I have had a low SAP rating on my new build house because I have an all Electric System (not storage heaters). Would installing free solar panels help me to increase my SAP rating?
Getting either free or paid solar will increase the SAP (standard assessment procedure) rating for your home. Quoting the SAP 2005 documentation; The SAP rating now takes into account energy for lighting and the effect of thermal bridges, and also takes account of energy generated in the dwelling using technologies like micro-CHP or photovoltaics.
I have an 8 acre field in north Devon and am interested in having a barn built with solar panels on.
It sounds like you are referring to the offer from Lumicity who offer to build a barn on your land at a discount in return for letting them use the roof to install solar panels.
My roof is facing south, east where sun rises, and south west where the sun sets, would you consider my roof as OK?
You roof is perfect for solar but there are other considerations to take into account, especially if you are looking to get free solar panels installed. You also need to have enough clear un-shaded roof space large enough to fit the number of panels the free installer is offering.
How do I get an annual income from solar?
If you pay to have your own photovoltaic solar panels installed then you can claim the feed-in tariff payments. This could provide you with over £1,400 of tax free income a year if you installed a 3.96kWh system on your south facing roof.
What happens if I sell my home after I have had free panels put on my house, am I liable to charges?
If you decide to sell your home with free solar panels on your roof then the contract will be handed over to the new owner. Some solar panel installers do allow you to buy them out of the contract so you effectively own the panels. Solar should be a benefit to the new homeowner as it means that they will be getting lower electricity bills. As mentioned previously it will also give you a higher SAP rating on your home making it potentially more saleable.
Interested in more information, reference commercial buildings. We are going to re-roof a building in Nottingham and want to look at the possibility of solar panels
Solar is a good investment at the moment but smaller residential solar installations are much more profitable than commercial solar. Conversely however larger installations have a lower cost per panel than the smaller home installations so depending on the size of the installation it could still be a profitable investment.
What make of solar panels do you recommend?
I would recommend whichever was currently the most efficient and cost effective panel. It really depends on your circumstances as you would have to calculate the costs and savings depending on your particular roof. If you have a large roof then you could go for the cheaper larger panels that have a lower watt per metre square rating. If space is limited the higher watt per metre squared panels would be more suitable but generally more costly. As long as the panel has a good length of guarantee and is MCS accredited you shouldn't go far wrong.
I already know that my roof is south facing and an installer came out but my roof was not big enough for the amount of panels they needed to fit. Would that be the case with any other free solar companies?
Every installer has a different number of panels that they will want to install, some require a specific minimum roof size whilst others can accommodate smaller roofs. There are now 35 installers in the UK so there is nothing stopping you applying for solar panels with another solar installer.
Is the free solar panel scheme open to UK council tenants?
Installers need the permission of the property owner in order to be able to install panels and so do not deal directly with council tenants. You can find out more about council plans to install free solar panels on council houses.
Where can I get free solar panels, use some of the electric and link into returning electric to the grid without payment. I live in north east and my rear roof has sun at least 8-12 hours per day
With solar panels installed you will benefit from the electricity that they produce during the day. Any excess electricity is fed back to the grid. If you buy your own solar system you will be paid for all of the electricity that you generate through the feed-in tariff scheme. Any electricity that you do not use is sold back to the grid and you are paid for that also. With free solar you only benefit from the free electricity, it is the installer that gets the payments to cover their initial installation costs.
How much do you get per unit of power that you do not use, but is generated by your solar panels?
You get paid for both generating the electricity in the first place and you also get paid for selling back any unused electricity. The current payment rates are 43.3 pence for every kilowatt of electricity that your panels generate and about 3.1 pence for every kilowatt of electricity that you sell back to the grid.
Do you get free electricity all day to the night and what happens when it is a cloudy or a dull day. Do you need to still use electricity from other supplier?
Solar panels generate electricity in daylight, find out more about how free solar power works. As long as it is daylight the panels will generate electricity, even if it is cloudy or dull. As solar only works during the day you will still need to buy electricity from your energy supplier at night. To reduce your night time electricity use you can find out how to make best use of solar power.
Where can I find a sample of the contract I would have to enter into if I had free solar PV panels?
Every contract is going to be different so you would need to contact the installer you are thinking of using for free solar. Moreover you should first find out if your home is suitable for solar and which installer would cover your area and roof size.
Can panels be fitted on south facing roof where a 4 metre wide active glass roof conservatory is already built?
Having a conservatory on the same side of the house as your south facing roof makes it more difficult to install solar. Many free solar installers may not consider your home in this instance as it makes it more complex in erecting the scaffolding, an extra cost most solar panel companies are not willing to absorb.
If I had panels installed for free, what would happen if I sold the house and the new owner did not what the panels?
It is important to consider the long term factors when installing both free and paid solar. You may of course want to sell your house and are concerned about what affect the solar panels will have on the sale. Of course some potential buyers may not like the look of the panels but most people buying homes with solar tend to see the panels as a bonus. From the few people I have spoken to so far that bought homes with solar panels most tended to be indifferent. If you are at all worried about selling your home with solar panels then do not get them installed.
What materials are the solar panels made of?
Solar panels are usually made from several different materials including plastic, metal, glass and silicon. They are sealed and weatherproofed with a clear glass front to enable the light to hit the silicon cells. The glass acts as a weather barrier to protect the cells and internal electronics.
Do the solar panels have a guarantee and for how long?
All solar panels have a manufacturers warranty that can last as long as 25 years. This warranty is for the panel performance and does not cover the actual installation. There will be a separate guarantee on the workmanship for fitting the panels, the length of which will vary depending on the installer. For free solar the panels and workmanship is guaranteed for 25 years.
What is the process of fitting the solar panels, do you actually cut the roof to fit them?
The panels themselves are not in contact with the roof directly but sit on mounts designed to secure the panels to the roof. Depending on the type of mounting system used some of the tiles may need to be clipped in order for the metal mounting frame to be affixed to the wooden supports on the roof. The integrity of the roof is not compromised and remains weatherproof and watertight.
I live in Nottingham and would like to be considered for free solar panels?
Much of the country is now covered by installers although there are a few major cities that are still not covered. Free solar panels in Nottingham are available and it is actually according to Ofgem data a popular place for solar.
Is it possible to have hybrid solar panels without having to pay but also get the FIT payments?
Hybrid solar panels provide both heat and power and are not available under any of the free solar offers. You can only get the feed-in tariff (FIT) payments if you buy the panels yourself. If you buy hybrid panels you can claim both the feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive payments.
Can I buy and install myself and still get the fits payments?
In order to qualify for the Feed-in tariff payments which can currently add up to £1,400 a year solar panels need to be installed by an MCS certified installer. This in essence means a qualified electrician who is MCS certified. You could in theory install them yourself but you would not be able to claim the FIT's payments. Only qualified electricians with an MCS certificate can commission a solar installation.
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