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Solar PV - FAQ

How do Solar PV panels work?


Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight directly to electricity. When sunlight hits semiconductor materials in PV cells, electrons are released that are captured in an electric current


How do I know if my house is suitable for installation?


The best way to find out is to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment, as even if your roof isn’t ideal we may still be able to install a system elsewhere (on a wall, in the garden…). However, typically you will need a reasonably large (at least 8m2) south facing, unshaded roof.


How much does a typical solar panel installation cost?


A solar PV installation costs anything between £3,000 and £8,000 – it all depends on the number of panels you choose. Get in touch for a no-obligation, free solar installation assessment – and don’t forget, you can expect a decent return on investment as a large system can easily pay back over £11,000 over 20 years


Does the government offer any grants or incentives?


The government doesn’t currently offer any grants towards the cost of installation, but there are excellent financial incentives that mean, depending on the size of your installation, you could earn between £500 and £800 a year for 20 years. These figures only apply to MCS-accredited systems.


Just how much money will I save?


A large domestic solar electricity system with an installation size of 3.96kWp, could earn you around £750 a year for the next 20 years. Even a smaller 2.52kWP system could bring in around £500, These figures are based on the current FIT payment of 14.9p/kWh, to maximise the earning potential of your system, you really need to install solar PV now.


How much CO2 will I save with solar PV?


A typical domestic solar PV installation will reduce your home’s carbon emissions by more than a tonne* – impressive stuff


Do your systems come with a warranty or guarantee?


The panels all come with a 25 year production guarantee, the inverter comes with a minimum 5 year guarantee and the whole installation come with a two year no quibble guarantee for workmanship and installation. We take pride in our work, though, and are confident about the quality of our installation practices, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to get in touch with us again unless you take us up on our free first year service offer.


Do solar electricity systems only work on hot sunny days?


No – solar PV panels absorb diffused as well as direct sunlight, so while they’re more efficient on sunny days your panels will generate electricity even on overcast days. Unlike solar thermal systems that are used to heat water, the temperature of the sunlight doesn’t matter – a brilliant, cold winter’s day is just as good as a mid-August scorcher. The savings we quote on this website take into account the UK climate, which you might be surprised to learn is actually quite predictable in terms of guaranteed sun hours.


The cost savings look great – but are they guaranteed?


Exactly how much electricity your solar PV system generates depends on the size and quality of the panels and their position, as even a bit of shade will compromise performance. However, we only use top quality solar panels and the sun-hours in the UK are remarkably stable and well-documented, so you should get close to the figures quoted.


Do I need planning permission?


Whether you need planning permission depends on where you live. In England and Scotland, domestic solar panel installations are classed as ‘permitted development’ and you don’t usually need permission, unless your home is listed or in a conservation area – we can advise you on whether you’ll need to apply for permission for your property. If you live in Wales and Ireland, you will need planning permission.


How long does a system take to install? Will there be much disruption? Will I need a new roof?


How long your PV system takes to install depends on how many panels you choose, but we aim to be in and out in 3 to 4 days. We do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum – installing a domestic solar electricity system isn’t a particularly messy job and our installers are all very friendly and house-trained, but obviously we’ll need access to your home during the installation. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need a new roof – our installers are from a building background and so are experts on roofing procedure.


Do solar PV systems need much maintenance/cleaning?


Happily, no. Solar PV systems are designed to last between 20 and 40 years and are more or less ‘fit and forget’ – there are no moving parts and no and no onerous routine maintenance is necessary. While it’s perfectly acceptable to allow the rain to clean your panels for you


What happens if I move house?


It’s entirely up to you. We can remove the solar PV system and reinstall it at your new house if you want to take it with you. However, eco-homes are increasingly desirable and a recent MORI survey has found that people are willing to pay £10,000 more for a house with renewable technologies installed. Estate agents have been pricing homes with solar panels accordingly, so it could pay if you decide to sell the system with your house.