What to look for in a good survey
A good survey should be just that – a survey and not a sales pitch. Whilst a surveyor may explain the workings of the feed-in tariff, the benefits of installing a system and the various options open to you, they should not be attempting to get you to sign sales contract on the day. For a solar pv system they should be taking careful measurements of the roof, the orientation, the pitch. They should also be looking inside the roof to check the structure and type and be making a note of the type and location of you consumer unit and electricity meter. They should also be noting the location and dimensions of buildings, trees and any other objects that may cause shading issues for solar panels. All of this information should be written down.
A Good Energy Survey if the survey is for solar thermal then the surveyor will need to note the size and location of water tanks (if any); if it is for a heat pump then each room and radiator will need to be measured and a careful note of the thermal properties of the entire building taken as well as the number of inhabitants and the typical energy demands of the building.
Although some indication of price and benefits may be given there and then, a more accurate quote and analysis of benefits would normally follow later. In most cases an accurate quotation and estimate of benefits cannot be given without a careful on-site survey followed by a careful consideration of the data collected. Buying an energy system is not the same as buying a television, a washing machine or even a car – a survey is essential to establish what is possible and what the benefits of a system might be.
An attempt to sell you something without a survey (and sometimes without even a visit!) is just that – an attempt to sell you something without too much concern for what is appropriate or best for you.