As new laws have been announced to guarantee payment for solar homes providing excess electricity, demand for solar panel technology from homeowners is expected to increase. This will in turn present a number of new opportunities for electrical contractors looking to broaden their contract opportunities.
ECIC, the specialist insurer for the building services sector, is encouraging electrical contractors who are diversifying into renewable technology to make sure that their insurance reflects the new work they are undertaking, to help ensure they are adequately protected if they need to make a claim.
New government legislation states that all new solar homes and businesses exporting electricity to the grid will be guaranteed a payment from suppliers. What is being described as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will ensure that the owners of small-scale electricity generators with a capacity up to 5MW will be paid for each unit of electricity they sell to the grid – tracked by a smart meter.
Consequently, demand for renewable technology that generates this electricity is anticipated to grow, creating an opportunity for electrical contractors to fulfil this demand. However, change in work changes the insurance risk and under the Insurance Act 2015, contractors are under a duty to ensure that they present a ‘fair presentation of risk’ to their insurer. This means declaring changes in the type of work contractors are taking on.
Richard Forrest Smith, CEO of the ECIC, comments, “This new legislation has the potential to create a number of new business opportunities for electrical contractors. However, these opportunities can only be capitalised on if the contractors themselves are properly accredited and insured. Fitting solar panels and other renewable technologies have different risk factors, so insurance covers need to be adapted accordingly. Declaring these changes to their broker or insurer is essential to ensure the contractor is properly protected in the event of a claim.”