National certification scheme MCS has engaged their members as they continue to closely monitor the developing situation with COVID-19.
The MCS Helpdesk Team have called renewable installers directly to survey their response to the pandemic and to capture concerns.
Of those surveyed, 90% have seen a negative business impact due to Coronavirus.
One installer stated, “The supply of panels is very difficult with slow replenishment, customers seem very nervous and I now cannot go on site to do installations.”
Another said, “All the jobs that we had lined up have had to be to be postponed. Fortunately, we haven’t seen any cancellations so far. Customers have been understanding.”
Cash flow and worries of the financial impact topped the responses, with one installer saying, “The financial impact and cash flow are my main concerns, I’ve got staff sat at home with no work to do. We’ve started jobs that we can’t finish and are unable to invoice for.”
MCS certified installer, Solarsense, specialise in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of solar panels and other renewable energy technologies. They are now focusing on design and quotes, as they have stepped away from both residential and commercial installations for the safety of their staff and clients.
Their MD Stephen Barrett said, “The impact of COVID-19 in the long term is likely to be minimal, although it depends how many companies can survive. Cash flow is a massive issue, but long term I don’t know if it will have a huge effect, obviously private customers will have less money and the businesses will have less money.”
He added with optimism, “It may well have the effect that more people think about having solar now, it’s made the world realise, well, that it is a finite world.”
Of those 10% that hadn’t seen a negative impact, reasons included a strong pipeline of existing jobs that would keep them going, or due to customers postponing jobs and a level of confidence that these jobs will reactivate once this is over.
Generally speaking, installers cited either; a downturn in work and worries about survival, that they had an existing strong pipeline of work and are able to continue or, have proactively taken the decision to furlough staff and shut down operations.
Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS said:
“Coronavirus is impacting all of our lives and is a stressful and worrying time for many. Our Helpdesk Team have proactively been contacting our Installer community to see how they are coping, and so that we can take their concerns to the government to incite action.
“Looking ahead to the future, we need to maintain a level of optimism that we can get the renewable installation market back up and running. MCS will be prepared for the recovery approaches and will do all we can to help Installers weather this and survive.”
MCS creates and maintains Standards that allow for the certification of low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.
MCS continues to maintain regular contact with The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Trade Associations. If you would like to feedback on the impact of Coronavirus on your renewable installation business, please email email@example.com
Helpdesk Survey Summary- Top list of worries:
- Financial impact/cash flow – 29%
- Market recovery and uncertainty over how long this will last – 13.4%
- Business being able to survive this – 10.3%
- Supply Chain – 7.2%
- Welfare of their employees and their families – 6.18%
- Confusion over government advice – 5.15% / The economy/recession – 5.15% / Health and Safety and wellbeing – 5.15%