Matthew Shepherd

Renewable energy surveyor

What do you do when you survey a property?

Before I even get to the survey I like to talk to someone properly on the phone. I start with a general chat about what someone wants, or what they think they want. Some people only want a rough figure over the phone, and an idea about tariffs and costs. It’s important for me to understand as much as I can about someone’s property so I can give them the best advice.

What if I don’t know what I need?

I can talk customers through all of the options. I’ll explain the details of the technologies we can offer them.

Some people love having all the technical details, but others might want to know the basic principles of each technology.

An example would be heat pumps; that they draw heat from the ground that is then converted into heat for their home. This is different from an air source heat pump, which converts the air from outside.

My job is to find out as much as I can about someone’s home and energy demands, so that I can give them all the information they need to make the decision easier.

“Matthew was also very helpful, knowledgeable and quick to respond to questions and emails; he gave us confidence that ZLC were the right choice.” Mr Gilmour

Why is that important?

We want people to get the most out of their renewable energy. For most people, renewable energy sources are a ‘new thing’ and they need to be sure that they have explored all of the options available to them before deciding to invest in a product.

What happens during my appointment with you?

I never turn up with a sales catalogue, a laptop or ask someone to sign up on the day. Some companies still do and say they can offer a better rate if you sign immediately, but I want to make sure I’ve gone away, done my research and designed exactly what someone needs for their property – domestic or commercial. In my opinion that takes time and it’s time well spent.

“We had three quotes by different company’s. Yours was not the cheapest or the dearest but we felt that it was put over by the salesman, Matthew Shepherd, as the best and most professional. He talked to us and also listened to what we had to say. Also he answered our questions and at no time did he put pressure on us to make a decision there and then. After he left us we had a talk and both agreed that he and the company sounded very good.” Mrs Spoors

I’ll look around your property and in the loft, take some measurements, and talk you through where the kit will go. I’ll explain all the details of the install so there are no unexpected surprises later. I’ll go into more detail about the tariffs and clarify anything else the customer wants to know.

How long do appointments with you take?

It all depends on the customer and what they want to know and talk about. For some it’ll be a  tour of their property, a quick chat and I’m out of the door. Others like me to stay longer, I’m happy to spend as long as the customer needs to ensure they understand everything they need to. For most people my initial meeting lasts around an hour, but every survey is bespoke.

What qualifications do you have?

I studied biology at university in Plymouth. After I graduated I went to work with my dad, who was working in the energy efficiency sector. We worked together assessing people’s homes for wall and loft insulation, this then developed into advising people on Solar options for their homes.

I’ve been in the industry ever since and I’ve been with ZLC since day one when they started in 2011.

Who do I deal with after you?

Someone from ZLC will work with a customer at every step. It’s likely our installer Doug will come out and do the actual installation, but ZLC provides a very personal service at every step.