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What to consider before installing solar panels at your business

With the world looking to reduce its carbon footprint, many companies are looking at where their energy is coming from and what impact it has on the environment. As part of this thought process, a large proportion are turning to “Electric Energy” for their company vehicles, Fork Lift Trucks, and portable battery powered hand tools and some are considering having solar panels installed to subsidise the cost of the energy they are using.

The installation process is not straight forward as far as Insurers are concerned and companies have to provide the following information to get approval before work starts:


Installation of Solar Panels

  • Construction details of the premises including full specification of any Composite Panels
  • Copy of the proposed solar panel design to be installed
  • Installers must be MCS accredited or equivalent
  • Installers will also need to provide an ongoing  maintenance agreement

It is important to refer this to Insurers prior to having the installation of the solar panels on to your premises as this may invalidate your insurance in the event of a fire claim.


Charging Points

With the development of Lithium Batteries providing longer use per charge, these batteries also come with a greater risk of Fire. If the cells within the battery are damaged, it will overheat and may catch fire. These fires are difficult to extinguish and can spread rapidly to other areas of the building under the right circumstances.


If you are looking to install charging points for vehicles, Fork Lift Trucks or portable tools within your premises, Insurers will ask for the following to be considered:

  • Vehicle charging points to be installed away from the buildings to minimise the risk of a fire spreading to the main premises
  • Fork Lift Truck charging points to be sited on a “Non-Combustible” wall within the premises with a 2 meter square hatched area that needs to be kept clear of non combustible materials
  • Portable hand tools to be charged in a metal container or in an area marked out as described above, to ensure there is no fire spread if they are being charged overnight.

Insurers are currently seeing an increase in these types of fire claims where it’s thought to have been likely the tools have been dropped during use which causes damage to the cells within the battery which goes undetected until the battery overheats during charging.


It is important to discuss these proposed installations with Insurers as you may find that these will have to moved following a survey. A claim may not be paid if you have not complied with Policy Terms & Conditions.

If you’d like to have a chat with us about this type of risk in your workplace, please call us on either

Doncaster 01302 341 344 or Sheffield 0114 243 9914.

By Martin Singleton ACIIChartered Insurance Broker & Account Executive

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