With renewable energy growing in popularity across the UK, there has never been a better time to have solar panels fitted to your property. Solar panels are environmentally friendly and can save you a great deal of money on your energy bills. Ideally the property should be south to south west facing and receive direct daylight for long periods of time. For example no overhanging trees and shadowing from other buildings. If you really think you know what you are doing then it is possible to fit the panels yourself. Alternatively you can hire someone to do it for you. You can go direct to a company that will plan the project, supply the panels and fit them for you or you could buy the panels online.
What do you need to know?
So if you decide you wish to buy the panels online you will need to have a very detailed plan ready. You cannot simply “click and buy” with solar panels. Whilst it is possible to make the actual purchase online you would need to be 100% sure you are buying the right kind of solar panels for you needs. You will need to work out how much energy your property consumes on average. You will need to work out exactly how much space is available and you need to make sure your existing roofing is suitable for the fitting of the panels.
Is your Property Suitable?
To find out if your property is entirely suitable for solar panels you may need to enlist the help of a professional who has had some experience with solar panelling. Your roof should be facing south to south west, nothing blocking the daylight from the roof. Check tiles and roof structure. These will need to be professionally assessed. The roof needs to be strong enough to hold the panels in place for a minimum of twenty five years. Asbestos roofs are not suitable and neither are lead roofs and property owners will need to find out if they need planning permission. This shouldn’t really be a problem as the government is keen for more and more households to have renewable energy resources fitted. If the property a listed building as this too might be a problem so it is advised that any person thinking of investing in a Solar Panel System should seek the advise of a trained surveyor before committing to the project.
Working out your Requirements
To work out how much energy the property consumes you need to measure the usage in KWh (Kilowatt Hour). The easiest way this can be done is to make use of an energy consumption device. Measure the usage for at least two weeks preferably not in mid summer when energy consumption will be at a low. Then compare the usage to the last two electricity bills you have received to work out an average usage. Measure the roof space to find out if you have enough room for all the panels. You might find that you have too much room and need fewer panels or lower efficiency panels than you first thought. Most companies, even online ones, will ask to see a copy of your plans first before they allow you to proceed and buy the panels.