Do I need a South Facing Roof?
No. Admittedly, some roofs are better than others but any roof in the southerly arc between east and west will work and any pitch of roof from horizontal (flat roof) to vertical (wall) is possible to use. Of course, performance varies depending on the orientation but the following chart gives an idea of how little is lost (e.g. even a due east or west roof produces 85% of what a perfect south facing roof would produce).
How good are ‘free’ solar panel schemes?
Beware complex finance packages offering ‘free solar panels’. Some large companies will offer to ‘rent’ your roof space for 20 years, giving you the ‘free’ electricity produced by the solar panels they install. In this case they will take the Feed in Tariffs and you will not benefit from the government backed scheme.
A better alternative is to finance the installation of solar panels yourself. You would pay off the capital with your FITs in around 8 years, then, the rest is pure PROFIT.
As an example, if you invest £6,500 in solar PV panels then you will achieve £16,000 return over 20 years. If you accept the ‘free’ offer then you will only benefit by £5,000 and the provider will profit £11,000 from your roof space! Their offer also places a covenant on your house which may complicate any future sale.
How do I receive payment for my solar energy?
Once your installation is complete we will send you an MCS certificate proving that your installation has been completed by a fully accredited installer. You then send a Feed-in-Tariff application to your electricity supplier. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you with this, although it is ultimately your responsibility to apply for your FITs. With your application complete you simply provide a reading to your supplier from the generation meter that we will have installed. They will then either send you a cheque or make a bank deposit for the amount of Feed-in-Tariff and export money you are due. Most suppliers take the meter reading and send out payments quarterly.
Do I need planning permission?
If you are not in a listed building, or in an area of natural beauty, or a world heritage site, then the answer is probably ‘no’. Most domestic installations in England come under a General Permitted Development Order. For larger commercial sized or ground mounted systems you will need planning permission. Likewise if you are wishing to install on a listed building or in an area of natural beauty then you will probably need planning permission. We will be able to advise you on how to acquire permission or you can contact your local planning office for more details.
Do I need to arrange scaffolding?
No. We will arrange this for you and will include it in our quote – you don’t have to worry about hidden or additional costs. We will aim to get scaffolding up the day before we install and down as soon as possible after completion to minimise disruption.
Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to claim my Feed-in-Tariffs?
Yes, but we can organise this for you using our network of energy assessors. The EPC grades your property according to its energy efficiency and its CO2 emissions. We will be able to give you a rough idea of what grade your property is likely to achieve and suggest ways of boosting its performance. Also by adding a solar PV installation to your property, your energy performance rating will go up and the required D rating becomes much more attainable. If you already have an EPC with a rating of D, or higher, then you will be able to use this certificate to claim your Feed-in-Tariffs.
To find out more about solar panel installation and to find out if your property is suitable, give us a call on 01367 718833 or email us.