PV Kits Direct and Moixa have begun a national installer training programme to support the rollout of the partnership’s combined solar storage package, having already trained installers from 24 companies.
In the first sessions of the “sizeable operation”, training has been conducted at PV Kits’ offices in Ipswich and Moixa’s headquarters in London, with further sessions planned for Exeter, Birmingham, Ipswich and Scotland.
The training programme is being rolled out to support the companies’ new package to UK households, offering a 2kWh storage unit with a 2kW solar installation for under £5,000.
A statement released by PV Kits said: “PV Kits and Moixa in joint partnership are excited to be rolling out the Moixa Smart Battery across the UK. As part of the process we believe the key to success is to have a fully trained and motivated sales and installer network to support the product, to ensure the end result meets the consumers’ expectations.
“By this effect we hope to increase the level of uptake of battery storage, dispel some of the wariness of the solar market by end consumers and as a consequence increase ours and Moixa's market share. It will lay the groundwork for further new and exciting products brought to market by PV Kits Direct and Moixa”
According to St John Bickley, PV Kits’ sales manager for energy storage who is heading up the training sessions, the company has received high levels of interest from existing solar firms and electrical contractors.
“There is still a backlog now which is why we have a rolling programme. It will be a continuing process; really we want to get a nucleus of companies throughout the UK. There's no finite limit,” he said.
Typically the sessions last up to five hours and include both technical and sales training. PV Kits’ director Laura Gooden has been vocal in the past about the need to increase knowledge among installers of how to sell storage.
Speaking to SPP at last month’s SEUK | Clean Energy Live, she said: “It’s going to be the future but not enough people understand it. We’ve got to help the installer go out and sell the product.”
Bickley added: “We believe it is necessary for both sales and technical [to be] trained equally. Doing it together means that both sides get a shared perspective. Too many times I hear stories of the sales being completed in the property, with the installation team going and finding it’s impossible to place where the client has been told it should be. This disappoints the end consumer, wastes time and money.
“Likewise it is important for the sales team to know the performance parameters of the system and what it can and can’t do in as much detail as possible. We want them to sell, we depend on it! Therefore the more effort we put into making them aware of the features/benefits the uniqueness of the system, like ‘Grid Share’, the more will be sold.”
As well as boosting knowledge among installers, the training sessions are also being used to weed out poor selling practices and rouge traders.
In order to be eligible, installers must comply with the BRE’s batteries and solar power guidance for domestic and small commercial consumers and be Part P certified, as well have a code of conduct in place, a health and safety policy and a customer complaints handling procedure
“What we're trying to do is weed out the people who are mis-selling, because we are worried about mis-selling of battery storage systems and other parts of the solar PV systems. We're trying to up the levels of competence,” Bickley said.
Those applying for training are issued a time and date, which for larger companies can be done at their offices, along with the terms and conditions of becoming a Moixa installer. These focus mainly on the expected standard of service levels as well as the level of quality expected to be met after training.
This is checked by PV Kits and Moixa through a monitoring portal, which the companies say will ensure that when the installer leaves, both they and the end customer can see their system is operating correctly.