4 Ways to Ensure You Get Efficient Solar Panels
August 9th, 2017
Solar PV is getting more and more popular. Installing solar panels is a fantastic way to generate your own energy and money. But if you’re thinking about doing it, it’s important to make sure you get the most efficient solar panels you can.
This is more difficult than simply purchasing panels with the highest efficiency rate. Keep reading to find out 4 ways to ensure you get efficient solar panels.
1. Decide on a budget
One of the first things you need to do when looking for efficient PV panels is decide on a budget. It’s not as simple as choosing to hand over whatever you need to for the top ones – the highest performing solar panels (typically 40 – 50%) will cost way too much. Rather, create a rough figure of how much you want to spend and do some research to see what it’ll get you.
2. Decide when you want to start earning a profit
It’s also important to think about when you want to start earning a profit with your solar panels.
If you plan to move out of your home sometime in the future or want to make cash from your panels as quickly as possible, blowing your budget isn’t ideal. Generally, the more you invest the more efficient your panels will be. But the more you spend upfront, the longer it’ll take to feel the financial benefit of the Feed-in Tariff and energy bill savings.
If long-term benefit is your aim, then buy the most efficient panels you can. But if your needs are more short-term, consider investing a bit less.
3. Think about space
It’s essential to think about space when solar panel shopping. Initially, work out how much space you have for panels in square metres. If you have limited room then it’s sensible to have a look at more efficient and expensive photovoltaic panels to increase your output. But if you have lots of space then it may be more cost-efficient to get more lower-efficiency panels to generate the energy level you need.
4. Take the time of year into account
The time of year may also affect you when you’re looking for efficient solar panels. If your goal is long-term advantage then when you install your panels is more than likely irrelevant. However, if you want to maximise your short-term photovoltaic panel performance, then attempt to install them in early spring. There are longer daytime hours in the spring and summer, so your panels will produce more energy.
Using these 4 steps should help you to find efficient solar panels that work with your budget and timescale.
Solar panel installers are great people to consult about prices and panel types. Complete our online form and we’ll put you in touch with up to 4 local MSC-certified contractors.
Solar Panels: Do you Need Planning Permission?
July 17th, 2017
Solar photovoltaic panels can be a terrific monetary investment that will reduce your electrical power costs and earn you money. They’re similarly a smart idea if you wish to minimise your carbon emissions.
However, you do need to ensure that your proposed domestic photovoltaic panel setup follows planning policies prior to you proceeding. Something you might need to do is look for planning permission.
The good news is, planning standards aren’t as complex as they might first appear and on numerous ocassions planning approval isn’t really needed. Read on to discover more about planning permission and whether you need it for your domestic solar panel setup.
Exactly what’s Planning Permission?
Obtaining planning permission is a process that you might have to go through before doing specific kinds of building work. To get planning approval, you’ll need to finish an application and send it to your local planning authority.
When your local planning authority has received your application, they’ll take a look at if the work you want to do needs planning permission. If it does, they’ll consult legislation and decide whether to grant it to you. Whether you’re authorised planning permission or not might depend upon the size, appearance, usage and access of the proposed work. Your local authority will similarly consider how it will affect individuals residing in the area.
Do I need planning permission for solar panels?
With photovoltaic panels, on many occasions planning permission isn’t needed. This is due to the fact that they’re considered as a permitted development, which is really handy. This does not indicate that there aren’t limitations though, so you still have to take care about how you proceed with your setup.
If you’re establishing solar panels on your roof or wall and don’t want to apply for planning permission, you need to ensure that:
- They aren’t higher than the highest part of the roof
- They don’t protrude more than 20cm from the roof system or wall
- They’re not installed on a structure that remains in the premises of a listed building or monument
- If the house is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site, the panels aren’t on a wall fronting a roadway
- The setup affects the look of the structure as little as possible
- Any unnecessary equipment is removed as rapidly as possible
If you’re setting up stand alone solar panels and do not want to apply for planning authorisation, you require to ensure that:
- The setup is no higher than 4m and covers no greater than 9m²
- The setup is at least 5m from the property boundary
- The panels aren’t established within the boundary of a listed building or monument
- If the property is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site and there’s a highway surrounding your land, the panels are no closer to the road than the house is
- There are no pre-existing solar panel setups on the land
- The setup doesn’t limit access to or the use of any buildings on the land plot
- Any unneeded equipment is removed as rapidly as possible
If your solar panel installation isn’t going to adhere to any of these constraints then you’ll have to apply for planning approval.
How can I request planning permission?
You can request planning permission through your local authority’s site. If you’re not exactly sure who your local authority is, you can make use of the government’s handy tool to learn.
If you aren’t 100% sure whether you require planning consent or not, it doesn’t hurt to contact your local planning authority and find out. You’ll have to pay a charge to get planning permission, however there’s no charge for simply getting advice. Alternatively, your solar panel installer can seek planning permission for you. Use our service to get up to 4 quotes.
Do You Need a 1kW Solar Panel System on Your Roof?
June 5th, 2017
Producing your own renewable energy is something that more and more people are starting to do. Many property owners generate renewable energy to lower their carbon emissions. There are also plenty of financial incentives to do so.
Fitting solar panels is a pretty simple way to start producing renewable energy for your home. They attach to your roof and use energy from the sun to make electricity.
The 1kW system is one type of solar panel installation available for domestic use. But should you install one on your roof? We’ve compiled an advantages and disadvantages guide to help you decide. (more…)
4 Reasons to Choose a 4kW Solar Panel System
May 4th, 2017
A solar panel system is a great way to generate your own electrical energy and do your own bit for the environment. But before you buy one, you need to be certain that you get the right system.
Home solar panel set ups include 1kW, 2kW, 3kW and 4kW systems. The 4kW solar panel system is the one that will generate the most electricity and ensure you get the largest amount of money. But is it the right size system for your roof?
To help you decide, we have put together all of the the 4kW system’s advantages and disadvantages.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Evacuated Tube Solar Panels
April 10th, 2017
Evacuated tube solar energy panels are the most expensive but most efficient type of water heating solar panels. They have got a conversion rate of 90%, which means they create a lot more heat compared to other forms of solar thermal panels.
British Science Week: Find Out How Solar Panels Work
March 7th, 2017
Nowadays, solar panels are a common sight. You can see them installed on people’s roofs all around the UK. These are photovoltaic, or PV, solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity.
If you’re thinking about installing PV solar panels or even already have them, it is handy to know about solar power, panels and cells.
As it is British Science Week, we thought we’d take the chance to give you a bit of info about PV solar panels and how they operate. (more…)
5 Reasons you Should Get Solar Panels Right Now
June 20th, 2016
The government needs 10 million homeowners to have solar panels on their roofs if they are going to meet their renewable energy targets by 2020. That’s why it is paying homeowners for each unit of electricity they produce with their solar panels.
But this incentive, known as the Feed-in Tariff, has a threatened future. Experts now say that solar panels pay for themselves in energy bill savings due to the cost of installation falling by 10% each year.
5 Reasons to Go Solar before the end of the Year
October 28th, 2015
If the government is to fulfil its renewable energy targets, the UK should have 10 million homes with solar panels before 2020. Since 2010, the government has encouraged homeowners to buy solar panels by offering tax-free cash earnings through the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs). But that is about to change.
From 1st January 2016, the government is planning to cut the FITs by a huge 87%. This means that homeowners that choose to install solar panels after this date will only get 1.63p/kWh, compared to the 12.47p/kWh they can get currently.
ACT NOW: TIME RUNNING OUT TO BENEFIT FROM FITS
August 28th, 2015
The Department for Energy and Climate Change is proposing to slash the Feed-in Tariff rates for solar PV systems by 87%.
The Government published its review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs) today, and is proposing deep cuts to all bands from 1st January 2016. Consumers can expect to earn 1.63p per kWh for a 0-10kW system from next year, which is a huge cut to the 12.92p/kWh for a 4kW system currently available until 30th September. If these new cost control measures are ineffective, the Feed-in Tariff scheme could be axed altogether.
What is the Feed-in Tariff?
July 10th, 2015
The Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs) is a Government scheme that allows you to get money from your energy supplier if you install an electricity-generating technology from a renewable or low-carbon source. Your energy supplier will pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it yourself. You can then sell any leftover energy back to the grid. You’ll also reduce your energy bills, because you’re producing your own electricity.