Local company leaders in solar PV Installation and maintenance crack
BCL Energy began trading in 2003. Initially involved in property maintenance, the company diversified into installing cavity wall and loft insulation in 2008 and has completed around 9,000 installs since. These were carried out under the Government’s CERT scheme which was put together to provide cheaper insulation and encourage people to insulate their properties. In addition, under the scheme it is free to people over 70 and those on benefits.
Since June 2010 BCL has been involved in the Solar PV market. With solar energy such a growing market, it has now become the major part of their business. What began as one install a week is now up to four. BCL work with a lot of national fundraising groups such as Osborn Energy and Climate Energy and they will be working closely together to provide the services to the Green Deal which will be available to the public in 2012.
The Green Deal is an energy bill which will be funded by the utility companies and is designed to provide energy efficient measures such as solar, heat pumps and external insulation systems. It will involve loans to homeowners so that they can install these types of measures and pay for them through their energy bills. The loan will be on the property not the person and therefore carry forward to the next owner should you move in the meantime.
The main focus of BCL Energy is selling Solar PV to homeowners and businesses such as golf clubs and farms. Based in Andoversford, BCL also has a satellite office in Bristol, which enables them to cover Bristol, Bath, Swindon and Oxford as well as Gloucestershire.
‘It is the future’, says Managing Director Rob Wynn. ‘It will become more popular in time. Homeowners will realise how much money they can make, not just save’.
Many current and potential customers are people who are established in their property and have already done their research. ‘They know what they want,’ says Rob.
As well as being green and saving the environment, it’s an investment - but how does this work? The more solar panels you put up the more money you get back from the government. This is the part that many homeowners don’t realise, he explains. The system produces electricity during the day even when it’s not sunny. This is because the technology that allows this to happen has moved on so much since the potential of turning light into energy was ‘discovered’ in 1838 and the first commercial solar cell was made available to the public in 1956. It is also cheaper than the electricity you get from the National Grid.
So just how much will it cost? An average system on a three or four bedroom house will cost between £10,000 and £14,000. Under the government Feed in Tariff incentive for homeowners (FiT) an annual fee of approximately £1,000 can be generated over 24 years. This means that the system has been paid for in eight or nine years – the rest of the financial return comes from the electricity you sell back to the grid. Finally the electricity you do use will be at a far reduced rate. So it’s a win-win situation for the homeowner prepared to take the plunge.... and it couldn’t be simpler.
Installing Solar PV is a four stage process:
• STAGE ONE: Following the initial enquiry a sales surveyor will come out to your property, look at your electricity use and examine your roof area. BCL will then design and propose a system that will generate the maximum output to in turn achieve the best savings and the highest return in terms of electricity generated. BCL are members of the Renewable Energy Assurance Scheme and will ensure all calculations and sales advice offered is within the guidance of the REAL scheme.
• STAGE TWO: On acceptance of the quote, BCL will conduct a technical survey on the property to confirm the suitability of the roof space, the system output, along with the potential earnings for a chosen system. They will also check any for any Health & Safety issues relating to the install including scaffolding, ladders, walkways, paths, access and general public safety. Once this is done, the install date can be confirmed and this is usually 3-4 weeks after the acceptance of the quote.
• STAGE THREE: The actual installation process will more often than not be completed within a day. A team of three NAPIT accredited installers will fit the roof anchors and solar supports in line with the technical survey. They will then position and fit the solar panels on to the supports. Towards the end of the install BCL’s qualified electrician will link the panels into the existing electrical system and connect them to the National Grid. This also includes the installation of the meter which shows how much electricity is being used. Any additional rewiring, earth bonding or similar electrical work can all be completed on the same day.
• STAGE FOUR: BCL will liaise with your electrical supplier to register the install and ensure all relevant paperwork is completed, to save you the hassle. Being a local company BCL will be there to support and maintain the system and will liaise regularly with the homeowner to ensure they are receiving the maximum output from the system. If any adjustments are required or connectivity issues arise. BCL are close at hand to support and maintain. They are also able to provide a cleaning and maintenance service contract in the future.
As well as Solar PV, BCL are venturing into Solar Thermal which can be used for heating water and air source and ground source heat pumps. Solar PV and solar thermal can be combined to provide cheaper electricity and hot water. This will fit well with the government renewable heat incentive to be launched in the autumn.
BCL Energy is located at:
Andoversford Industrial Estate
Tel: 01242 821031 or 250584
The website can be found at www.bclenergy.co.uk