In recent years, India has recognized the significance of rooftop solar power as a game-changer for sustainable growth. The nation’s industries are witnessing a paradigm shift as they harness the power of the sun to meet their energy needs, reduce carbon footprints, and enhance overall operational efficiency. This shift towards rooftop solar is not only environmentally responsible but also economically prudent, fostering a brighter, cleaner, and more prosperous future for the nation. 
In this blog, we will explore the significance of the Solar Vendor Rating Program (VRP) and insights on ways in which it benefits the consumers, businesses, and the renewable energy sector. From ensuring quality assurance to motivating innovation and competition, these programs play a pivotal role in the sustainable growth of the solar energy sector.
What is a Vendor Rating Program (VRP) in the solar industry ?
A recent USAID and NREL study found that intense competition in the industry often results in compromising the quality and safety aspect of the solar PV projects in order to drive prices down aggressively. These vendors deliver less quality modules, leaving consumers unable to achieve expected performance from rooftop solar systems.  This adversely affects the long term sustainability and efficient operations of the solar power plants.
As the solar industry continues to expand, the importance of ensuring the quality and reliability of solar products and services becomes increasingly evident. This need has given rise to Solar Vendor Rating Programs, which is a rating given to vendors after assessing their technical and financial performance capabilities.
MNRE together with USAID, PACE-D, NREL and CII-Godrej GBC has introduced a comprehensive solar vendor rating program for the Indian market. This program offers a systematic approach to assessing vendors, providing valuable information to consumers, and promoting high standards within the industry.
This framework introduces a crucial benchmarking tool, for assessing the Solar Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies (EPCs or Installers or Vendors). It offers a set of criteria to evaluate these companies and assign them a rating which reflects their level of competence. The evaluation measures a few categories of rooftop solar systems installed by the vendors in recent years. The Solar Industry aims to evaluate the quality and safety standards while fostering trust among investors and consumers. The Vendor rating assessment is distributed as 25% Technical, Financial 25%, On-Site 50% ratings. Industries involved in Rooftop services can enhance the solar power systems by utilizing advanced technology like online monitoring systems, energy management systems, machine learning for forecasting etc. that fulfill future energy requirements and enhanced durability, this will make sure they can get a good rating as it is directly connected to technical performance.
U-Solar is among top 15 Industries in India which has got the Solar Vendor Rating for the Rooftop projects.
The eligibility to be in the list is determined through thorough checks and qualifications at different functional levels. For example the location of the installations are categorized into National, Regional and State levels and region wise geographical considerations such as North, East, West, South and Central. Additionally Industries are classified based on the operating capacities of the Rooftop Solar (RTS) systems, ‘Large’ firms having capacities of 250 kWp or more and ‘Medium’ firms having capacities ranging from 10 kWp to 250 kWp. This operating model helps the rating to be more efficient and accurate and helps the consumer to make informed decisions on the selection of vendors for their project.
The Rooftop Solar Vendor rating process follows a strict timeline. Vendors firstly have to start the procedure by submitting the application form and required paperwork. Then CII-Godrej GBC selects two sites at random. The judging panel evaluates after a sequel of stages before issuing the final rating certificate. After 45 days the vendor has to submit the necessary documents before registering with the agency. [ 3 ]
The VRP program offers a wide range of advantages to different stakeholders as it offers a valuable selection criteria of a quality rooftop vendor. It empowers the policy makers to create a supportive rooftop solar ecosystem, which aligns the national energy targets. This also will make sure that the suppliers enhance the quality of their products. For EPC and installers the VRP connects them with consumers seeking quality installations and it serves as a platform to showcase performance, safety and quality to a broader audience. The motivation to get a good rating will surely help the solar industry to present industries which offer quality services ensuring long life of the solar power systems.
Why Should Solar Consumers Consider vendors with VRP certification?
Consumers should prioritize the vendor rating program as a quality factor that ensures rooftop installations meet high standards. The Industry gets the rating from the previously executed projects which gives consumers a benchmark for the good results the vendor has generated. Based on this, consumers can choose wisely a good vendor. This will also protect the consumers with fake vendors who provide low cost services with less quality modules.
U-Solar’s Rooftop Solar Projects Achievements
U-Solar, a distinguished player in the solar industry, boasts an impressive track record of 13 years, marked by unwavering dedication to pioneering advancements and uncompromising quality. Our portfolio comprises an extensive array of triumphantly executed solar projects, encompassing BIPV, battery-based systems, and solar carports, all of which serve as a testament to the remarkable technical capabilities of our services.
Through our comprehensive technical consultation process, we prioritize the thorough examination of both technical and commercial aspects in the initial stages. Consequently, this results in the establishment of enhanced selection criteria and the development of highly efficient adoption models for solar power systems. Moreover, our specialized Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) department is fully committed to ensuring flawless project execution, fostering a seamless and secure environment. By steadfastly upholding the pinnacle of quality and safety standards, U-Solar has attained an exceptional vendor rating.
Our extensive experience encompasses an impressive portfolio of 250+ projects spanning various market segments. With a commitment to excellence, we have successfully implemented cutting-edge solar power plants that stand at the forefront of technology. Through our unwavering dedication, our solar installations have made a substantial contribution, sequestering an astounding annual equivalent of 13,63,900 trees on behalf of our esteemed clients.
In summary, industries should focus on the VRP as it promotes quality, trust, competition, and it gives a trust factor for consumers to avail your services. To get a good rating, companies and vendors will be motivated to provide quality services. This will also help in alignment with national energy objectives, all of which are vital for the growth and success of the rooftop solar sector. For a company to register for the rating program has to submit a request which will follow certain guidelines and verifies the services provided with previous installed projects.
The rating is also based on the geographical location of the company and it makes sure that the consumers can choose wisely before investing. The rating program also helps policy makers to create a suitable ecosystem for enhancing the rooftop solar services. Overall the good rating creates a benchmark for evaluating the various rooftop solar EPC companies or installers and vendors which recognizes their competence.Click Now for More Projects