1. What is PV?
  2. What is a kWh?
  3. How many panels will I need?
  4. What installation size can I fit on my roof?
  5. How long do panels last?
  6. Are your panels approved?
  7. What guarantees will I receive?
  8. I have been told I need monocrystalline panels because they are better.
  9. The technology is moving so fast, it might be worth waiting for new panels…?
  10. How are PV panels attached to the roof?
  11. Do PV panels need a lot of maintenance?
  12. What other renewable technologies work well with PV?
  13. How do I know you are selling the right system for my specific needs?
  14. I am renting a property. Would I be able to get PV panels installed?
  15. I have a thatched cottage. Could PV panels be installed on my roof?
  16. I have a loft conversion. Could I still have PV panels installed?
  17. I have got some shading, is that a problem?
  18. Do I need a South facing roof to have a PV system?
  19. Do I need planning permission?
  20. Do I need to inform Building Control?
  21. Are there schemes to help me get a solar installation on my property?
  22. What is FIT?
  23. Does my property need to comply with any special energy requirements before I can qualify for FIT?
  24. How long does the FIT last?
  25. Have the Feed in Tariff dropped now?
  26. Who will install the system?
  27. How long does a PV installation take?
  28. How much electricity will my PV installation generate?
  29. How Much Can I Save with Solar Energy?
  30. How long will it take before I see a return on my initial investment?
  31. How do I know I am using the power from my PV panels?
  32. Can I heat water with PV panels?
  33. What happens when there is not enough light?
  34. What happens if my PV panels are producing more than I am using?
  35. What happens in case of a power cut?
  36. What is the use of an inverter?
  37. Where is the best place to install inverters?
What is PV?

PV means Photovoltaic (“photo”=light, “voltaic”= electric). The Photovoltaic principle is to convert light into electricity. Note the word light, not sunlight: PV panels continue to produce electricity on cloudy days. However, the brighter the light, the higher the output will be from the PV panels.

What is a kWh?

A kWh is “kilo watt hour” which is the standard used in all electricity bills as a “unit”. All electrical appliances have a rating in kWh; an appliance rated at 1kW, will consume 1kWh (1 unit) for every hour it is on.

How many panels will I need?

PV panels can vary in efficiency so what matters is not how many panels you need but how much power you need. Domestic systems usually aim for 4kWp which is made up of 12 to 16 panels, depending on the panels chosen.

What installation size can I fit on my roof?

Grid connected systems start from around 1kW rating, this occupies approximately 8.2 square meters on your roof. Get in touch with our team to have a personalized advice: our experts will give you a detailed picture of the possibilities (array size, panels number) once they have information about your roof configuration.

How long do panels last?

PV panels gradually degrade over time. This also varies depending on the quality of the panel. Typically they will lose around 15% of their power over 25 years, with some high quality panels only degrading around 2.5% over 25 years.

Are your panels approved?

We are fully accredited with the Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS), to comply with the MCS accreditation we only use the very highest quality of materials which have MCS approval.

What guarantees will I receive?

UK ENERGY SOLUTION provides you a 25 year productivity guarantee for your panels, a ten-year insurance policy for roof-mounted photovoltaic installations, as well as a ten-year liability policy which covers our work up to 10 million euros. You will find all of our official certificates on your download page.

I have been told I need monocrystalline panels because they are better.

Monocrystalline panels give more power per square meter. This does not mean that the panel is better than a high quality polycrystalline panel. Many factors affect the quality of a panel, this is just one of them and efficiency is only a critical factor if you have a limited amount of space.

The technology is moving so fast, it might be worth waiting for new panels…?

There are constant advances in technology, however they are aimed more at using different materials, e.g. hiding PV technology in glass. These advances do not show any progress in efficiency so are unlikely to become mainstream or change dramatically the PV market at the moment.

How are PV panels attached to the roof?

We offer different mounting and integration systems for domestic roofs. Thanks to our brackets and plates the panels are fixed to the rafters of your roof, which ensures the fabric is free from loadings.

Do PV panels need a lot of maintenance?

PV panels require very little maintenance. If rain does not do the job, you can spray them with a hose a few times per year. You should make sure that there is nothing piled up on top of the solar panels which could block them from the sun.

What other renewable technologies work well with PV?

We are offering a variety of solutions to complement and optimize your PV installation: aerovoltaic, thermodynamics (e.g. heat pump), insulation… to save even more money on your heating and electricity bills, and better your home energy performance.

How do I know you are selling the right system for my specific needs?

Our teams have absolutely no financial motivation to push particular products because our salaries are not commission based. We have a passion for green energy and wish to offer customers a genuinely informed choice and a tailor-made solution that best suits their specific demands.

I am renting a property. Would I be able to get PV panels installed?

You would have to check with your landlord. Landlords are often interested as they can benefit from the Feed in Tariff, increase in property value and increase in rent thanks to the PV installation.

I have a thatched cottage. Could PV panels be installed on my roof?

There is currently no mounting system to put PV panels on thatched roofs. We are offering other solutions, like ground mounted PV systems.

I have a loft conversion. Could I still have PV panels installed?

Yes, PV panels can be fitted to a roof, even if there is no access to the loft.

I have got some shading, is that a problem?

Shading reduces the power output of PV panels. Severe shading, like a chimney right in front of panels, can also cause some long term damage. We can calculate what impact your shading will have on your installation and advise you of the best place for your panels to be installed.

Do I need a South facing roof to have a PV system?

No. PV panels work on light and all roofs have light shining on them. Many of our customers have fitted East or West facing systems and typically generate around 86% of the same roof should it be facing south.

Do I need planning permission?

If you’re in a listed building, or the panels are more than 200mm from your roof (e.g. ground mounted, a normal roof mount system is within 200mm of the roof) or a conservation area you will need planning permission. Note that the planners are very sympathetic to renewables as it is a necessity to reduce the UK’s CO2 footprint, so many of our customers have requested planning and had it granted.

Do I need to inform Building Control?

No, we will do that for you. We are accredited to notify all our work to Building Control.

Are there schemes to help me get a solar installation on my property?

The FIT (Feed in Tariff) is aimed at encouraging the installation of PV panels as it allows you to be paid for the electricity you generate. More info on FITs is available on the Energy Saving Trust website.

What is FIT?

FIT (Feed In Tariff) is the government-backed scheme which implies that your electricity supplier will pay you for every unit (kWh) that your system generates, whether you use it or if it goes back into the grid. More info on FITs is available on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Does my property need to comply with any special energy requirements before I can qualify for FIT?

Yes: properties are required to have an EPC grade D or above to get the full Feed In Tariff. We can check to see if your property has one. If you fall below a D grade, we can check to see if adding PV system will lift the grade to a D, advise on what other measures might help obtain a D and arrange for an EPC assessment if required.

How long does the FIT last?

You will get paid FIT for 20 years from the date you register. You will keep the rate from the date of registration with your energy supplier and the rate will also follow the RPI (Retail Price Index) each April, which means your investment retains its value.

Have the Feed in Tariff dropped now?

Yes, but the cost of PV systems is coming down too, so the Return On Investment for PV remains the same. The Government target is presently for a 8% ROI. The FIT is reviewed every 3 months, and many of these reviews result in no change to the FIT. If it does change then the reduction of FIT is no more than 3.5%.

Who will install the system?

We are employing our own fully qualified teams, from certified technicians to expert advisers so you will get a turnkey installation, set up and followed closely by our dedicated services.

How long does a PV installation take?

Domestic size PV systems take 1 to 2 days to install.

How much electricity will my PV installation generate?

The average household in the UK uses around 3200 kWh per year. Depending on when and how you use electricity at home, the pitch & orientation of your roof, the weather, the power of your panels… the production of your installation may fluctuate.

How Much Can I Save with Solar Energy?

Given that you have a 4kW solar system on a south facing roof, it can generate up to 3500 KWh. This means that you will receive around £590 from the generation and export tariff provided by the UK government. On top of that, you can save close to £250 from your electricity bill depending on your electric usage and habits. With a bit of information we can produce accurate bespoke forecasts.

How long will it take before I see a return on my initial investment?

Payback depends on many variables including quality of panels and inverters, your local weather conditions, shading, roof pitch and orientation. You can expect to pay a system off in 6 to 8 years.

How do I know I am using the power from my PV panels?

The inverter monitors grid voltage and ensures that the PV power into your system is put at a slightly higher voltage than the grid. If the inverter produces a higher voltage when you switch an electrical appliance on, it will naturally use the power from the panels first.

Can I heat water with PV panels?

It is possible as the PV electricity generated is connected to your domestic electricity system. Consequently you can have an immersion heater on this system to heat your water. However, we are offering more efficient aerovoltaic and thermodynamics solutions to complement and optimize your heating & PV system..

What happens when there is not enough light?

You will simply draw your electricity from the grid in the traditional way. However, remember that it does not have to be sunny to generate electricity.

What happens if my PV panels are producing more than I am using?

The excess energy of your installation will be sold back to the grid.

What happens in case of a power cut?

For the safety of linesmen who are repairing the fault, your inverter will need to shut down. We are providing efficient battery and storage solutions which can enable you to have back up power in the event of a power cut.

What is the use of an inverter?

The inverter transforms the DC (Direct) current from the panels into AC (Alternating) current necessary for your home and the grid. It is important that the correct type of inverter is used and that it is located in the right place, which is why we are very meticulous about inverter choice and placement.

Where is the best place to install inverters?

Inverters are electronic equipment so they’re best off being kept cooler. We usually recommend installing them in a garage, utility room, some models can also be mounted outside. We advise that the loft is a poor place to install the inverter as they can get very warm and thus reduce the inverter output and age its components quicker.