Solar Panels: What You Need To Know

Solar Panels: What You Need To Know

For many people who are trying to find a way to live in a more ecologically friendly way, along with reducing their energy bills, fitting solar panels to the roof seems like a great idea. Not only will you be generating some, or all, of the electricity that you use in your house, but also any extra electricity that your panels generate can be sold back to the national grid to earn you money back. So what do you need to know if you are thinking of installing solar panels onto your home?

There are actually 2 types of solar panels

In this article we will be talking about photovoltaic solar panels (Solar PV’s), which convert the sun’s energy into electricity that can be used to power your domestic appliances and lighting etc. The other type are solar thermal panels, which covert the sun’s energy into heat to provide some, or all, of your home’s hot water requirements. If your roof is big enough it may be possible to install both of these types of solar panels.

Your house needs at least a D Grade Energy Performance Certificate

When assessed all houses will have an Energy Performance Certificate ranging between A and G. If your home is assessed at an E grade or less then you will only be able to sell any excess electricity back to the grid at £0.87p/kWh, whereas houses rated A-D can sell their electricity back at 4.39p/kWh. These are the rates set by the government and are fixed for 20 years once you’ve registered. If your home does rate below a D grade then it might be worth making the necessary improvements to increase its grade before installing solar panels.

You need an unobscured south facing roof

Although solar panels collects the sun’s energy from daylight, rather than the amount of sunshine, it will still pay to have a south facing roof to install the panels on to get the full benefit. A south-west facing roof will still get some value, but it is also important that your roof is not shaded by trees or other large buildings between the hours of 10.00am-4.00pm. It is also worth noting that the further south you live, the more money you can make, as the further north you are the less daylight you get. For example the Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average home in London can make approx. £325 per year, compared to £280 per year in Edinburgh.

For more information on installing solar panels on your home, contact the experts at Future Energy Trust today.

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