You take a positive step and decide to look into renewable technologies for your home. You begin your research and start looking for local contractors to provide a quote. But how do you know they’re any good? Sense will tell you to ask friends and family for recommendations and speak to people who have used these contractors before but there are some other easy checks you can do to ensure the contractors are reputable and qualified to carry out the work.
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)
The RECC was set up by the Renewable Energy Association and is backed by the Trading Standards Institute. The aim of the RECC is to guarantee a high quality experience for consumers wishing to buy or lease small-scale energy generation systems for their homes. Small-scale renewables include solar panels, wind and hydro electricity generating units, ground or air source heat pumps, solar water heating panels, and boilers fuelled by wood chips or pellets.
If you see the RECC logo on a contractors website or documentation, this is a sign that the company has agreed to abide by the high standards set out in their Renewable Energy Consumer Code.
Ten top tips to ensure you don’t get taken for a ride
- Quotes: Get at least three quotes and ensure you don’t base your decision on cost alone.
- RECC members? Only get quotes from contractors who are members of the RECC (click here to check)
- MCS certified? The company must be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for the relevant technology (click here to check)
- Guidance available: Read the RECC guidance carefully before you sign the contract or hand over a deposit. The guidance is there to protect you.
- Target prices: Check the Energy Saving Trust website for impartial advice and target prices.
- Testimonials: Don’t just accept a list of testimonials. Ask to speak to their customers in person to ensure the testimonials are genuine.
- Performance estimate: The written quote should include a standard performance estimate specific to your property and a full breakdown of what is included in the quote.
- Small print: As with any contract, ensure you read the contract fully and ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand.
- Deposit: Never pay more than 25% deposit upfront.
- Cancellation: You have the right to cancel the contract within 7 days with no penalty if you’re not happy or change your mind.
It goes without saying that Norcroft Electrical Ltd (trading as Norcroft Energy) are MCS certified and members of the RECC. We will also happily put you in direct contact with our clients for recommendations.