Leeds in Yorkshire is located in the northern part of the UK's solar hotspot which also includes Doncaster and Sheffield. The levels of insolation (sunlight per square kilometre) is about average for the UK. Leeds is also the home of resident free solar installation company Eco One and is one of the most northerly situated free installers in the UK. North Yorkshire is also considered the most northerly location many installers will consider for installing free solar. Some installers actually say that they will only install free solar panels in Leeds or locations to the south of Leeds.
As well as Leeds based Eco One there are a number of other free installers in towns and cities nearby. In nearby Huddersfield and Wakefield is U Energy and Viscount Solar. A little further to the west is Bury's Solvis Energy Solutions, New Energy Futures in Blackpool and Liverpool based Greentech Energy. Further to the south in Barnsley's A Shade Greener, Sheffield's GEP Solutions and Derby based Heatscape.
Leeds homeowners can apply for free solar as long as their homes meet the installers criteria. Your home should have a large roughly south facing un-shaded roof of about 24 square metres. The larger the roof and the more of a south facing aspect it has the more likely you will qualify for free solar.
The data below shows the residential solar photovoltaic installations during 2010. Over the whole of 2010 there were 165 domestic solar PV installations. These figures derive from Ofgem data and exclude any commercial installations. The LS25 postcode area of Leeds had the most installations totalling 69.68kWp over 21 separate homes. It also had the largest sized installations with an average of 3kWp+ sized installations.
The larger your roof the more solar panels can be installed up to the limit which is just under 4kWp which equates to about 22 panels. The more panels you have the more electricity you will generate and the greater the amount you will be paid under the feed-in tariff scheme. The larger installations the cheaper the cost per panel and so it makes sense to install the largest system possible.
Leeds town centre and the central area of Leeds including the postcode areas of LS1 to LS4 had no registered installations. The LS7 and LS29 Leeds areas had a high level of solar take up but in LS7 (Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Little London, Meanwood, Potternewton, Scott Hall, Sheepscar) the size of the installs were quite small at around 1kWp. Which would tend to suggest smaller homes with a much smaller roof space.
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