Our Frequently Asked Questions
Is there enough sunshine in the UK?
Simply put; Yes.
How long does it take?
Standard installs take a day.
How much does it cost?
Generally a 4kWp PV system is between £5k and £8k
How do I earn/save money?
Savings on energy bills + Government Incentives (FITs/RHI)
What is Solar PV?
‘PV’ stands for photovoltaic and it is the standard in solar panels that generate electricity from the sun.
What is Solar Thermal?
Solar Thermal is another type of solar energy, it does not produce electricity, rather it generates heat.
Do I need planning permission?
Generally the answer is no, however there are a few instances where you may be required to get planning permission first, if you are planning on putting panels onto a listed building for example. If you are unsure we can talk you through any issues you may have.
How much electricity will typical panels produce?
Output from solar PV varies according to different factors, orientation, pitch, shading and location are some of these factors. When we provide you with guideline outputs this includes all factors and is based on an average throughout the year.
What about the weather?
It is a common misconception that solar panels require bright sunny days to operate. In fact they simply need daylight to capture the radiation from the sun. Solar panels are also designed to withstand severe weather conditions such as storms and hail.
I thought solar panels were free?
Solar panels are certainly not free, they are however subsidised by the UK government allowing you to recoup the costs over time.
Some companies do offer free solar panels, but is those instances they are collecting the government subsidies and also retain ownership of the panels. In the long run, it is those companies that make the profits from the panels on your roof rather than you.
Will my roof be strong enough?
Most roofs are strong enough to support the weight of solar panels, we will always check thoroughly before we start an install to ensure suitability.
How much space/ how many panels do I need?
It depends on what you are looking to achieve. The usual domestic size system is 4kWp which typically requires 12-16 panels and approximately 20-26m2
How are the panels fixed to the roof?
First we lift the tiles/slates, some cowboy companies just drill through which is less than ideal and can cause problems down the line. After we have access we then attach hooks which attach to the rafters of the roof and support the panels, holding them securely in place.
Do I need a South facing roof?
Panels work best when facing due South, yet they also work at reduced capacity facing due East or West. Facing up to 90º from south will typically result in only a 20% drop in performance (*MCS.) Panels don’t need to be roof mounted either, we build frames to allow them to be ground, wall or roof mounted.
Do panels require maintenance?
Both PV Panels and Solar Thermal collectors are very low maintenance. You may want to visually inspect them from time to time simply to ensure they remain clean as anything covering the surface of the panel may reduce its efficiency, such as leaves or dirt.
What is RHI, FIT, GT and ET?
Good question. GT – Generation Tariff and ET – Export Tariff; these two together make up the FIT – Feed In Tariffs.
Generation tariff is what you get paid for every unit of electricity you generate, regardless of whether you use it or send it back to the grid. Export Tariff is what you get paid for sending electricity back to the grid, usually 50% of the total produced. On top of earning GT and ET you also earn through savings made on your current electricity bills.
RHI is the Renewable Heat Incentive and is similar to the Feed In Tariffs yet it applies to Solar Thermal generation rather than Solar PV generation.
What if I move house during the guarantee period?
The FIT payments you receive are guaranteed for 20 years so if you move during this time you have two options. Either use any remaining payments when calculating the value of your home, increasing the value proportionately and passing the details onto the new owners. Or alternatively you may wish to continue receiving the FIT payments yourself and the new buyer would receive reduced energy bills in return for allowing you to keep the FIT payments.
How long does it take to start earning a profit?
It ranges so much it is difficult to give a broad outline, we have supplied systems that pay off in closer to 4 years and some that could take closer to 12 years. The best thing to is contact us for a quote, we will put together a specific estimation based on the system you are considering including the best estimates for payback periods and profitability simulations.
Your systems are very well priced. Will they perform equally as well?
Due to our nature we are able to streamline our production costs and cut out overheads. If you carry out benchmark tests you will find that despite the lower cost the performance will be equal to or higher than our competitors.
Are your parts branded and of a high quality?
We only buy our components from leading manufacturers which are sustainable and of the highest quality.