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The cost of installing solar panels has reduced significantly since 2010, as the price of our electricity soars and householders brace themselves for further price increases, the desire for solar panels throughout the UK is escalating.

Over 970,000 households have solar panels installed, and with a return on investment in just over 10 years, it’s a rewarding investment for your home.

Check if you are eligible for funding

“Installing solar panels will have the shortest pay off period on record”

Telegraph - 24/08/2022

How do solar panels work?


Solar panels, also known as Photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that you can use to run your home and reduce your electricity bills.

Solar PV systems are made up of a number of panels, with each panel generating approximately 355W of energy in strong sunlight. Typical systems contain around 12 – 15 panels and generate direct current (DC) electricity. Household electricity is alternating current (AC), so an inverter is installed to convert the DC electricity imported to AC electricity to be used in your home, or for any unused, exported back to the grid.

A common misconception is that solar panels require direct sunlight to work. Solar panels will still generate electricity on cloudy days. The more sunny the day, the more electricity generated, however they will still save you money on electricity bills throughout the winter months.

By installing solar panels, you can generate your own renewable energy, making your home more self-sufficient and sustainable.

Solar PV FAQ’s

Do Solar Panels need a roof that faces south?

Solar panels can be put on any roof that faces south, southeast, or southwest. Even though your Solar Panels will work better and make more electricity if they face south, they will still work at 86% as well if they face east or west.

How much space do Solar Panels need on my roof?

You can put solar panels on your roof or on your land. In general, an 8-panel Solar PV system would fit easily on the roof of an average 3-bed semi. Even if your roof is small, you can still get a lot of electricity from your panels.

Do my solar panels have to be in the sun all the time for them to work?

No, solar panels work as long as there is daylight, so will generate electricity all year round.

How do I compare Solar Panels from different companies?

Your choice of panel will usually be based on a number of things, such as looks, price, performance, track record, and guarantees. Our advisors are experienced in the market and can help you find the right panels for your needs.

What kind of guarantees will come with my Solar Panels?

Your solar panels will come with a warranty from the company that made them. Different manufacturers offer different guarantees, and the panels that cost the most usually come with the best protection. Before you buy, it’s smart to make sure you understand the guarantee. Our trusted network of solar installers can help advise on the best panels for your home, and confirm their warranties and guarantees.

How long do you think my solar panels will last?

Solar PV systems don’t have any moving parts other than the inverter, so they last a very long time. The inverter should last more than 10 years and could cost up to £1,000 to replace. You can hope that the panels will last at least 25 years.

How long does it take to put up Solar Panels?

Most home installations of solar panels don’t take more than a day and cause little trouble. Most of the time, the scaffolding is put up a few days before the Solar PV installation team arrives. Then, they’ll put the panels on the roof and install the inverter. Finally, they’ll do the wiring inside.

Should you clean solar panels?

Most solar panels clean themselves if they are tilted at an angle of more than 15 degrees. But it’s best to look at them visually once a year and rinse them if needed. Most window cleaning companies should be able to clean your panels with a reach-and-wash system.

What kind of upkeep and service do Solar Panels need?

Solar Panels require minimal maintenance but should be checked and serviced every 2 years to ensure optimal performance.

Is there a chance that my Solar Panels will get blown off the roof during a storm?

It’s very unlikely. Solar PV Panels are installed on top of tiles or other roofing materials, using roof anchors (also known as roof-hooks or brackets), mounting rails and clamps. Mounting rails are usually made of aluminium, due to its lightness.

How do I connect Solar Panels to my home's electricity?

The inverter changes the electricity from your solar panels from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current), which is what your house runs on. Then, an AC cable runs from the inverter to your distribution board, where the electricity is used to power the circuits in your home.

Can I get off the grid if I have solar panels?

Solar PV panels alone won’t give you power 24 hours a day, because they only make electricity during daylight. To get off the grid, you would need other energy sources or a battery system, as well as Solar PV panels.

Will my solar panels still work if the electricity goes out?

If there is a power outage, your inverter will turn off. This will stop any power from your Solar Panels from getting into your home. This is a safety feature meant to keep people safe who might be working on the grid. You can, however, set up a back-up system that will let you use your solar energy even if the power goes out.

If I have Solar Panels, do I need to change my electricity metre to an export metre?

If you want to get paid for any extra electricity you make, you need a smart metre. If you don’t already have one, most electricity companies will install one for you for free if you don’t already have one.

What funding is available?

The ECO4 scheme is available for solar panel installation in certain areas, check your ECO scheme eligibility here.

Possible savings from Solar Panels in the UK


Taken from Energy Savings Trust

Solar Panel UK Grants


 

What is a free solar panel grant?

Funding through an ECO4 grant are being provided to help individuals with the lowest incomes to improve their homes, as well as those who live in the least energy-efficient homes or the lower council tax bands.

How do grants for solar panel in the UK work?

First, eligibility is determined by a number of factors including household income, EPC rating and whether or not you are receiving any current government benefits. Residential Energy Services then work to determine suitable energy efficiency measures for your home. We also work with a trusted network of partners to help ensure those measures are delivered correctly.

How do I apply for a UK solar panel grant?

Contacting Residential Energy Services is the quickest and most straightforward way to find out if you qualify, compile your eligibility criteria and approach energy providers to obtain solar panel grant support.

How much can I get from a solar panel scheme?

Under the ECO4 scheme, free home energy efficiency upgrades are available to eligible homes. The awarding of grant funding is entirely dependent on determining the right measure for your home at this time.

How much money is available for solar panels in ECO grants?

The ECO4 scheme, which is expected to run until March 2026, expects to deliver up to £4 billion in energy efficiency and heating measures.

I already receive government funding; can I apply for an ECO grant?

You may still be eligible for ECO4 funding. Our friendly team of energy experts can take you through the process and check your eligibility to advise on any funding available.

Who pays for solar panel installation to my home?

The Energy Company Obligation is a government scheme deployed by energy suppliers who fund energy efficiency measures for your home, delivered by ECO approved installers.

Who decides what measures I’m suitable for?

It is ultimately the decision of the energy supplier to determine which measures are best; however, a home energy assessment with Residential Energy Services can make this process more accurate, relevant and efficient, to make sure you’re getting exactly the support you need.

Solar Panel UK Grants Eligibility


 

Am I eligible for a UK solar panel grant through ECO funding?

If you are a homeowner or private renter with an EPC rating of D or below, and you receive any of the ECO4 qualifying benefits, you should be eligible for support through ECO4.

Is the ECO scheme means tested?

If you claim means tested government benefits it is likely that the ECO scheme is for you. Check your eligibility before consulting with your energy supplier.

What benefits do I need to receive to get ECO funding?

If you receive at least one of the following government benefits the energy company obligation should be able to support you with new energy efficiency measures:

  • Child Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Pension credit saving credit

I already receive ECO funding, can I apply for a new grant?

If you have received support through previous schemes run by the government and your household still qualifies, you may still be eligible for funding. Our team of friendly advisors can help with this.

What EPC rating do I need to be eligible for ECO funding?

ECO4 funding applies to properties with an EPC rating of D or below and is means tested, meaning you will need to demonstrate receipt of particular benefits as part of the eligibility checking process.

I live in a rural area, am I eligible for ECO funding?

If you do not reside in a tax band area of A-D but you still have an EPC rating of D or below, you may still be eligible for ECO support. Check your eligibility with Residential Energy Services.

Is my home suitable for Solar PV?