Solar Electricity, otherwise known as Solar Photovoltaic (Solar PV) uses energy from the sun to create electricity that can be used to run appliances, such as computers, washing machines and kettles.

A Solar PV system simply requires daylight to generate electricity and so still generates power on a cloudy day.

There are three main components in a Solar PV system:

Solar PV Panels – that use the energy from the sun’s rays to create electricity.

Inverter – which converts the electricity produced from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) (240V). AC 240v electricity is the same form of electricity as that supplied by the mains power grid.

System connections – which include simple cabling, safety switches and a display to monitor the system.

Solar PV systems produce no greenhouse gases when generating electricity, so you will be generating your own ‘green’ electricity.

Consequently, you will not only be reducing your electricity bills, but also helping to reduce the carbon footprint of your property.

A typical domestic system can save approximately 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, adding up to almost 30 tonnes over a system’s lifetime (Source: Energy Saving Trust January 09).

The majority of Solar PV systems are connected to the mains power grid through the property’s consumer unit.

With grid connected systems, electricity that is generated but not used is automatically exported back to the grid. This excess electricity can be sold back to your electricity supplier. Many different export/feed-in tariffs are available and it is best to speak to your supplier regarding any schemes offered which allows this.

Solar works best on buildings with roofs that face south, south east or south west.

Your home may not be suitable if large trees or buildings overshadow the roof (if the roof is in shadow for part of the day, the effectiveness of the system decreases)

Solar panels are not light and your roof must be strong enough to take their weight, especially if the panels are placed on top of existing tiles – our surveyor will assess this for you.

In some instances, planning permission may be required if you live in a conservation area or listed building. We would always recommend checking with your local planning authority first.

Typically, apart from seeking approval from your local planning authority, there are no special requirements needed before install.

If any modifications are required, such as modifying the consumer unit, these will be identified and advised of during the survey process.

 The technician must have full access to your Property.

The consumer unit, loft and roof areas will all need to be looked at in order to complete the survey process and have an appropriate system design.

Dust sheets will be laid down throughout the house to minimise any dust or debris, and our installers will thoroughly clear up before they leave.

An average domestic installation takes approximately two days to complete.

Work will take place both inside and outside the property. In this time all the roof works and installation, including commissioning of the system will be completed.

However, work could be delayed due toinclement weather.We will endeavour to keep to our schedule where possible but will keep you informed of any changes.

The installation team provide all of their own equipment including lights, ladders and scaffolding.

 The first silicon based Solar PV systems where developed in the 1950s, with installations being completed in the 1960s.

Some of these original systems are still in place and generating green energy today.

Therefore, a Solar PV system can last 40 years plus.

All our products come with a manufacturer’s power output Guarantee for a minimum of 20 years.

In addition to the manufacturer’s backed guarantee, which covers the equipment, you will receive a guarantee for the installation from the Consumer Protection Association (CPA). This will be applied for on your behalf and sent to you direct from the CPA. It can take up to 8 weeks from installation to be delivered.

The CPA is an independent non-profit guarantee agency. Its only function is to stand as guarantor for the promises set out in the guarantee. It has all the resources to meet the promises made in the guarantee. For further information see www.reiga.org.uk

Grid connected systems require very little maintenance, generally limited to ensuring that shade from trees or other obstructions does not become a problem. However, we do recommend that the wiring and system components are checked periodically by a qualified electrician.

Your system will be fully tested before we leave.

There are two key ways of getting the maximum benefit out of a Solar PV system.

The first is to reduce the amount of electricity required within the property, such as by using energy efficient light bulbs and switching any appliances off at the mains when not being used. By doing this your Solar PV system will become a larger contributor towards your electricity requirements.

The other approach is to use the electricity it produces as it is generated. Therefore using appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, irons and kettles during daylight hours is preferable as this is when the system is generating electricity.

Please contact us at any time to discuss your concerns. Most of these concerns can be resolved swiftly and efficiently so please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our EE Renewables operations team.

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