Important: The first thing you’ll need to figure ou is whether or not solar is right for you.
There are a few factors you’ll need to consider:
- Roof SizeThe minimum size system that most companies in the UK will install is a 1kW system. A 1kW system is comprised of about 4 or 5 panels, with each panel measuring around 1.6m x 0.8m. If you can’t see yourself fitting this many panels on your roof, then solar probably isn’t for you. Have a look at some solar panel photos to get an idea of how they’ll look on your roof.
- Do you own the property?If not, then solar probably isn’t worth it due to the investment required, unless your landlord is willing to come to the party and make an investment on your behalf.
- ShadeYour roof needs to receive direct sun between the hours of 10am and 2pm for the majority of the year. If this isn’t the case, consider whether pruning some trees might help. You can check out the shading on your roof by using Google Earth, which allows you to see many different aerial photographs of your house at different times of day and year. You can download it here.
- Direction of your roofIt used to be the case that your panels were best facing true south, but that isn’t always the case. You can generate acceptable returns by placing your panels east, south or west or anywhere in between.
Roof Direction Orientation North Bad North East Bad North West Bad East Fair West Fair South West Good South East Good South Perfect
If you live in a conservation area or in a listed building, you might need to check with your local council to determine whether or not you’ll need planning permission.
- Energy Performance CertificatesTo receive the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), at the standard rate for Solar PV, your property will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of band D or better. You can read more about the Energy Performance Certificate here.
In summary, if you:
- Have room for at least 5 panels on your roof.
- Don’t have too much shade over your roof between 9am and 3pm.
- You own the property.
- You plan on being in the house longer than 3 years.
Good News: Your home is ready for a solar investment.