Frequently Asked Questions
- Is my roof suitable for solar installation?
A pitched or flat roof is suitable, as long as it is within 90 degrees of south facing. Angled ‘A’ frames can be installed to flat roofs without fixing through the membrane, to allow panels to be installed to the correct angle.
- How long will solar installation take?
Installation for solar PV and solar thermal typically takes 2-3 days, depending on the size of installation. Disruption will be kept to a minimum and the site will be left clean and tidy. Scaffolding will usually be required and is included in the installation price (subject to site survey).
- Do I need planning permission?
No, as long as the solar PV or solar thermal panels are installed on the roof of your property. It would only be required if you are in a conservation area, are installing on a listed building or installing solar panels away from your property.
- How much will a solar PV installation cost?
For a standard domestic system we would normally install a system that is between 2 and 4 kWp. This would cost you between around £5,500 and £13,000. Generally solar PV systems will offer you a return on investment of between around 12-15%.
- How much will a solar thermal installation cost?
A typical evacuated tube panel which will meet the requirements for a 2-3 person household, fully installed cost including cylinder and VAT will cost from £3,699 subject to site survey.
- What is the typical payback time?
The typical payback time would be in approximately 6-10 years. After this time the remaining 15-19 years would be profit – this does not allow for future energy price increases, which would mean payback time would be reduced.
- Is ongoing maintenance required?
Solar PV has no moving parts so maintenance is minimal. Solar panels are guaranteed by the manufacturer for 10 years, based on a performance of 90% of their original power output, and for up to 25 years after installation, based on a power output of 80%. There are solar PV installations approximately 40 years old that are still going strong!! Inverters are guaranteed by the manufacturer for 5 years, with an option to extend for up to 10 years.
- Will my property value increase with the installation of solar panels?
Studies have shown people will pay up to £10,000 more for a property installed with renewable energy i.e. solar PV. Your property will be more attractive to potential purchasers as it will have lower running costs.
- What is the difference between solar PV and solar thermal?
Solar PV panels produce electricity, which when linked to the national grid through and inverter provide you with approximately 50% saving on your electricity bill, and a yearly income of up to £1,600. Solar thermal panels are used to heat the water in your hot water cylinder and can provide you with approximately 60% of your yearly hot water needs, and with the introduction of RHI in the near future they will also provide you with an income.
- Will a solar panel produce electricity on a cloudy day?
Yes, even on a cloudy day there will be enough diffused light for the solar panels to produce electricity. However, the production of electricity is not as high as when the panels are placed in bright sunlight.
- Will solar panels work when it’s cold?
Yes, solar PV panels will work equally as well on a cold day as solar PV panels work on light not heat.