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Checklist published to help companies install solar panels

The Solar Trade Association has published a checklist to help give businesses the confidence to invest in their own rooftop solar installations.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has published a checklist to help give businesses the confidence to invest in their own rooftop solar installations.

The STA developed the ‘Confidence Checklist’ after calculating that commercial rooftop installations account for only five per cent of all solar PV deployed in the UK to date, despite the fact that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is seeking to shift deployment in this direction.

The STA believes that growth in the sector is being limited by a lack of confidence among businesses and rooftop owners, who often do not have access to reliable guidance on how to best undertake an installation.

‘Going solar’

Paul Barwell, chief executive of the STA, said: “From Apple and Amazon to Marks & Spencer and Walmart, many well-known companies are ‘going solar’ to reduce their carbon footprint and because they want the reliable and clean power supply solar provides during work hours.

“Many companies want to follow suit, and if we can help them to identify competent contractors then we will have more UK success stories. We hope that our Confidence Checklist will give a little push to companies that have been thinking about going solar to take the plunge.”

Simple guidance

STA technical specialist, Chris Roberts, added: “It is clear that many commercial managers will benefit from guidance to help them navigate the installation of a solar scheme, which can be complex.

“Much of the current guidance is simply too technical. Managers want to know how to identify a quality contractor to work with. Our checklist helps them to do this, and to monitor the project effectively as it proceeds.”

The checklist is usable by businesses of all sizes and provides simple guidance for pre-quotation, design, development, installation and commissioning.

Government support

Government is also currently working to reduce legislative barriers for businesses, having recently ruled that rooftop installations of up to 1MW in capacity will no longer require planning permission and will be transferable to new properties without subsidy disruption from 2019.

Energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, welcomed the guidance, saying: “Solar is an integral part of the UK’s energy mix. It’s great to see industry initiatives like this boosting confidence and take-up, so businesses can benefit from low carbon energy and lower bills.”