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Solarsense solar installer review

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The transition to renewable energy sources is rapidly reshaping the global energy landscape. Solar energy is at the forefront of this shift – a sustainable, infinitely renewable resource becoming increasingly accessible for households and businesses alike. Solar panels can save money on energy bills, cut carbon footprints, and allow homeowners to reduce their reliance on the National Grid. Across the UK, an average of 12,000 solar systems are installed every month, and the industry employs over 2,000 solar installers to fulfil the growing demand.  

Selecting the best solar panel installers isn’t always simple due to varying service quality, expertise, and materials. A thorough selection process, focusing on professionalism, reliability, and value is vital. Top installers have positive reviews, industry accreditations, and transparent communication about costs, timelines, and equipment. Remember, choosing the right installer impacts your solar system’s long-term performance and satisfaction.

Our Solarsense installer review examines its performance across the board, including customer reviews, warranties and prices, providing you with a reliable analysis of the company.

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Bristol-based Solarsense designs, installs, and maintains renewable, energy efficient technologies. These include solar panels, solar thermal systems, EV chargers and storage batteries. 

 

Catering to a diverse range of clients, from homeowners to expansive business projects and charity installations, it has received many industry awards and sector accreditations. 

 

Solarsense only has one customer review on Trustpilot, and our researchers found that several important points may be missing from its website. However, its longstanding presence in the industry suggests a commitment to renewable energy and a sustainable future.

Solarsense background

Solarsense background
The Solarsense website says the company has served more than 14,000 customers since its launch (Solarsense)

With its first office opened in 1995, Solarsense UK Ltd was formed in 2000 and is now based in Bristol. It specialises in the design, supply, installation and ongoing maintenance of solar panels and other renewable energy technologies for residential and commercial projects across the UK. 

In 2005, Solarsense installed the first solar system under the Energy Saving Trust’s Grant Scheme. The same year saw it launching its charity projects, first visiting Uganda, then installing lighting in 10 Senegal villages three years later. Worthy Farm, home of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, was its next big installation in 2010, followed by another charity project – an Indian orphanage.

Solarsense continued to expand its global charity work alongside its commercial and residential installations. After winning several industry awards, including Company of the Year at the British Renewable Energy Awards, Installer of the Year at the Regen South West Awards, and Green Business of the Year, it celebrated its 10,000 residential installations milestone in 2015. 

In 2022, Solarsense was awarded the Best UK Clean Energy Project and named UK Renewable Energy Contractor of the Year for a third time in less than five years.

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What does Solarsense do?

For its residential clients, Solarsense installs, maintains and repairs solar panel systems, including solar batteries, solar powered hot water systems, and EV chargers. It also assists homeowners with their applications for solar panel grants

As independent contractors, Solarsense is not tied to any specific solar panel brand. However, it only uses Bloomberg’s Tier One panels, and according to our research, the ones typically installed by Solarsense are Q Cells, Solis Solar, and SolarEdge panels. As such, the panel and performance warranties vary, although Solarsense offers a two-year workmanship guarantee. If homeowners have a preferred manufacturer, Solarsense says it will work with their choices. 

Solarsense holds several industry accreditations, including the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), which ensures its members adhere to a rigorous consumer code and is backed by the Trading Standards Institute. The code ensures consumers receive protection at all process stages – from pre-sale activities to post-sale aftercare. Solarsense also holds Solar Energy UK accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable and safe operating practices, a SafeContractor accreditation, and is a member of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). 

Solarsense does not offer finance options for residential installations.

Solarsense process
Solarsense says it helps customers throughout the process, from design and installation to regular maintenance (Solarsense)

Solarsense prices

Like most solar installers, the prices for a Solarsense system are unavailable online or over the phone, although its website does state a payback period of between eight and nine years. 

Each system is tailored to the property and the homeowner’s requirements, and quotes are only given after a free online survey. However, this does make it impossible to gauge the cost of solar panels installation without contacting the company.

Customer service

There are three ways to contact Solarsense – an online contact form, which doubles as a quote request form, email, and phone. Our researcher found it refreshing not to have to go through an automated phone process when they rang, and the calls were typically answered within three rings by helpful personnel. 

One researcher who filled out the quote form for a three-bedroom East Sussex property received a reply saying: “Your proposed project is either too far away from our base of operations, or below our minimum size.” 

Neither of these points are raised on Solarsense’s website – the implication being that it covers the whole UK and doesn’t have a minimum installation size. In fact, the company has won National Solar Installer of the Year in the past, so our researcher was surprised to be turned down for a quote.   

Solarsense offers an annual maintenance and performance check for systems, both those it has installed and third-party installations; this is a paid-for service. It also provides various monitoring solutions, allowing homeowners to track their system’s performance.

Customer reviews

Solarsense has a Trustpilot rating of 3.7 out of five; however, this score is based on just one review dated April 2022. 

“I engaged Solarsense to perform a service of my solar thermal panels, in October 2021. The engineer was very polite, tidy, and completed the job – within thirty minutes – and charged £230 – not cheap. The system did not function over the winter months, and on the first sunny few days in March 2022, the system flashed up with an error. Solarsense did not initially return calls or emails, and I engaged a different engineer, who analysed the system and determined that during the service, the flow valve had been left closed. When I contacted Solarsense, they initially declined to help, stating that too much time had passed – but on reflection they sent the original engineer, who worked out the issue and rectified it on a complimentary basis. [It is a] completely honourable and excellent [company].”

Solarsense’s downloadable brochure claims many of its previous customers would be happy to speak with homeowners considering installing solar panels. The company’s website also links to several residential case studies.

Summary

Solarsense has amassed an impressive collection of industry awards since its inception in 2000, alongside several accreditations. It also has carried out successful charity projects across the UK, Asia, and Africa, large-scale commercial installations and more than 10,000 residential solar systems. 

However, the unavailability of a pricing structure and the coverage range and minimum size for residential installations – neither of which are disclosed on Solarsense’s website – are points that could be addressed to provide homeowners with an improved service. Another research challenge was the lack of online customer reviews. While it’s encouraging that existing customers are willing to provide feedback, it would be easy to assume these could be cherry picked to present a favourable reflection of Solarsense.

Pros

Uses Tier 1 solar panels Industry awards and certifications Provides ongoing maintenance and performance monitoring

Cons

Lacks price transparency Two-year workmanship warranty; many competitors offer labour warranties of between five and 10 years

Methodology

Our experts thoroughly researched Solarsense, analysing its services, products and customer services and conducting many hours of consumer investigation to establish a clear picture of how the company conducts business. 

To find out more, read our article on how we review solar panels.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.