FAQ

Below are a very useful list of questions we are commonly asked along with some comprehensive answers.

What size PV system do I need?

The most common size of solar pv system installed in the UK is between 2-4kWp, which is equates to 6-16 solar panels.

How much will my solar PV system cost?

You can expect your PV FIT solar energy system to cost between £3 – 4,000 per kWp including VAT. We can usually give you a fixed price quotation in 20 minutes over the phone, call 0344 567 9032 for your free no obligation quotation.

What grants / incentives are available to me?
The Government launched the clean energy cash back scheme (feed in tariff) in April 2010. The feed in tariff will pay you for every unit (kWh) of electricity you generate, whether you use it or not, with an expected return of investment of 10-12+% per year. Feed in tariffs are tax free (for homeowners), linked to RPI inflation and government guaranteed for 25 years.

The first step is to get a fixed priced quotation, it only takes 20 minutes over the phone!

How much energy will my PV FIT system generate?

A 4 kWp system facing South at 30 degrees tilt will generate approx. 3434 kWh (units) per year. The electricity used by a typical UK household is 3300 kWh per year (source: Energy Saving Trust).

Can I sell the electricity I make?

Yes you can. You will typically use half of your solar energy in your own home over a year. This will save you around *14p/kWh on bought in energy

e.g. a 4kWp system generating 3434kWh/yr. Half of this is consumed on site = 1717 kWh x £0.14 = £240.38/year saving on your electricity bill.

In addition to your income from the feed in tariff, and the savings from bought in electricity, you can sell the electricity you do not use back to your electricity supplier at around 3.1p/kWh (1717 kWh x £0.031 = £53.24/year).

You can opt out of the guaranteed export tariffs, which enables you to shop around. In these circumstances you will need an export meter (speak to your energy supplier) to measure exactly how much energy you’re sending back to the grid.

In order to get the best savings we recommend that you aim to use as much energy on site as possible. You can maximise on site consumption by using cold fill washing machines/ dishwashers by day rather than overnight, or by timing your immersion heater to be on when it’s sunny.

Will my PV FIT system really work in the UK?

Yes. The amount of energy you can generate will depend on where you are in the UK and the way your roof faces. On a South facing 30 degree sloping roof you will generate typically get 6 times more energy in July than you will in December. Solar energy is widely installed across central and northern Europe, particularly in Germany which has a very similar climate to the UK.

What maintenance and cleaning will my system need?

Your PV FIT system requires no scheduled maintenance.

It is likely that you will need to replace the inverter after 10-15 years. The cost for this at current rates is between £1000-1500, although we see these costs coming down considerably as solar energy becomes more popular with the feed in tariff.

If installed at an angle of greater than 10 degrees your solar panels should self-clean in the UK climate, although it wouldn’t hurt to clean the panels once a year if your window cleaner has a long reach brush that avoids getting on the roof.

How soon will my PV FIT system take to pay back the cost of installation?

At the current feed in tariff levels and equipment costs a 4kWp system will take as little as 7 years to payback. Contact us for a survey and quote.

How long will my PV FIT system last?

Your solar panels will have a manufacturers limited performance warranty of 20-25 years, with an expected lifetime of 40+ years. Your inverter (box in loft, utility room or garage) should function for 10+ years and will cost approx. £1000-1500 to replace. All PV FIT workmanship is covered by an independent 5 year insurance backed guarantee.

What happens at night?

Your solar electric system will work during daylight conditions, and the energy you produce will either be used in your home or exported back to the grid. Unless you go to the expense of installing storage batteries, which at today’s rates are not cost effective unless you are off grid, the electricity you use at night will come from the grid as normal.

What happens if there is a power cut?

Your photovoltaic system is entirely grid connected. If there is a power cut your system is automatically switched off to stop electricity feeding into the national grid (in order to protect engineers who may be working to restore the power supply). Once the problem with the grid has been resolved your system will automatically start generating again without need for an engineer to visit.

How can I maximise my energy and cost savings once my PV FIT system has been installed?

We always recommend that you ensure that you have fully insulated your loft/cavity walls. In addition, using low energy light bulbs (although they will rarely be powered by your PV system as will be on when it’s dark) can significantly reduce your electricity bill. Also, make sure you turn all electrical appliances off completely when not in use. For more ideas see the Energy Saving Trust website.

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