One of the main challenges of upgrading the energy performance of your home is finding a supplier that you can trust. Energy – and in particular renewable energy – is a fast-moving sector, with suppliers often struggling to keep pace with developments and some dubious players moving in to take advantage of the latest incentives.

The following tips may help you in finding a trustworthy supplier:

Do your research

Review sites such as Checkatrade is a good starting point. It's worth spending time looking carefully through the reviews as you need to read between the lines when most of the scores exceed 9.5 out of 10!

Another useful site is the Buy With Confidence website (https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/) run by Trading Standards departments. Suppliers on this site are all vetted and approved and may be removed if they are found no to meet good standards of customer service.

Ask for recommendations

If friends, neighbours or colleagues have had work done recently then ask them for recommendations. Similarly, if you already have reliable contacts in the trade then they may be able to refer you on to someone they have worked with previously

Get quotes and references

Always get a minimum of three quotes from suppliers so that you have a realistic idea of costs rather than relying on just one. For more expensive projects then it may well be worth asking for references from previous customers and even going to see one or two examples of work that they have already carried out.

Check qualifications

Ensure any tradesman has the requisite qualifications and approvals. For example, anyone installing renewable energy systems must be approved under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) in order for you to claim subsidies once the system is commissioned.

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