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Guest SolarPanelCleaning

Do solar panels need cleaning?



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Guest Solar Steve
I know technology is improving all the time. I just seen a report today that there are battery arrays that can store created power, and even convert it to hydrogen for use in cars etc. I'm sure in the future it may be all positive.

But at the moment it's not that efffecient considering peoples demands f power consumption.

 

It's just that here in east anglia I see so many acres of valuable arable farmland going to solar panels, it's a shame, I'm sure there must be a better alternative?

The acres of land that you see going to solar panels will not be valuable arable land. Solar farms do not get planning permission for grade A farming land. A lot of testing goes on on the soil and if it is found to be high quality, panels are not allowed to be put there. There are very strict planning guidelines regarding land where solar farms can be built. The arable land that you see solar on is likely either for grazing sheep, in which case the farmer is only doubling up on his revenue stream from owning the same piece of land (a clever move) or it is classed as 'Brownfield' land, meaning that the soil quality is poor and never likely to produce a meaningful crop. Therefore, a better use of that land is solar.

 

Solar will figure in everyone's future eventually. Resistance is futile....

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
Yes, on many jobs, even as a subcontractor, we match or better your hourly rate...

Ok Steve, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention (Djanjo reference) couple of questions.

 

1) You reckon you will match or better my hourly rate as a sub for you? (that's pretty bold)

2) Exclusivity for my 'area'? I operate in all Nottinghamshire (NG) postcodes.

3) I get both the above for attending your 'course' and wearing your t-shirt?

4) So lets hear some hard fact. What is the minimum amount of hours you can guarantee each month for me a sub of yours?

 

Do bear in mind that there is no number of hours you can throw this way that is 'too many'

 

No 'well it depends on this' no 'well it depends on that' How about you just give me a real, realistic expectation of what my money is buying?

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Smurf

It's buying in to be on the beck & call of the boss that what it's about.

@Solar Steve is not going to publish what he pays his subs on here surely :rolleyes:

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
It's buying in to be on the beck & call of the boss that what it's about.

@Solar Steve is not going to publish what he pays his subs on here surely :rolleyes:

 

He already has Smurf, Look 4 posts up, he claims he will match my £40 per hour or better it! Hmmmm......

 

I will await his defense with baited breath!

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Duncs

who has time to clean splar panels every day, great if your looking for graft, especially if you could get certificate

to say you can clean them

but myself just hav,int got the time to take that on every day,gd money to be made

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stuvy

He failed at my last retort so why should he continue with these?

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Guest Solar Steve
Ok Steve, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention (Djanjo reference) couple of questions.

 

1) You reckon you will match or better my hourly rate as a sub for you? (that's pretty bold)

2) Exclusivity for my 'area'? I operate in all Nottinghamshire (NG) postcodes.

3) I get both the above for attending your 'course' and wearing your t-shirt?

4) So lets hear some hard fact. What is the minimum amount of hours you can guarantee each month for me a sub of yours?

 

Do bear in mind that there is no number of hours you can throw this way that is 'too many'

 

No 'well it depends on this' no 'well it depends on that' How about you just give me a real, realistic expectation of what my money is buying?

1. There is no reason why you should not match or better your hourly rate, no. If you go like a snail or work incompetently, then obviously you will not hit the £40 p/hr mark. But when you are up to speed, yes, you can hit that.

2. I have checked, we do not have anyone covering any NG postcodes who has paid to come on the course. They are all still available and would be yours.

3. We might plump for a hi-viz vest and not a t-shirt, but yes.

4. Unknown. I have no idea where jobs will come in at anytime, no more than you do with your next window cleaning customer. But I know the jobs are coming. We are currently in talks with a company about cleaning a few thousand panels across a dozen or so roofs, all in the NG postcodes. We are close to tying up 53,000 panels on one site near Northampton too, so if you're willing, we can look to involve you in that too if you wish.

 

I cannot guarantee anything workwise. But here is a link to our pin map detailing every job we had done until January 31st: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?authuser=0&hl=en&mid=zNA38VRscc8E.kUYhXqfsx_sY

 

It needs updating with our latest jobs. There is a bit of history regarding this map and the face of it will change as the solar industry matures. Bear in mind that the bulk of solar arrays were originally put in in the South of the UK. The grid has little or no connections left in the south, so the solar installers are moving their attention north. The map 12 months from now will have many more pins in the North because the jobs will come flowing in further up the country when their panels get dirty.

 

While I cannot guarantee work, I am supremely confident that we will get work in NG postcodes in the coming months. Come on the course and it will all be yours.

 

Just an example. We had a subcontractor do a rooftop array today in Tiverton, Devon. 2 guys earned £175.00 + VAT in about 2 & 1/2 hours. That was an initial clean where the panels had not been cleaned in nearly 3 years. They were averaging £35.00 p/hr. We will now be doing that job at least annually. There will not be 3 years worth of grime on the panels, so they will naturally get around the job quicker. Add to that that they had never been on the roof before so needed to work everything out for the first time. Next time around they will hone their setup times too. I fully expect they will hit £40.00+ p/hr.

 

I received his invoice at 19:40 this evening and it has been entered into our payment system and he will be paid within 30 days by BACS. He doesn't doubt he will be paid on time because I guess he's done over a dozen jobs for us now.

 

Not bad money or a bad payment system for subcontracting for a lazy trickster who expects you to be at his beck and call I'm sure you'd agree???

 

Why on earth do you people continue to give me grief? Answers on a postcard please...

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windowsurfer

Solar Steve, do you not do online training, or a skype link? Im in Scotland covering mostly Perthshire areas and Fife. I take it there is some clause in the training that you have to be linked into all jobs. Have you had much interest in bonny Scotland?

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cheapncheerful

YEH ER....not so sunny in scotland...rain panels sell well..:D

 

actually ... i give in..you have had better summers than us the last few...except silloth...sorry billie and shelia but it does rain rather a lot...:D

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Guest Solar Steve
Solar Steve, do you not do online training, or a skype link? Im in Scotland covering mostly Perthshire areas and Fife. I take it there is some clause in the training that you have to be linked into all jobs. Have you had much interest in bonny Scotland?

We don't do online or Skype training I'm afraid. We are in talks for a contract for 995 residential properties for a local housing authority in Scotland. I can't say which one.

We don't need to be linked to all jobs. You are free to get your own. They have nothing to do with us.

Scotland will be a slow burn. But solar will be huge up there in years to come. You have huge swathes of land that is ideal.

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Smurf

So just to clarify @Solar Steve are subs paid on per panel cleaned (gross cost) then regardless how bad they are and where they are located in fields, on water or on buildings?

 

Also do you allow for any added cost like access equipment hire if/when required, Also do you know they are trained in roof access work and do they use roof safe systems etc?

 

My comment about being on the beck and call of the boss I think was a valid one as obviously if subs work for you they have to do the job when you want it done. So how much notice do you give subs as they don't just sit around waiting for you to tell them when the next job is surely?

 

Sorry if it sounds I'm giving you a hard time but many questions need to be answered before anyone should consider working as a sub for you. Let alone paying out hard earned cash just to be given an area to work in which they may or may not be given any work to do.

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Guest SolarPanelCleaning

It does sound like you're giving him a hard time.

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Smurf

Well quite frankly more fool you or others for that matter for not getting the full facts in order before making a decision to pay out 250 odd squid for so say training and the promise of work if when it arises

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Guest Solar Steve

I'm pretty much done answering questions for people who I know will not attend the course, no matter what my answers are. We've had a great response to this course and have enough demand already to warrant organising another one. There are some people who can see past the end of their nose and see this as a good investment.

 

You say 'many questions need to be answered before anyone should consider working as a sub for you.' The statement is just plain wrong. We pay for services rendered like anyone else. Do you grill every client you do work for like this? I doubt it.

 

You may counter this by saying that clients do not demand £250.00 from you upfront. Well in a way, some jobs do. They require investment in kit before you can do the job. Do you seek every single guarantee possible from your client before you invest? No. This is the same. It';s an investment. There needs to be an element of trust there. Do you have any £250.00 window cleaning jobs? Probably. Do you get payment upfront for them? I doubt it. You have to trust that after you have done the job and submitted your invoice, they will pay you the money. The more prominent the company, the more confident you are that you will get paid.

 

We are not a blue chip company, but we are THE respected solar panel cleaning company in the UK. Do you think it benefits my reputation or my business by ripping of 20 or so people for the sake of £4,000? No chance. If this course is rubbish, the whole world will know. Delegates will will be on this and other forums slating me til the cows come home. Is that a chance I'm likely to be willing to take for the sake of £4,000?

 

The course will be quality and worth every penny of £238.00.

 

I've answered shed loads of your questions @Smurf. Answer me one: If I gave satisfactory answers to all of your questions, would you then pay, come on the course, partner with us and build solar panel cleaning as a bigger part of your business?

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Smurf

I take it your subs will also need to invest in the right type of vehicles and kit for the job in hand especially working in middle of a field and with no water supply. If they don't how can they try to clean thousands of panels on a price per panel (peace work) rate for you.

 

So let’s just say your subs need to get the following:

 

4x4 vehicles - reason being they are less likely to get stuck in the field.

 

towable water bowsers - to cart enough water about to and fro from the site so the subs can carry on working.

 

on demand ro/di systems - when water is available onsite. Thus reducing the need to refill the water bowsers off site and reduce travel costs.

 

PPE safety gear

etc etc

 

Not to mention other kinds of work where they would need proper training and qualifications to work on roofs and use other types of access equipment.

 

Now realistically would I want to invest in all that just to be able to work for someone else and then still has to pay to go on a so say course to be trained...

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Guest Solar Steve

You can invest as lightly or heavily as you want in this.

 

So is that a yes or no to the question in my last post?

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Smurf

To be honest I was giving it some serious thought. However I don't think you have answered any of my questions properly.

 

Would also mean for me a serious amount of investment that to be honest I would rather put into my own business if/when required by adding additional well paid services without having to work my socks off so to speak for someone else.

 

So on reflection if I was interested in making real money at this game I would want to be the organ grinder not the monkey.

 

I wish you well but it’s not something I want to get involved in now.

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

These are my last three questions Steve.

 

1: You have said all NG postcodes are still available? So if I sign up for the course I will have exclusivity to all NG postcodes?

 

2: How much are you (on average) paying subs per panel? -- I honestly think this is a valid question as it gives one an idea of earning vs time potential.

 

3: You claim, as can only be expected, you can not guarantee work, however If I have exclusivity for NG postcodes and there is no work forthcoming do you agree to an audit of invoices to ensure that I am not being 'screwed over' for want of a better phrase?

 

If you can answer 'Yes' to question 1, the price is right for question 2 and 'Yes' to question 3 then I will post you a cheque this week.

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Guest Solar Steve

@Green

1. Yes.

 

2. I'm not publishing prices on an open forum, but suffice to say with over 60 subcontractors all over the UK, some of whom have been with us for more than 2 years and who are coming on the course, we are paying correctly. I have one subcontractor from Croydon who is doing a 15 minute part on the day speaking about his experience of subcontracting for us. Croydon as you probably know is a relatively well paying part of the world, but still he is very happy with what we pay and accepts all jobs in his catchment area without hesitation. I have not added up all of the money he has earned from us over the last 12 months, but I guess he's getting very close to £5K. Despite doing so many jobs for us and building the experience that he has, when I emailed about the training course, he was second to pay. He did not want to lose his jobs to anyone else.

I also have another subcontractor from Derby who will be doing a 15 minute part too, coming at things from a different angle to the Croydon guy. This will add confidence to new subcontractors who are there and who are yet to do a job for us. For them to hear from current subcontractors can only be a good thing.

 

3. You have no chance of carrying out an invoice audit. To even suggest the idea and think we'd agree to that is galling. Think about it from my point of view. What possible benefit is there to offer someone exclusivity of an area and not give them the work? What will I do with those jobs? Not do them? Why would I accept a lead and not pass it on? I am covering the whole of the UK, not looking to have gaping gaps in the areas we cover.

Using a different line of reasoning, what benefit is there for me to have 2 subcontractors in an area and look to play one off against the other? I will get found out very quickly. If we have a job in an NG postcode, you will be the only one getting it. If you choose to say no. That's up to you. You may say no because the money is too low and you think I'm trying to rip you off. I then have to go through the rigmarole of finding and training someone else in your area. Grief I can do without. Business is way too busy to be finding new subcontractors all the time so that I can save myself 10p per panel by looking for someone cheaper all of the time.

 

My answer to number 3 is not what you wanted to hear I appreciate, but it is the truth. Not everyone is out to make a quick buck and it's quite a damning incitement on society that people have cause to persistently doubt the honesty of someone who vociferously defends themselves like I do.

 

Do you think I'd come on here and write all of this stuff out JUST to get a measly £200 out of you? There are much easier and quicker ways for me to earn £200.

 

If you think big and think long term. £200 is an absolute no-brainer.

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Guest Solar Steve
To be honest I was giving it some serious thought. However I don't think you have answered any of my questions properly.

 

Would also mean for me a serious amount of investment that to be honest I would rather put into my own business if/when required by adding additional well paid services without having to work my socks off so to speak for someone else.

 

So on reflection if I was interested in making real money at this game I would want to be the organ grinder not the monkey.

 

I wish you well but it’s not something I want to get involved in now.

That's fine @Smurf . It is as I thought all along, a pride thing. You feel it is below you to work for someone else and have them make a profit. You do it anyway for every company you purchase any product from. Everyone everywhere is making a profit from someone. Some monkeys do exceptionally well from organ grinders you know. To use your phrase, though it's not as I view it, you'd be my 'monkey' as I am the monkey for British Gas, just as they are the monkeys for their organ grinders, the investors. Everyone is a monkey, though I prefer to use the phrase 'partner'.

 

I don't allow pride or emotion to affect a good business proposition. I accept where I am in the pecking order. If I can make my money, I don't feel the urge to be top of the tree.

 

Key business phrase: "Give enough people what they want and you can have everything you want."

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
@Green

 

If you think big and think long term. £200 is an absolute no-brainer.

 

You asked the question, and yes I do think big, hence £5K for subbing for 12 months does not tempt me in the slightest. £5k of work is not hard to go find without help.

 

The reason you (in my opinion) that I should be able to check books should work not be forthcoming after a period of time is I don't know you from Adam and you want to take money from me for nothing more than your word that it is worth while.

 

So why I should allow anyone a slice of my graft is beyond me. Once the government 'regulates' it (which they never will) I will go on a government accredited course as it will instantly invalidate anything you have to offer prior to that happening.

 

I am going to have to leave the topic of your course alone now as thee more we talk the more I fail to see any value whatsoever than the possibility of saying I got to spend £200 on a cup of tea.

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Guest Solar Steve

Fair do's.

 

£5k for about 20 days work over a 12 month period with zero hassle regarding finding the work seems pretty good money to me. But I guess everyone is different.

 

I wouldn't be so quick to presume it won't become regulated. It will be, just the same as installing is.

 

Enjoy your tea. :)

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

OK so you force me to comment, it wont cause the odds of you doing yourself serious damage are still much higher on a ladder than cleaning a panel, fact - over 40 ladder related deaths in UK last year, how many from cleaning panels?

 

They claimed sweeps were going to be regulated, they claimed windies were going to be regulated, none of it has happened and I doubt very much it will in our lifetimes.

 

You are correct on one point though £5k for 20 days labor is not enough to tempt us. If I wanted to get shafted on piece work I would get a job making lampshades!

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Guest Solar Steve

Averaging £250 a day with no hassle would do many guys nicely. As I say, fair do's if you think that's being shafted.

 

Like the rest of your reasoning, in my opinion, your stats are way off too. How many people were cleaning panels compared to how many were working from ladders? It's not a fair comparison.

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