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What to charge for solar panel cleaning and how often should I clean them


horatiocarter

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I have had a look in my locality and it would seem that a lot of windy's do solar panels but don't seem to give a price... also when is it expected by the customer that you rock up and do them and how often? I did try and look it up on the forum but no such luck!

Edited by horatiocarter
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My price is £5 per panel. I think most charge between £3-5 per panel…?

How often? As often as the customer wants, which isn't often! 

Edited by NewGuy
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We charge £75 for the first 16 panels then £5 per panel after , clean frequency depends on location , some are 6 monthly some are annual.

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16 minutes ago, Pjj said:

We charge £75 for the first 16 panels then £5 per panel after , clean frequency depends on location , some are 6 monthly some are annual.

Most customers have this number do they? To my novice eye they look like one big panel maybe a couple put together... 

43 minutes ago, NewGuy said:

My price is £5 per panel. I think most charge between £3-5 per panel…?

How often? As often as the customer wants, which isn't often! 

If you did them twice a year when would you recommend I say they are done? March and August?

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Most roof arrays on domestic are 16 panels some may have a few more or a few less but that’s the average , we do a lot March , April, May , September,October,November, annual ones are usually done in March time to maximise the hours of sun light all summer to produce maximum power and financial return . 

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3 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Most roof arrays on domestic are 16 panels some may have a few more or a few less but that’s the average , we do a lot March , April, May , September,October,November, annual ones are usually done in March time to maximise the hours of sun light all summer to produce maximum power and financial return . 

What percentage would you say of your customers have panels?

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15 minutes ago, horatiocarter said:

What percentage would you say of your customers have panels?

Use Google maps and the satellite view. It will give you an idea in your area.

One thing to remember is that you need a very long pole and probably a carbon gooseneck as otherwise you will be banging the pole on the gutters. Personally unless you have the pole for other work I would say it's probably not financially worth buying a pole and gooseneck just for solar panels. If you will use the pole for other work then you will earn the money back for the extra cost of the longer pole.

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18 minutes ago, horatiocarter said:

What percentage would you say of your customers have panels?

That’s a difficult one to answer , we no longer do large commercial solar farms and I don’t actively try and get solar cleaning jobs as many are a pain to do due to access issues , we do probably a couple of hundred jobs or so per year but not all are our regular customers we do a lot of one off solar cleans for anyone that contacts us .

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@Pjj What brush do you use for solar panels? I tried to do some for a customer recently but I wasn't making mush impression on them. Didn't help that access was almost non existant.

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2 hours ago, Martyn said:

@Pjj What brush do you use for solar panels? I tried to do some for a customer recently but I wasn't making mush impression on them. Didn't help that access was almost non existant.

If normal domestic ones we use a normal supreame stiff the same as the one we use on the windows if commercial arrays on farm building roofs we use this one as it’s wider and quicker over larger areas , when cleaning panels if you can get above them it makes life so much easier , but without access equipment it’s difficult , if the dirt is stubborn to come off go over the panel with a quick scrubb to put lines in the dirt if that makes sense ,flood the panel with water move onto the next panel and do the same , then go Bach to the first panel and hopefully the water will have soaked into the dirt and it should come off a lot easier , that’s what we do same applies to licken on panels when it gets wet it opens up to absorb the water and goes soft and comes off much easier , I hate to mention hot water 😂😂😂 but again this is ware it comes into its own again with speed of cleaning and removing stubborn dirt . 

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I told this customer that we would need a scaffold tower to stand a chance but he didn't want to do that so I guess those won't be cleaned.

Hot water really isn't on my radar at this time, would be more inclined to some extreme poles first.

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1 hour ago, Pjj said:

If normal domestic ones we use a normal supreame stiff the same as the one we use on the windows if commercial arrays on farm building roofs we use this one as it’s wider and quicker over larger areas , when cleaning panels if you can get above them it makes life so much easier , but without access equipment it’s difficult , if the dirt is stubborn to come off go over the panel with a quick scrubb to put lines in the dirt if that makes sense ,flood the panel with water move onto the next panel and do the same , then go Bach to the first panel and hopefully the water will have soaked into the dirt and it should come off a lot easier , that’s what we do same applies to licken on panels when it gets wet it opens up to absorb the water and goes soft and comes off much easier , I hate to mention hot water 😂😂😂 but again this is ware it comes into its own again with speed of cleaning and removing stubborn dirt . 

 

33 minutes ago, Martyn said:

I told this customer that we would need a scaffold tower to stand a chance but he didn't want to do that so I guess those won't be cleaned.

Hot water really isn't on my radar at this time, would be more inclined to some extreme poles first.

I fully understand that , we won’t take chances cleaning panels at height I looked at a job the other day only 1:5 meter gap between two houses I said to the customer we cannot do them as no access he said get up a ladder I said there isn’t the room to pitch it between the two houses , he then suggests we put the ladder up the front which is 3 storeys and walk up the roof to reach the other side , I said you are having a laugh but he was serious , some people have no sense of H&S at all I told he we couldn’t help him , as we walked away he was saying that we were afade if a hard days work . 😂😂😂😬

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23 hours ago, horatiocarter said:

What percentage would you say of your customers have panels?

On your profile you stated that you were thinking of starting up as a window cleaner. This was last year.

Judging by the questions you are asking not only on this thread but others, I would surmise that you are still in this stage of contemplation.

These questions about solar panel cleaning are part of the advanced class. You need special equipment for cleaning solar panels. A long stiff pole has already been mentioned. I also add that some jobs require some form of scaffolding as it's too dangerous to clean panels while standing on a ladder. This has also been mentioned.

My advice is to forget solar panel cleaning. Concentrate on starting and building a window cleaning business which might involve the odd conservatory roof and fascia clean. Forget gutter clearing for now.

I don't mean any offence, but you need to walk before you run.

OBTW, I have never seen a window cleaner cleaning solar panels. We have a bungalow we clean the panels on his roof once every 6 months. I have only ever cleaned two other solar panel arrays. One I won't ever do again if asked and the other I just managed to reach with my 40' pole standing on the grass.

I was speaking to a fellow windie in our area before Covid-19. He had added solar panel cleaning from £45 onto his existing sign written van. In 3 years he had only done 1 solar panel clean.

I don't want to clean solar and don't promote it. I reluctantly take on gutter clearing for existing customers. I do have a gutter vac, but the effort isn't worth it for me. My core business is window cleaning.

 

 

 

Edited by spruce
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I love a solar panel job, i do the same as i do with gutter vacuuming 'book for next year at same price' normally the 2nd year is alot easier than the first.

Ive got 130 panels to do next week 65 on each side of a roof £300, will take me and the lad 2 hrs as this year is just dusty with the odd bird sh1te.

 

Luvvly jubbly

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9 minutes ago, HWCS said:

I love a solar panel job, i do the same as i do with gutter vacuuming 'book for next year at same price' normally the 2nd year is alot easier than the first.

Ive got 130 panels to do next week 65 on each side of a roof £300, will take me and the lad 2 hrs as this year is just dusty with the odd bird sh1te.

 

Luvvly jubbly

Done from the ground or cherry picker ???

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7 hours ago, Pjj said:

Done from the ground or cherry picker ???

Sloped roof on a club house,70% con be got from a flat roof so we ate at the same level the rest are from floor

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7 hours ago, Pjj said:

Done from the ground or cherry picker ???

Good question with regards to access.

Our customer with the solar panels on his bungalow roof is an easy reach with an slx22.

I asked our customer for a before and after output comparison one clear sunny day. He said the difference wasn't much. Had I asked him for £45 each time we cleaned them, would he believe it was money well spent. (I was thinking about my fellow windies signage on his van with his advert of solar panel panel cleaning from £45)

He replied that he didn't think so.

Every time I see this windies van this conversation comes to mind. This advert is on his rear doors and hundreds of people must have read it. Yet he only got one job from it.

Are potential customers put off by his advertised cost?

I passed a solar panel clean enquiry onto him from a walk up. He said he didn't get the job as the customer thought £45 was too expensive.

I maybe wrong but I see solar panel cleaning as walking a tightrope between price and added panel output. Maybe you guys down south will see a better result between a clean and dirty panel's output..

I seem to remember someone reporting that Solar Steve gave his subcontractors 17p a panel to clean on a solar farm. The cleaner provided his own water, own vehicle and equipment and had to prove he was using 0 tds pure water to clean with using photographic evidence. The subcontractor also had to attend a training course that SS charged for.

I have no clue what Solar Steve's markup was, but rightly or wrongly, it gave me an idea of what Solar panel cleaning is worth commercially on ground level.

 

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The only time I seem to do a decent job on panels is with two customers where one array is on the ground and very easy, the other is on a garage roof which is also fairly simple. Id stupidly ignored some advise on here, and got extensions 6 and 7 for my slx 22 for doing these panels high up on a house roof. Even with the goose neck extension (which only seemed to add a few inches off the panels) The pole was pranging about all over. flexing down in the middle etc and clattering about. The slx just wasn't rigid enough, and I doubt my cleaning that day had done much good. The extreme or hi mod is more the pole for it. The extension 6 is handy for 3rd level house windows, yet the extension 7 is unlikely to get used to be honest.

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On 26/03/2021 at 06:24, spruce said:

Good question with regards to access.

Our customer with the solar panels on his bungalow roof is an easy reach with an slx22.

I asked our customer for a before and after output comparison one clear sunny day. He said the difference wasn't much. Had I asked him for £45 each time we cleaned them, would he believe it was money well spent. (I was thinking about my fellow windies signage on his van with his advert of solar panel panel cleaning from £45)

He replied that he didn't think so.

Every time I see this windies van this conversation comes to mind. This advert is on his rear doors and hundreds of people must have read it. Yet he only got one job from it.

Are potential customers put off by his advertised cost?

I passed a solar panel clean enquiry onto him from a walk up. He said he didn't get the job as the customer thought £45 was too expensive.

I maybe wrong but I see solar panel cleaning as walking a tightrope between price and added panel output. Maybe you guys down south will see a better result between a clean and dirty panel's output..

I seem to remember someone reporting that Solar Steve gave his subcontractors 17p a panel to clean on a solar farm. The cleaner provided his own water, own vehicle and equipment and had to prove he was using 0 tds pure water to clean with using photographic evidence. The subcontractor also had to attend a training course that SS charged for.

I have no clue what Solar Steve's markup was, but rightly or wrongly, it gave me an idea of what Solar panel cleaning is worth commercially on ground level.

 

Yes you are right what you stated about ss and it was me he offered 17 pence a panel to clean   Needless to say we didn’t take him upon his offer 😂😂😂😂. He used to charge a domestic customer £75 for panels on a house and pay sub contractors £30 to do them ,we only did a couple of jobs for him as we had more than enough of our own work at double that price . Theses prices are years old though cannot remember when we went on the course but must  be 6-7 years ago , was a  good day out though 😂😂😂

Edited by Pjj
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1 minute ago, Pjj said:

Yes you are right what you stated about ss and it was me he offered 17 pence a panel to clean   Needless to say we didn’t take him upon his offer 😂😂😂😂. He used to charge a domestic customer £75 for panels on a house and pay sub contractors £30 to do them ,we only did a couple of jobs for him as we had more than enough of our own work at double that price . Theses prices are years old though cannot remember when we went on the course bust be 6-7 years ago , was a  good day out though 😂😂😂

I have only done one solar panel clean since I advertised it on side of my van and thought it would be a money spinner. Worst advertising I have done and only do it if I'm bird proofing panels or cleaning a roof. I find it very hard to clean them unless I'm at the same height as the panels. If I get a new van then solar panel cleaning will not be on the van and replaced by roof cleaning and roof spraying or moss removal. Learning by experience now, what makes good money, not to tiresome and makes the customer happy. PW ticks these boxes and I realise why folk do it full-time now.

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