5 Questions to ask your SOLAR installer
Don’t hurt your investment by making snap decisions. Spend time researching and understanding your options to address all the questions before you choose a solar installer. Here are a few frequently asked questions that will help you get on track with what is right or wrong when it comes to solar PV systems.
What is my overall expected generation and how much will this earn me per year?
The amount of electricity you generate per year will be largely affected by a number of different factors — some of them controllable, such as the size of your solar panel system, and others less so. For example, the time of year, shading on your roof or the orientation and pitch of your roof.
The size of your PV solar system is the most important factor and the only one you can fully control. The most common domestic installation is a 3.5kW system, which is typically made up of around 12 panels. A smaller 1kW system usually comes with only 2 panels.
The second most important factor is the direction your roof faces and the angle of the roof. To achieve optimum performance, your panels should be facing south on a 35-degree angle.
If your roof experiences any shading it will affect the amount of electricity your system generates.
The time of year is an important factor, too. Remember that solar panels produce electricity from light, not heat, so it will generate energy all year round. However, in spring and summer, when daylight hours are longer, the output will be higher.
A typical residential solar PV system working at peak capacity will generate up to 3,400kWh of clean electricity per year, which translates roughly into £306 in the first-year earnings.
You can work out the approximate amount of electricity you may generate on your property by using the following equation:
- Take the number of square meters of solar panel on your property and multiply it by 1000;
- Then multiply the figure you get by the solar system’s efficiency rating;
- Then multiply the resultant figure by the number of sunshine hours in your area.
For example: 3 square meter panel x 1000 = 3000; 3000 x 0.20 (20% efficiency rating) = 2400; 2400 x 3 hours of sunshine = 7,200 Watt per day.
Will my solar installation come with any guarantees?
There are several critical things you need to look at before making a decision. When choosing your solar installer, ensure they are MCS accredited. If they’re not, you’ll be losing on two accounts: you won’t qualify for the Feed-In Tariff and won’t get a 2-year workmanship guarantee on your solar installation. Take the time to check their accreditations.
Choosing a solar provider that sells tier 1 panels will secure a 25-year performance guarantee from the manufacturer, protecting your investment from uncommon risks.
Finally, if you are eligible to receive FIT payments, your system will be registered and the tariff levels will be guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and index-linked.
Will I be on deemed export?
Most certainly. All residential solar installations in the UK are currently on deemed export, which means your energy supplier will pay you extra for each unit of clean energy you export back to the grid.
Do I have to pay for it all up front or can I buy it on finance?
Most solar installers offer finance packages to ease the investment and Moixa is no different. We offer various finance options; however, it is subject to application.
Can I add battery storage and save myself more money?
Yes, you can (and we recommend that you do). Battery storage can help you use more of the free electricity you generate, saving you money off your energy bills and further reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, when you buy battery storage and a PV solar system together as a bundle, you get it at a 5% VAT as well as an extra discount on the installation.
What about my EPC?
To be eligible for the highest Feed-In tariff* rate, your property needs to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of band D or higher. It’s critical to install your panels after your EPC assessment to know exactly what you will be earning, so make sure your solar installer is aware of your EPC status. The lower FIT rate is 0.34p/kWh and the higher FIT rate is about 3.93p/kWh.
Information correct at the time of publishing
*The Feed-in-Tariff is now closed.