10 Things To Consider Before Installing Solar PV

1. Are You Energy Efficient?
Are you currently as energy efficient as you can be? This can range from having the recommended levels of insulation to using the most energy efficient light bulbs. Your PV Installer should give you advice on energy conservation Solar Panels Perth in your home

2. Check Out The Financials
There is no doubt that the Feed In Tariffs have provided an excellent Return On Investment for anyone investing in Solar PV. In fact many commentators assert that with up to a 10% return it would be foolish to leave your money in the bank. However there is an up-front cost with systems ranging from £8,000 to £13,000 and typically you will need 25% as a deposit and the balance when your system is commissioned.

3. Is Your Roof Suitable?
You can read a full account of ‘Is My Property Suitable For Solar PV’ but in essence you need a south, south west or south east facing roof to make your project viable. You can save a lot of time by getting a FREE Desktop Survey where we can answer any potential issues your property positioning may have.

4. Are There Shading Issues?
This is not necessarily a deal breaker as there are many things an experienced installer can do to mitigate any loss of voltage caused by shading. And once again a desktop survey and a chat with a knowledgeable engineer will give you the answers you require.

5. Is My Current Electrical System Good Enough For Solar PV Connection?
This is something for a site visit where a qualified electrician will assess your system. Whilst the majority are fine it may well be that you need a minor upgrade to say your fuse box for example. All electrical work will done at the point of installation and this is usually a low cost issue.

6. How Long Are You Planning On Keeping The Property?
As the owner of the property you receive the feed In Tariff and the Export Tariff from your electricity provider. This clearly determines the pay-back time on your investment. If you have any plans to sell the property in the next 5 – 10 years you really need to get your calculator working to crunch the numbers

7. What Value Will Solar Add To My Property?
The honest answer is that no one really knows. I hear figures of 8 – 10% but in recessionary times and falling house prices I would tend to discount these figures quite substantially. However all things being equal selling a property with reduced electricity bills and a guaranteed income for the remainder of the 25 Years FIT’s must be a pretty good sales incentive

8. Do I Need Planning Permission?
As of the 6th April 2008 Solar Installations became ‘Permitted Developments’ and as such do not need any permissions. However your installer will be aware of all relevant building regulations. However if you live in a listed building, a conservation area or a National Park you need to talk to the relevant planning authorities. A local professional solar installation company will have a good understanding of any local issues you may have

9. How Will Future Energy Costs Affect Me?
You will receive a quote for your energy savings based on the perceived energy cost rises in the future. You may take a view that these figures are a little conservative or conversely too high. But this is a very important consideration when assessing your overall investment

10. How Do I Find The Right Solar PV Installers?
This is a very new industry but one that is already very heavily regulated. And for you the consumer this is very important. The installer you choose must be MCS Accredited and a member of the REAL Assurance scheme. Try and avoid companies who send pushy salesmen who rely on hefty commissions and offer immediate discounts for your signature – Incidentally this is an illegal practice under the REAL scheme. Prices for systems vary significantly depending on the brand of panel and the suppliers required profit margin.

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