Committing to a solar energy system can be a very daunting prospect, but with a little understanding of the processes involved with solar panel installation your fears can be cast aside.  Before going ahead, consider the following points and commonly asked questions regarding the installation of a solar system.

Will my roof be suitable?

A frequently raised query is whether the roof of the property in question will be suitable for the solar panel installation. In answer to this, most sloping roofs will be suitable providing they face South, South East, South West, East or West (or anything in between).  A North East or North West facing roof will also generate solar power, but from a financial point of view it will not generate enough energy to justify the installation.  The roof also needs to be free from heavy shade.

My property has a flat roof, can I still benefit from a Solar PV system?

A flat roof will also be suitable, again providing that there is only limited shading; however installing solar panels on a flat roof may require planning permission.  The solar panels can be attached to the roof either by fixing them to underlying joists or by using free standing frames.

Will solar panel installers require scaffolding during the installation?

Scaffolding is required for most solar panel installations.  This is to comply with health and safety legislation and to protect the installation team whilst working on the roof of your property.

Will there be much disruption?

Reputable solar panel installers will be able to keep disruption to a minimum.  This is because the majority of work required for solar panel installation takes place on the roof. Some small scale electrical work will need to be carried out within the house but your solar panel installer should discuss this with you when they undertake their initial assessment. Therefore you should be aware of what needs to be done and how it will affect you, although you can be reassured that any internal disruption will be minimal and you shouldn’t be without power during the installation.

How long will it take to install my Solar PV system?

The length of time needed to install a photovoltaic system depends upon the size and complexity of the solar system being installed.  However, a typical solar installation will take just two or three days normally.

Will I need planning permission?

As long as the panels project no more than 200mm from the roof surface, recent changes to planning laws mean that a solar PV system on a sloping roof of a domestic property will usually count as ‘permitted development’ and therefore will not require planning permission.

If the solar panel installation is on a non-residential property, a flat roof, a block of flats, a listed building or located in a conservation area/World Heritage site, you will require either planning permission or listed building consent.  You must also tell all insurers, leaseholders, freeholders or mortgage lenders of the intention to carry out work and obtain the relevant permission.

So what are you waiting for?  Solar panel installation is quick, easy and hassle free.  However, if you do have any further questions, a reputable solar panel installer should be able to answer any queries for you.

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