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Domestic Solar FAQs

Solar PV Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a South-facing roof for Solar Panels?

Solar Panels work well on any roof facing South, SE or SW. Although your Solar Panels will perform better and produce more electricity if they are South facing, they will still perform at 86% (compared to South facing) either facing due East or West.

How much roof space do I need for Solar Panels?

Solar Panels can be fitted to your roof or on your land. Generally an 8-panel Solar PV system would be one of the smallest we would recommend and this could easily fit on the roof of an average 3-bed semi. Our popular SunPower panels generate the most energy per m2 so you can still get plenty of electricity from a smaller roof.

Do I need constant sunshine for my Solar Panels to work?

No, Solar Panels work in all daylight conditions and actually work at their optimum at 10ºc. In fact, if it gets too hot they start to become increasingly inefficient.

How do I compare different makes of Solar Panels?

Your panel choice will usually combine a number of factors including aesthetics, value for money, performance, track record and guarantees. Our engineers know the market and can advise you on the panels that will suit your needs.

What guarantees will my Solar Panels come with?

Your Solar Panels will come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of the panels’ performance. Different manufacturers offer different guarantees, with the more premium levels of protection usually associated with the more expensive panels. It’s wise to make sure you understand the guarantee before you purchase.

How long will my Solar Panels last for?

Solar PV systems have no moving parts apart from the inverter and as such have very long life spans. The inverter should last for over 10 years and may cost up to £1,000 to replace, however you can buy an extended 20 year warranty for as little as £300. You should expect the panels to last for at least 25 years.

How long does it take to install Solar Panels?

Most domestic Solar Panel installations take no more than a day with minimum disruption. Typically, the scaffolding will be erected a couple of days before the Solar PV installation team arrive. We will then mount the panels on the roof and install the inverter, finally carrying out the internal wiring.

Do Solar Panels need cleaning?

Solar panels are generally self-cleaning if positioned at an angle of over 15 degrees. However it is advised to visually inspect them annually and rinse if necessary. Most window-cleaning companies have a reach-and-wash system and should be able to clean your panels.

What ongoing service and maintenance do Solar Panels require?

It is recommended that your Solar Panels are checked and serviced every 2 years. We offer a standard service and maintenance package, which your local office can advise you on.

Is there a danger my Solar Panels will blow off the roof during a storm?

It’s highly unlikely, when we install the Solar PV panels we make sure they are securely attached to the fabric of the building using a roof hook and rail system. Our panels are always mounted at least 30cm in from the edge of the roof to prevent excessive wind loading. In the hurricane force winds of February 2014 not a single EnergyMyWay installed Solar panel blew off a roof.

How do Solar Panels connect to the electrical supply in my home?

The electricity produced by your Solar Panels is converted from DC (direct current) by the inverter to AC (alternating current), which your home is run on. The electricity is then taken from the inverter via an AC cable to your distribution board, where it is used to power the circuits in your home.

If I have Solar Panels can I come off grid?

Solar PV panels alone will not give you electricity 24 hours a day as they only produce electricity in daylight hours. You would need alternative energy sources or a battery system as well as Solar PV panels to be able to come off grid.

Will my Solar Panels work when there is a power cut?

If there is a power cut your inverter will switch off, which stops any generation from your Solar Panels entering the property. This is a safety feature to protect workers who may be repairing the grid. However, we can install a back-up system which will enable you to use your solar energy in a power cut.

Do I need to change my electricity meter to an export meter if I have Solar Panels?

Most electricity suppliers are not installing export meters in domestic properties. They assume that you will export 50% of the electricity produced and pay you for this however much you export to the grid.

How do I ensure my Solar Panels will qualify for the Feed-in Tariff?

EnergyMyWay are MCS accredited which means all our Solar Panel installations meet the government requirements for you to claim the Feed-in Tariff. We will issue you with a MCS certificate once the Solar PV installation has been completed and your system is fully functional. We then register your Solar PV installation and you will need to send your MCS certificate to your energy supplier so you can claim the Feed-in Tariff.

Have I missed out on the Feed-in Tariff?

No. It’s not too late to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff. There has been confusion about whether the Feed-in Tariff scheme had ended but its very much still going. Solar panel costs have fallen in line with Feed-in Tariff cuts, which means you are still able to get an excellent return on investment and your capital outlay is far less.