The truth about Solar Panels

Across the UK, more people are installing Solar Panels and benefiting from the Solar electricity generated from them.

The increasing popularity of Solar Panels

You may notice that certain streets and estates have a large proportion of Solar Panels. This could be down to the fact that neighbours have discussed the benefits with one another or because their properties lend themselves to getting Solar with an appropriate facing roof.

Like with anything, the more popular something becomes the more of a knock on effect it can have on others around them. But if your neighbours or friends have just had Solar Panels installed, we strongly suggest you speak to them about it first, so they can explain the benefits and processes they went through to get them.

When should I get Solar Panels installed?

The great thing about Solar Panels is that they can be installed anytime throughout the year.

As Solar Panels respond to daylight (not sunlight), then as long as we don’t get a day of darkness like they do in Scandinavia or the panels aren’t covered in snow, then you could benefit from generating electricity all year round.

I’m a landlord, can I benefit from Solar Panels?

Simple answer, yes.

As the homeowner, you can apply to receive FiT payments and benefit from the income generated by your Solar Panels.

But there is a limit to the amount of properties you can receive the maximum FiT tariff rate for.

For the first 24 properties you register for FiT, you could receive the amounts outlined in the table “how much you can save with Solar” section. But for every property you register after that, a multi installation tariff will apply and the rate will be lower.

For more information on multi installation tariffs, please visit Ofgem’s website.

Do I need planning permission to have Solar Panels on my roof?

Good news, since April 2012, you no longer need planning permission to install Solar Panels for most domestic properties in England and Wales

But if any of the following applies to you, then you may need to contact your local authority before you purchase your new Solar Panel system:

  • Live in a conservation area
  • Your building is grade listed
  • Purchasing a system above 4 kWp

Is my roof right for Solar?

Unfortunately Solar Panels aren’t suitable for everyone, so here are some things to consider before purchasing your panels.

Roof strength

Before any installation, surveyors will carry out a detailed inspection of your property and provide you with a structural report, highlighting any additional work needed to make sure that your roof can support the weight of heavy Solar Panels.

If your roof does need any structural support, then any additional costs will be included within your no obligation quote.

South facing

A south facing roof tends to be exposed to more daylight than any other direction, so installing south facing Solar Panels will maximise the amount of electricity your panels can produce.In fact, East or West facing systems may generate between 15-20% less electricity than South-facing panels.

Shaded areas

If your house is surrounded by tall trees or large buildings that could cast a shadow over your roof for large parts of the day, then this may reduce the amount of electricity the solar panels can produce.

The UK isn’t sunny enough for Solar Panels is it?

Lots of people think that Solar Panels need warm and sunny weather for them to work properly. But in fact, Solar Panels use daylight rather than sunlight to generate electricity, so we’re more than able to make use of Solar power in the UK.

In 2014, London enjoyed 1481hours of daylight - which on average, helped to bring down their electricity bill by £135.

Do I need to clean my Solar Panels?

Solar Panels are generally self-cleaning and use rain water to remove as much dirt as possible, to prevent grime from building up which could reduce the panels efficiency.

But there is only so much rain water can do without a helping hand. So to keep your panels working at their best, we recommend that you clean your panels at least once or twice a year, to remove dirt and grime.

How many Solar Panels do I need?

The number of Solar Panels you’ll need will depend on two things, the roof space you want to fill and how much you want to spend.

Still don’t believe us?

There are plenty of companies and websites out there talking about Solar Panels and the savings benefits they can bring. If you look at Money Saving Expert or the Energy Saving Trust they offer detailed information about Solar Panels and their overall feedback is generally positive too. However, much like buying a new car or a home renovation, we know that you need to do your research before you make a decision.

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