Frequently Asked Question

  • How can I tell how well my PV or wind system is performing?

    A power meter should be installed in your home as part of the system which tells you how much electricity you generate, how much you use and how much is then forwarded onto the grid.

  • Are solar panels only fitted onto a roof?

    No. Solar panels can also be fitted onto a vertical wall or onto a specially constructed frame in your garden.

  • Does shade affect solar panels?

    Shade reduces the energy absorbed by solar panels. For PV, partial shading of a module is a particular problem and should be avoided.

  • What happens to my solar PV system supply when there is no sunshine?

    On an overcast but light day your panels can produce energy up to around 25% of their full capacity. A period of no sunlight, however, will mean that you will need to use grid power to supplement your solar power. The length of time a solar system can work without sunlight depends very much on the nature of the system. If you are not connected to the grid you will need to supplement your solar power system in times of no sunlight by electricity from batteries (this could be excess you have not used but have chosen to store rather than sell), wind turbines or other energy producing sources.

  • Do solar panels provide central heating and hot water, or just hot water?

    In the UK, solar panels are not generally able to contribute significantly to central heating as well as hot water in winter.

  • If I move house, can I transfer my solar panels to the new property?

    This is not advisable as it would probably cost more to move your existing ones than to buy new ones. Also, solar panels can significantly increase the price you get for selling your existing home which would go towards new installation costs. The size and number of your existing panels may not be suitable for your new property.

  • Are renewable technology costs subject to VAT?

    Yes they are. However, renewable technologies currently attract only 5% VAT instead of the normal 20%.

  • Would insulating my property save me more money than using solar or wind power?

    Insulation should not be seen as an alternative to using renewable energy. Insulating your home will immediately give you savings as it reduces the amount of energy used. Renewable energy technology, such as solar panels, will give you savings over time especially if insulation has been installed, so they work best if both are used together.

  • Can I sell any extra electricity I produce?

    Yes, you can sell your surplus energy to an energy company. They will be able to advise you on price (usually between four and eleven pence per kWh) and payment schemes. Some companies offer fixed regular payments for your surplus electricity. If you are not on the grid it may be possible to store your unused electricity in batteries.

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