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Finding Heat Pump Installers in Scotland
Looking for a heat pump installer in Scotland can be a time-consuming business. It is important to find an installer who knows what they are doing, and the relative newness of the technology means that professional accreditation is not as common as for traditional technologies such as gas installation.
It is tempting to hop onto your search engine of choice and start surfing for the nearest installer, but there are dangers in taking such a gung-ho approach. As with any type of work you get done on your home, you must do your due diligence to ensure you find good companies that you can trust to give good quality service at a reasonable price.
Here are a few places that you should check early in your search for a company specialising in heat pump installation.
MCS Certified Heat Pump Installers
The first of these to try should be the MCS website. MCS is the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, which is a UK-recognised quality assurance scheme led by industry and supported by government. The scheme has been going since 2008 and certifies companies that install products that generate heat or electricity from renewable sources, including heat pumps. MCS also certify the products themselves. The idea is to ensure that heat pumps and other products covered by the scheme are installed and set up to exacting standards, giving peace of mind to customers.
Checking on the MCS website will allow you to search for certified installers in your area. You can search by product type or by scrolling around a map centred on your location of interest.
The MCS is worth checking even if you already have a preferred contractor in mind because you should make sure that whoever you get to do the work for you is qualified and has a current certification.
I have heard a few horror stories of people using non-certified firms and ending up with problems that were difficult to sort out. Checking the MCS website is a simple way to avoid this potential headache; they even have a complaints process that you can follow if the worst happens, which is far better than trying to deal with the problem yourself.
Energy Saving Trust
The Energy Saving Trust has a good website where you can search for certified installers (see the following link http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/tools-calculators/renewables-installer-finder).
The difference with this option is that EST allow customers to leave reviews of the firms that they choose to install their systems. It is possible to check the “star rating” of an installer that you are thinking of employing, and you can even read detailed reviews from previous customers.
Don’t forget to leave your own review once you have had the work carried out because this helps future customers make an informed choice.
If you are an installer you can register with the website to help get the word out about your service. If you get a few positive reviews this could really help to win business.
Brand “VIP” Installers
If you know the specific type of product that you want to install, then you can often visit the website of the heat pump manufacturer to see which installers they recommend.
I think of this option a bit like going to the Main Car Dealership for your car servicing needs. It will normally cost you more, but many people enjoy the peace of mind this provides, knowing that the staff are trained specifically on the brand and have state-of-the-art equipment specifically designed for maintaining that brand.
A good example of this in the heat pump field is Nibe. Nibe heat pumps are a very well-respected brand and provide a “VIP Installer” accreditation. All accredited installers featured on their website (http://www.nibe.co.uk/Find-a-NIBE-VIP-installer/) must be MCS accredited, must have gone through the Nibe ground-source and air-source training courses, and must have a track record of successfully installing Nibe Heat Pump Products.
The bar is set high, and Nibe try to ensure that installers they feature on their site are highly trained and experienced in the installation and maintenance of Nibe products.
You will likely pay a premium for this reassurance, but it might be a good option for you, particularly if you are nervous about installing this technology in your home or office.
Which are an independent consumer body that offers impartial advice on many consumer products, including heat pumps (http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/guides/ground-source-heat-pumps-explained/ ). Their website can provide useful information about what to look out for and the types of questions you can ask when speaking with potential installers.
As with any work you get done on your home, you need to have your wits about you to ensure you are employing a trustworthy, competent and reliable company installing your heat pump system. Using the references mentioned above will help you to make sure you choose the right installer and get the best value for money and highest quality work done.