Frequently Asked Questions

Below are our FAQ’s. These questions are ones we believe you will want to know the answer to, so rather than repeat ourselves to customers over and over again, we put them altogether for you here. Please feel free to contact us, if there is a question not listed, which you need to know the answer to. We shall continue to update this page as other questions (not already listed) are asked of us.

About PV Solar Panels

  • What are PV Panels?

    PV, standing for Photovoltaic, are panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity that can be used to run appliances and lights. PV cells generate energy even when it is overcast and cloudy as they absorb scattered light.

  • How are PV Panels fitted?

    Our PV panels can be mounted on a roof or ground mounted. For optimum performance, the roof should ideally be south facing, or near to at an angle of 30 degrees with the horizontal. The panels produce DC lectricity, so a small inverter will be fitted inside the house, to hange the DC into AC (used in all normal homes and the Grid). Installation is clean, with minimal disruption and no extra space needed indoors.

  • Will it supply all my electricity?

    The average household consumption is 3300 kWh per year. The 2kWp system would supply nearly 50% of annual consumption. A 4kWp system could provide all electricity needs depending on consumption for the average household.

  • How does a photovoltaic cell actually work?

    Solar PV systems consist of modular panels made of silicon, which react directly to sunlight by generating electric current. An inverter changes the DC (direct current) generated by the panels into AC (alternating current).

About Feed In Tariffs

  • What is the Feed-in Tariff?

    The Feed In Tariff, or Clean Energy Cashback Scheme as its also known as began in April 2010. For every unit a PV system generates up to 4kWp, the Government will pay 41.3p (36.1p for a new building).  For systems up to 10kWp the tariff is 36.1p and up to 100kW the tariff is 31.4p and 29.3p up to 5MW. Once you install, your feed-in tariff is secure for 25 years and will increase with RPI/inflation. More information can be found at Feed In Tariffs.

  • I’ve heard you can sell back to the National Grid? Is this true?

    Yes, you heard right.  The April 2010 Feed-in Tariff will pay a premium on every unit of electricity generated by PV panels with an additional bonus for every unit of electricity exported back to the National Grid. This is paid for everythign you generate regardless of whether you use it in the property. This Tariff will be administered by Ofgem. Electricity suppliers will be responsible for paying the reward to customers. Check out Feed In Tariffs for more information.

  • Is any TAX payable on income I earn from the Feed In Tariffs for my Domestic Property?

    Simply put, No! In December 2009, HMRC announced that tax will not be payable on income from the feed-in tariff for domestic PV installations. However, Commercial installations will pay tax at the applicable rate.

Costing & Electricity Supplies

Planning and Maintenance

  • Do I require Planning Permission?

    Most domestic properties in England and Scotland do not require planning permission before installation of PV Solar Panels. Those in Conservation Areas, listed buildings and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or World Heritage Areas must consult local Planning Departents.  Wales are reviewing planning permission requirements, some areas do not require permission, contact your local planning department. Non residential buildings still require planning consent.

  • How does a photovoltaic cell actually work?

    Solar PV systems consist of modular panels made of silicon, which react directly to sunlight by generating electric current. An inverter changes the DC (direct current) generated by the panels into AC (alternating current).

  • How long will a typical domestic installation take?

    For an average domestic system, the installation process rarely takes more than 2-3 days, with minimal disruption. Scaffolding is required for work on the roof, and is included in the price we quote. For larger commercial PV installations, we can work within required deadlines as necessary.

  • Do PV Panels Work In The UK?

    Generally temperatures above room temperature reduce the efficiency of PV Solar Panels, making the UK a good climate for PV technology.  The panels require ambient light rather than direct sunlight to generate electricity so they work even on overcast days.

  • What is the Installation Process – what do I need to do?

    For a domestic system we supply, install and test all of the equipment, we arrange the scaffolding, notify your district network operator and will provide you with all the warranties and certifications you require to receive the feed-in tariff (more commonly known as Clean Energy Cashback Scheme. All you will need to do is contact your electricity supplier and ask for a Microgeneration pack and then relax whilst we do the rest. Once installed, you will have all the information to fill in your pack and send back to your supplier to receive your feed-in tariff.