Installing solar panels on your roof allows you to generate free, clean energy while reducing your bills and helping the environment. PV solar panels are becoming increasingly common across the UK as more people begin to understand the huge benefits that they bring. However, before you invest, it is a good idea to ask a few key questions to help you to decide whether they are right for your home.
Here are some of the questions that you should be asking before you make an investment in solar power.
1. Is Your Roof Suitable?
The first most obvious question you have to ask is whether you have a suitable roof to take advantage of solar PV panels. Solar panels produce the most electricity when they are installed on roofs that face south. However, your roof does not have to face directly south to generate electricity. You can still install PV panels on your roof even if it does not face mainly south, but the result is that it will generate less free electricity for you.
Another issue you have to consider is whether your roof is strong enough. Solar panels are quite heavy, so if you have a weak roof that cannot hold their weight it will not be safe to install them. If you do not know whether your roof is strong enough or not, always ask a specialist to find out.
2. Do You Require Planning Permission?
The majority of buildings in the UK will not require planning permission in order to get solar panels installed. However, there is a chance that you may need to, and this is most likely to happen if you live in a listed building or within a conservation area. The size of the PV panels themselves may also affect whether you need planning permission or not, so always find out before investing in your panels.
3. Can You Afford Solar Panels?
Solar panels require a large initial investment, and can cost anything from £5,000 upwards for an average system that produces about 4kW. Prices vary, but this is a good average. If you cannot afford to pay for yours outright, however, you may be able to take advantage of the government’s Green Deal, where you will pay for the panels in the years following their installation through the savings that you make on your electricity bills.
4. What Type of Building Do You Live In?
It may be more difficult to install solar PV panels if you live in an apartment, a property with a flat roof or a small terraced house without much roof space. If you live in such a property, always ask a specialist in solar panels before you buy your system so that they can advise you on whether your property is suitable.
Choose Solar Power for Free, Clean Energy
There is nothing better than generating your own energy from the sun by using PV solar panels. However, despite all the benefits, they are not always suitable for every home. To find out whether solar panels are right for you, consider asking the questions above before you make the investment, as these will help you to make the right decision in your circumstances.