Decision time regarding solar panels for hot water – Avoiding the rip offs

We will be very shortly making a decision on who we will employ to install 4 solar panels on our house. The house is on a north south axis with very little roof space facing south. We are therefore going to place 2 panels east, 2 panels west connected to a 300 litre stainless steel dual coil tank (both coils made from stainless steel also)

If we use a recommended manufactured of solar panels and a recommended installer we will be entitled so a grant of 1500 Euros. The solar panels and tank can be purchased for 4,700 Euros approx. The twin solar flex internal preinsulated piping will add another 450 – 600 Euros to this.

Several plumbers who specialise in this area initially quoted 7,000 plus for supply and installation this means they are pocketing 1700 Euros for a days work. We will have to assess the quality of their work and their reputation when making our final decision. 


  1. Archie says:

    It seems to be standard practice for installers to factor the grant into their quotes, The grant has the effect of inflating the cost by €1500. I’d recomment you send out a Tender to 5 or six installers withh a basic performance specification,which you can copy from the British Standard for Solar thermal. Just to let them know that they are inn a competition for the work. You should get a keener price this way. You can also ask for a breakdown of materials, labour, Vat etc.

  2. Liam Noonan says:

    Hi Archie,
    Thanks for the advice, we did exactly that and selected the best quote at the weekend. Work will commence in early Septemeber.

  3. Razzor says:

    Did you decide on flat or tube type solar panels and what brand are they? The Flat panels look nicer but are seemingly heavier and thus harder to retofit. I have natural slates that have the hook at the bottom of each slate, so fitting may be somewhat tricky. Can I ask the cost of the panels without the 300L stainless steel tank as I all ready have one of thoes. Thanks.

  4. Liam says:

    I am looking at the gasokol tecsol range of solar panels. They are Austrian made and have a 10 year warranty. I am waiting for a reply from the SEI as I have applied under the grrener home schemes phase 3.
    I decided to go ahead with panels for aesthetic and durability reasons. If a football land on panels they will do less damage when compared to landing on evacuated tubes.
    The panels are as easy to fit as the tubes as far as I know. I would recommend you get a few companies who install solar out to quote and ask for written quotes and details on the warranties etc.
    Insist on twin solar flex internal preinsulated piping as well. Some companies qill quote copper so as to reduce their quote. The more reputable firms will only use twin solar flex.

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