Solar photovoltaics (PV) panels can be a great idea for your home to help produce your own electricity, reduce your reliance on power from the National Grid and reduce your energy bills.
Installing solar panels is a relatively straight forward process if you hire a professional installation company and it won’t take long before you start to reap the rewards of installing solar panels on your roof or property.
But there are a few considerations you have to keep in mind before making the decisions on installing solar panels.
In this quick guide we’ll take you through a couple of things to think about before making the investment.
Do you need planning permission to install solar panels on your property?
For the most part installing solar panels on your property are considered a ‘permitted development’ and won’t require you to get planning permission from the council.
There can be some exceptions though particularly if you live in a listed building or a building with certain protections, or if you live within the borders of a national park of conservation area where installing solar panels would change the look or impede on the area.
In these situations, you could require planning permission before going ahead with an installation.
The best thing to do is check the planning rules and regulations of your local council.
Do you need to register your solar panels?
Because you’ll be adding a separate source of electricity into your home you might need to register your new solar panels as a device with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) – although your installer could do this for you.
Depending on the circumstances of your installation you may need to register your solar panels before the installation, or it could be done afterwards.
Registering your solar panels before an installation
If your connection is deemed to be a ‘apply to connect’ project then you or your installer will have to submit engineering recommendation forms (G99) to the DNO prior to the installation. This is required to make sure the installation is safe and won’t impact the operation of the existing electricity network.
Once the applications have been submitted you should expect a reply within 45 days for low voltage energy devices and 65 days for high energy voltage devices.
If these applications are approved you can go ahead with the project.
Registering your solar panels after the installation
If your project is considered a ‘connect and notify’ project, then you can install your solar panels and then you’ll need to submit an application form (G98) to the DNO within 28 days of the installation date.
Do you have the space and location for solar panels?
One of the main considerations before installing solar panels is if you’ll have the space to install a system that will deliver you the benefits needed to justify the investment, and also how the position of your home or land could impact the efficiency of the system once it’s installed.
A ‘standard’ installation will take up about 25m2 of space on your roof or land.
If you can’t install this size of project then you might not get the full benefits.
You also need to consider the position of your solar panels and how this relates to where you’ll get the most light during the day (and the most energy production as a result).
Ideally you want to put your panels in a South facing position to get the best production of electricity.
You should also consider whether you’ll have any obstructions that could block the amount of direct sunlight your new solar panels are exposed to.
Any buildings, chimneys, trees (or any other obstructions) could produce shade that could reduce the performance of your solar panels.
Benefit from reduced electricity prices with professionally installed solar panels
If you want to reduce your reliance on the national grid for your electricity, reduce your environmental impact and also reduce your energy bill, installing solar panels on your home can be ideal.
Any installation should be carried out by a professional team.
At Downtown Electrical we have a full team of qualified, registered electrical engineers and installation experts who can advise you on every step of your solar panel PV installation.
We can help you find the right place to install your solar panels and help ensure you submit all the relevant documents or applications so your project runs smoothly.
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