Published: February 12 2015
I don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever I am speaking with someone on the phone or face-to-face and they ask me after I have had to try to digest a truckload of information: “Have you got any questions?” quite understandably my mind goes blank. It doesn’t even matter that previously I may have had about 15 questions ready to go.
It must be the same for some of you when you’re trying to understand biomass; and before you've got a chance to get your head round it, you’re having to understand biomass boilers and its mechanics, never mind all the terms that come with it too! I empathise how you feel, so in order to help you, whether you’re our customer or not, we have compiled a list of 10 questions everyone should ask their installer.
1. Can I visit a working installation?
By visiting a working installation you can see what you are purchasing. It is easier to come to grips with how everything works and what you are paying for by seeing one in action, and yes we would love for you to come over!
2. Can I speak with previous customers?
Word of mouth is always the best reference you can get. Companies will tend to put their best foot forward on published materials. I mean let’s face it, all companies are there to make money; without making money and gaining customers there is no business. By speaking to a previous customer you will eliminate biased opinions and really get the nitty gritty about how it is to employ that particular installer.
3. Do you provide assistance with the RHI applications?
RHI applications, especially domestic RHI and MCS, can be daunting. It is important that these documents are filled in correctly, your boiler and parts are capable of being accredited, and that your boiler was installed correctly. Whenever government policies are involved there is guaranteed to be a lot of red tape. If your installer isn’t MCS qualified and you wish to have a domestic installation, you won’t be able to claim RHI. If your installer isn’t willing to assist you in filling out your RHI application before signing with them make sure you have a competent person to assist you and help project manage. WVE offers full RHI assistance and our installers are MCS accredited.
4. Are there hidden costs in your quoted price?
I know from experience that when you receive a quote you think: “Yep it all looks good.” Then when you receive the bill you think: “Holy Cow!” This is because many people will quote for a job, but not quote for all aspects of the project. It is always a good idea to sit down with your installer and discuss exactly what is included in the quote, and if there are any foreseeable parts of the project that are not included. WVE never has hidden costs; the price we quote is the price we invoice.
5. Why is your price different to some competitors in the area?
In addition to checking for hidden costs, this question opens the door for product discussion. This is also a good time to do a sanity check. If an installer is selling a boiler that you cannot find any research on and claiming that it is top of the line but selling it for thousands of pounds less than other installers in the area, then it is probably too good to be true.
6. Is there a warranty with your boilers?
I think this is one of the most important questions you will ask. Your boiler needs to last you twenty years for RHI purposes, and it doesn’t have the easiest of jobs. Your boiler is constantly monitoring every aspect of the process; pulling in just enough fuel, using just enough oxygen to keep a consistent burn of 1,000⁰C in the combustion chamber, and then channelling the heat produced to usable energy to heat your home 24/7. No part of that description makes you think your parts will last forever.
7. What is your maintenance policy after installation?
As with the above, it is clear to see that machines such as these are going to have hiccups. You wouldn’t expect a car to run for 20 years without changing the brakes.Wye Valley Energy offers warranties on all of our boilers; just give us a call to ask about the details.
8. How long will it take for you to get my boiler?
This is important. Especially if you are trying to get your boiler in before the next degression. Remember, buying a boiler doesn’t qualify you for RHI; a working installation with completed paperwork does. WVE usually receives boilers between 2-3 weeks.
9. How many of your previous installations are receiving RHI benefits?
Some companies may boast about their high number of installs, but the amount of installations isn’t as important as the percentage of those installs actually receiving RHI benefits. This question can lead into talking to a previous customer. This will give you a chance to discuss how helpful that particular installer was and if they are receiving as much RHI as the installer predicted.
10. What are your payment terms?
This is more of an FYI type question. It is always good to know exactly how much you will be expected to pay and when. Not to mention, it also good practice not to pay for an entire project up front. We use stage payments. These payments are tied to key points in the project, with the last payment being made after commissioning and handover are completed.
Remember if you have any questions or would like more information on what we do just give us a call at 01568 616 888.