It has been dealt with entirely by the potential supplier as part of the quotation process. The engineer who did the survey put in the necessary query to the DNO at the same time as he wrote up the results and generated the quote. I was impressed and they will get the order, with a minimal push on price (couple of percent maybe) rather than a haggle.
The DNO responded in 2 weeks. They are Western Power.
The engineer put ladders up to the various sides of our complicated roof, and measured it all so that he could recommend the appropriate size of panels to fit neatly and meet the requirement best. He put in the max possible in the request to the DNO (10kw = 35 panels). I will probably go with 30 or 31 as that doesn't uglify our front facade at all above and below the dormer windows and is still 8.75kw whjich should be plenty for my future key use - charging an electric car.
As we are looking at this plus 2 or 3 rental properties he spent 2 hours with me.
Important points in my view:
1 - At this stage there is still adequate time, but get a move on now. In my case, when I say do it the panels will be up in about 2 weeks. So if I was making instant decisions the total elapsed time would have been just under a month. I will be pushing the GO button by about next Wednesday, after a few modifications and some persuasion of family.
2 - I don't think I can overemphasise this - there is not time for a lot of mistakes or delays. Even 7 working days for a cheque to clear could be significant if it is tight.
Make sure you deal with a company who are familiar with larger installations and G59 so know how to make the DNO process as smooth as possible and will not make silly mistakes. I am dealing with a long established regional player - 15 years - with a total turnover of about £5m a year, who's solar unit does multiple installs every week. I have avoided small companies or nationals where I become a widget in a computer.
The key test was that they were able to point me to three or four recent domestic installs in the 6-9kWp range within a few miles off the top of the heads of the people in the office.
3 - There is not time for small players to learn the process and risk your install. One smaller local company I contacted had never done an installer bigger than 4kWp - there be dragons.
4 - Know your stuff enough to prove that you are serious, and don't mess them around. Once we are in November installation slots will be the scarce resource, so don't look like a timewaster. It won't be worth arguing heavily to save 5% of 12k install costs when 25k of FiT income is at stake.
5 - Make decisions on your end very quickly, and keep in close touch.
6 - Check access to neighbours property if you need it first. I will be buying both neighbours a crate of nice expensive wine for Christmas as we will have scaffolding up for 3-4 days on their drives.
7 - You may still be poleaxed as DNOs are allowed up to 45 days to respond. Have a plan B order for a 4k system ready which you can install as of right, and tell the installer about it at the start - that will keep your firmly booked install slot. I'd say go with that if you have not heard from the DNO in time, but it is a judgement call. You can always do the rest outside FiT and still get some of the benefit.
Edited by ferdinand, 22 October 2015 - 09:59 PM.