Solar PV FAQ
All your Solar PV questions answered
Yes, if you have a roof that faces South, South-East, South-West, East, or West then you will be able to fit a viable solar PV system.
It is very rare to require planning permission for a Solar PV system. If you live in a listed building or a registered conservation area then planning permission will be required.
There is plenty of solar radiation in the UK to make a PV system viable. The further South you move in the country the more solar power you can generate. We are lucky to operate mostly in the South West where solar radiation is plentiful.
For most of the year in the UK, your solar pv system will be able, on average, to produce all the power you need to run your home day and night, if your system includes battery storage.
The usable area of your roof will directly affect how much output can be produced by a solar PV system. Naturally, a bigger roof will produce more energy, however high output panels can be used to increase outputs from smaller roofs.
A typical south facing 4kW solar PV system will generate around 4000kWh per year, which is more than the average UK home consumes in a year.
Your energy bill will tell you how many kWh of electricity you typically use per year. From this you can work out how much of this you can replace with your own solar power.
One of our full time employed, non-commission based surveyors will visit your home, to take more exact readings of your homes orientation, pitch of roof, shade factors, roof strength. We will also asses your fuse box for connection suitability, and determine the internal location of the required inverter. The geometry of the roof itself is the critical factor, as it determines how many panels you can fit on the roof, and as a result the cost to achieve a system of the size you desire.
The survey is required not only to be able to properly asses you property in term of being able to give you an accurate quote, but also adhere to the MCS (renewable energy installation governing body’s) standards, which requires us to give you the customer the most accurate data possible on how effective the proposed system will be.
Unlike most solar companies we are completely against the use of the typical hard sell techniques used by so many solar firms. We cannot stress enough that it isn’t an untrained commission based hard sell sales rep that will be visiting your home, but rather a fully trained technical surveyor who is there to give you the information required and answer any questions you may have.
The whole survey process should take less than 60 minutes.
Yes. You choose any brand of solar panels that you would like. We will recommend a selection of options when we provide you with your solar PV quote. We have a list of recommended panels for different situations, aesthetics, and outputs, however we are happy to install any specific panels you may want.
We are not tied in to any one manufacturer, so are happy to provide unbiased advice on what panels may be most suitable for your needs. Our opinions are based on the experience of our installers and our knowledge of the products available.
At Completely Green, we are happy to be flexible and will install any brand of panel you may want for your home.
This will of course vary depending on the size of system installed, as well as factors such as the direction of your roof. It also will depend on whether you decide to include battery storage or an immersion controller with your system, as these will greatly increase your ability to self-consume the power you generate.
Using a Solar PV system you will be producing your own electricity you can use in your home, thus greatly reducing the amount of electricity you need to buy in from your current electricity supplier.
We can advise on the right size of system for your home and lifestyle further to surveying as well as examining your electrical usage, the aim being to save you as much as possible in line with your renewable goals and within the confines of what is possible with your property and budget. The key is maximising your self consumption of the power you generate and we can advise you on techniques and equipment to help you do so.
As well as saving the amount of electricity you need to pay for you will also be eligible to earn extra revenue through the Feed in Tariff scheme.
As well as the savings you can make by needing less electricity from your supplier, you will also be paid an amount per kWh of electricity you produce through your solar PV system. The Feed in Tariff (FIT) rates are currently degressing regularly, so please do get in touch so we can let you know what is the likely rate your will be able to receive at the time.
This FIT per kWh rate is paid to you even if you use the electricity you use yourself in your home. You are effectively getting paid for doing your bit to help the environment – it’s a thank you from the government for being a part of the solution to the planets problems rather than being a continued user of the non-sustainable energy produced by the big power companies.
There is also the additional Export Tariff, which is paid on 50% of the electricity your system generates, based upon the assumption (non-metered) that half the electricity you produce isn’t used and is fed back into the national grid. You will be paid this 50% figure even if you consume 100% of the electricity you produce.
For current Solar PV installations these payments are fixed for the next 20 years, and on their own go a long way to repay your initial investment.
This will depend very much on the size of the system installed and the property it is installed on as well as your lifestyle and electrical consumption levels and pattern, but we can give you a detailed estimate further to our site survey or calculations from your building plans.
To get a rough estimate, please use the Energy Saving Trust calculator on the following link (http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/tools-calculators/solar-energy-calculator) to work out what you are likely to earn and save. The calculators used are on independent government backed sites, so you can rest assured that the estimates they give are completely achievable, as opposed to the unrealistic calculators you may see on some commercial sales sites.
There is no need for you to do anything. As your MCS installer, Completely Green will take care of everything for you, and we will make arrangements with Ecotricity – our preferred FIT payment provider, on your behalf.
Solar panels require no maintenance and come with a self-cleaning coating. As there are no moving parts, there is nothing to worry about servicing or replacing. We can offer a servicing inspection service, but this does not need to be done annually. The only component likely to need replacing in the life of the system is the inverter which should only be replaced once it has failed, which will be many years down the line.
Yes, there will still be solar radiation reaching your panels on cloudy days, but it will be much less than on a sunny day. Naturally, you will make the most power on clear, sunny days, where your system will be able to generate potentially enough to run your home for the day in just a few hours of good sunshine.
Yes you can as they provide electricity that can be used anywhere in the home, including your immersion heater. You can also add an immersion controller to your system, that will divert some of your unused electricity directly to heating your water tank, offering a very efficient usage of your solar produced electricity.
Very little. The vast majority of the work is done outside of the house, and the internal components and wiring take up very little space. A typical install can be completed within 2 days, and we will ensure that any scaffolding required is removed immediately following the completion of the install.
You can rest assured that our installers are polite and professional, efficient and clean and tidy – the very best around.
Typically we can have a system installed and up and running on your house within 2 weeks to a month from order confirmation, but we will always try and fit around your requirements and will always try and get it done sooner if you need us to. Equally if you wish to order more than a month before you would like it installed we can delay installation until whatever date you request.
This very much depends on your energy usage primarily, but also on your budget, and how big your roof is. The bigger the system you can afford and can accommodate, the greater your potential long term savings and independence from grid purchased electricity.
There are also economies of scale in play with the fitting, which means that the bigger the system the better value it becomes. We would suggest around a 3-4kWh system should be the target size of system for a family home, as this size of system presents very good value, and also a very good return on investment potential. If you also run an electric vehicle you may wish to have a larger system.
Conservative estimates for the current standard of the technology and the high standard of the panels that we install, you should expect a system life span of at least 30 years +. Solar PV systems that were installed in the 1960’s are still working today, over 50 years on.
We are MCS accredited and members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, and use only our installers and surveyors. We guarantee a top level service from start to finish, with your balance payment only due when you are 100% satisfied with the install.
We use the best quality equipment and panels always, for extra piece of mind, and warranty our installation work for 2 years.