The number of producing consumers with their own solar power plants in Lithuania already exceeds 40 thousand, and another 14 thousand. objects have received the approved connection conditions necessary for the installation of a solar power plant, such statistics are provided by “Energijos skirmish operatorius” (ESO). When installing a solar power plant, we expect it to run smoothly for at least twenty years. What risks are important to assess before installing it, what to think about and what to take care of so that it happens, experts advise.
What risks need to be assessed?
As the price of electricity rose and the demand for solar power plants increased tenfold, the supply also increased accordingly.
“The companies that have been operating for a long time have been joined by many newly established companies, as well as other companies that have expanded their activities and become installers of solar power plants. It is important to assess further changes in the market, that the number of people who have already installed power plants is increasing, and in the long run the demand for services provided by such companies will decrease. This can lead to the fact that young companies that have not had time to establish themselves in the market can stop their activities sooner”, Sandra Garšanikovienė, SoliTek’s Baltic sales manager, shares her insights.
Audrius Kikutis, Head of Compensa Vienna Insurance Group’s Voluntary Standard Insurance Products Group, adds that for these reasons, it is extremely important for the resident to choose a reliable power plant installer, so that he can be calm about the installation period itself, and about the warranty application and power plant service.
“Currently, we are actively looking for installers of solar power plants and are interested in what kind of insurance coverage can be obtained. This was determined by the fact that existing producing consumers and those planning to become such consumers can now take advantage of the incentive program announced by the Ministry of Energy, which provides for 40 million. EUR support by investing it in solar power plants. The call for support is continuous and will last for six months or until the planned funds are used up”, says A. Kikutis.
When does the work warranty expire?
However, if the worst-case scenario comes true and the company that installed the solar power plant stops operating, the person loses the guarantee of the work.
“If the company that stopped operating was the official distributor of the installed equipment, then during the warranty period the customer can contact the representative office, but if it is not in Lithuania, it will be difficult to do so. Before choosing a seller, it is very important to clarify this nuance. If the solar power plant or its equipment is purchased from a reseller, that is, he is not an official distributor, in this case the customer loses all guarantees. Of course, you can try to look for the manufacturer’s own guarantees, but it is almost impossible to do this if the manufacturer is somewhere, for example, in China”, comments S. Garšanikovienė.
S. Garšanikovienė points out that there is another risk when the modules are installed incorrectly, not according to the manufacturer’s requirements, and the installation company has already stopped its activities. In this case, the losses would have to be covered by the user himself, without considering the wasted time, emotions and lost kilowatt-hours.
According to A. Kikučis, a lot of companies have been created or are currently being created, which in one way or another are related to the sale, installation and supply of solar electric devices. Before purchasing such a device, the customer must carefully study the companies on the market and their activities, analyze the financial condition of the selected company, take an interest in its activities, ongoing and already implemented projects, look for user reviews and find out where installed solar power plants are purchased from, what is the durability of such devices , how and by whom the service will be performed during the warranty period. The insurer will not compensate for losses caused by the bankruptcy of the installer or manufacturer, errors or defects made by them – the manufacturer, supplier, seller, installer or warranty service company is responsible for such things in all cases.
Solar power plants on apartment buildings
What else do you need to think about?
A. Kikutis reminds the future owner of a solar power plant of the steps to be taken: “The user must choose a solar power plant installation representative, then it is installed and must be connected to the electricity supply networks. When these works are completed, a green energy equipment insurance contract can be concluded. It should be noted that the insurance cover applies only to devices that have not been used before, are certified by the EU and when their connection and use meet all the requirements set by the manufacturer.”
“To protect against unforeseen losses, a solar plant can be insured against sudden and unexpected damage, destruction or loss of equipment, as well as against burglary and robbery. The solar power plant is insured at the value at which it was actually purchased – the price of all equipment, including installation work,” explains A. Kikutis.
A. Kikutis advises future manufacturing users that, if possible, they should look for customer reviews, check whether they belong to the relevant association, find out what time frames the solar power plant installation service will be performed, and what qualifications the workers who will install the solar power plant on the roof have. In the event that the roof covering is damaged during the installation of the solar power plant – cracks, splits, holes remain after drilling, not only the installation of the power plant will be delayed, but also additional losses will be incurred due to poor quality work and the consequences caused by it, which will have to be compensated by the person who caused them the company.