Aerial mapping company Bluesky is urging property owners to seek independent advice before installing solar panels following recent exposés into rogue traders in the national press.

The consumer watchdog Which? found that three-quarters of installers overestimated the production capacity of panels, with many more underestimating the time required to recoup the initial investment.

“Unfortunately when it comes to solar energy potential not all roofs are equal,” said Bluesky’s managing director, Rachel Tidmarsh. “If a property owner is serious about solar energy we recommend that they undertake a thorough investigation of their own before accepting potentially exaggerated claims.”

To help consumers differentiate between fact and fabrication, Bluesky are offering property level maps of solar energy potential and recently launched an on demand service providing detailed solar suitability reports for individual commercial, industrial, public sector and domestic properties.

“Our reports and maps identify suitable properties and assess the number of panels that each roof element can accommodate,” added Tidmarsh. “We also provide an indication of solar irradiation, taking into account location and other factors, and a detailed shadow analysis highlighting the possible effects of nearby obstructions.”