricity customer account number supplied above, if you are applying to same company for FiT purposes)

May help to reduce the daunting list!

Cheers

Chris

by John Swindells on 03 November 2011 Reply
Thanks for your feedback, Chris! The reduction in the FiT rate is real and imminent, so most people will only be eligible for the lower (21p) rate.

As for your other points, I think that it's vital to follow the instructions from your energy company. For example, Good Energy doesn't need to see the MCS certificate itself, but does insist on proof of ID and installation - existing customer or not.

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