Solar PV offers a very attractive Return on Investment (ROI). The payback for Solar PV can be as little as six or seven years. By generating your own electricity, you are also future-proofing your home against hikes in the cost of electricity.
This technology is also an eligible measure under the Government’s Green Deal, which lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on energy bills.
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Solar electricity systems capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells don't need direct sunlight to work - they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day – but generate more electricity in stronger the sunshine. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer.
Solar panels are lightweight and highly adaptable. Ideally, you need a south, south-east or south west facing roof space that isn’t shaded. Even the smallest space can generate a worthwhile amount of electricity but we wouldn’t recommend installing panels on north facing roofs.
Feed in Tariffs (FIT) pay you for the electricity you generate through solar panels and the surplus electricity you export to the grid. Once your system has been registered, the payments are guaranteed for the period of the tariff and are index-linked.
To qualify for the FIT, the system and the installer must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification scheme. Pure Renewables is accredited to the MCS scheme and will ensure you are registered to claim the FIT. The FIT is paid by the energy suppliers with the 'big six' energy suppliers required by law to provide these payments.
Generally, installations fall under permitted development rights so planning permission is not required but always check first.
Solar panels are robust and carry warranties of 5-10 years, depending on the manufacturer. They are also guaranteed to perform at no less than 80 per cent of their original performance outputs up for up to 25 years.
Solar PV panels have no moving parts and need little maintenance - you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. Panels are mounted at an angle and in most cases rain water is sufficient to keep them clean and ensure optimal performance.