Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions that Contact Solar gets asked. If you have any further questions or queries, pleas do not hesitate to call on 0800 270 76 56 and one of dedicated survey team will happy to answer you.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy takes advantage of the sun's rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner.

How do solar photovoltaic cells work?

In layperson terms, photovoltaic cells are comprised of a semiconductor material such as silicon. Added to the silicon are the elements phosphorous and boron which create conductivity within the cell and activate the movement of electrons. The electrons move across the cell when activated by the sunlight's energy into the electrical circuit hooked up to the solar panel.

How much does a solar electric power system cost?

A 2kW system is £4,945.

How much will I really save on my utility bills from a home electric solar power system?

Of course this is a relative question. It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. That said expect to generate excess electricity in the summer (when days are long) which can potentially offset the energy you use from the grid in the winter. A combination of energy efficient appliances and light bulbs can help reduce your homes energy bill by over two-thirds.

Find out more about the costs and potential savings from a residential solar power system in our Calculator Payback section.

How much maintenance do solar energy panels require?

Solar photovoltaic panels require little or no maintenance – no need to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris. Solar hot water collection arrays don't need much attention either. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the tubes

Will I need planning permission to install a solar energy system in my home?

In many cases installing solar panels on domestic land is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply to the council for planning permission. There are, however, important limits and conditions which must be met to benefit from the permitted development rights which would be explained to by one of experienced survey mangers during your FREE survey call now on 0800 201 4527

Are pv solar panels suitable for my home?

The Majority of homes are suitable for solar, so long as you have a roof facing south (South East, or South West) is fine too. Your existing electrical set up will have to be checked for compatibility, which can be done through our free survey. Feel free to get in touch for more info.

How can solar panels work in the UK?

The UK receives, on average, 60% of the solar energy that the equator receives, which works out at between 900 kWh and 1,300 kWh a year depending on just how sunny it is!

What can I earn?

A 4kW system can generate approx. 3600kW Hrs per year which is £160 in feed in tariff.

  • £270 off energy bills
  • The Export Tariff will pay £85 per year for 20 years
  • Total annual saving £515

Will it supply all my electricity?

The average household consumption is 3000 kWh per year. Thus on average, our smallest 1kW system could supply nearly 25% of your electricity over the course of the year, depending on your consumption rates and it may be possible to do more, by carefully reducing your energy use.

What about payback?

It would take an average household around 8-10 years to recoup its investment, however we have seen payback times of less than 6 years on certain properties, and as the feed in tariff runs for a guaranteed 20 years your investment will continue to provide returns into the future.The panels are proven to last 30 – 40 years in the UK as well.

By installing solar panels you are protecting yourself against energy price rises for the next 10, 20 & even 30 years, & by installing now you are benefitting from lower product & installation costs

Solar installations will get cheaper with time, won't they?

Unfortunately the indicators are that prices will rise. As a recent Financial Times article points out, the cost of energy, resources, materials and manufacturing is rising globally. It's likely that solar panels will never be cheaper than they are now as future panels and installations will consist of inputs {energy + materials} that cost far more than today. Although we do our best to keep prices reasonable, there are customers we have given quotes to over 2 years ago, who put it off waiting for the prices to drop, and now wish that they had invested earlier, as the cost has, in fact, increased..

How much roof space do I need?

The system does take a lot of roof space, as each panel measures (approximately) 1m by 2m, and you would need at least 4 of them to make a 1 kw System. Solar panels can be installed within your garden area using 'A' frames, facing south, if roof space is a problem, or why not take a look at our alternative products that do not require as much space?

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

In short, yes. Solar panels work by converting the photons in sunlight to electrons ( electricity). Photons are able to penetrate thin to medium thickness clouds, so that even on overcast days they are still able to reach your panels & generate electricity. However when there is a large amount of thick cloud in the sky, the panels will not function as a very limited amount of photons will be able to pass through.

Will installation have a large impact on my home?

The biggest part of a solar installation is the panels, aside from this we will need either some space in your loft, under the stairs, or in your garage or basement, to install the small amount of internal equipment.

Do you send salesmen round to my house?

Many solar companies claim to send surveyors to your home, but really they are only salesmen. We properly survey your home and provide you with a tailored quotation based on your individual homes specifications.

Our trained technicians are just that, technicians. The complexity of making sure homes are suitable requires experience. Our technicians however, will be happy to sit with you and explain the technologies to you, and answer any questions that you may have.

What makes your panels better than your competitors'?

We know our solar panels are the best because they have been shown to outperform any of our competitors’ products. As well as this, all of our panels come with a guarantee that they will produce 90% of their rated power output for 10 years, and 80% of their rated power output for 25 years. All workmanship carried out by ourselves is guaranteed for two years also.

A word about quality

As with anything in life, you get what you pay for, so a cheap option will undoubtedly will be a false economy were longevity and performance is concerned. We're confident that our exclusive solar panel technologies offer unrivalled premium quality without premium prices. That's why we stand behind our pv solar panels with a full 25 year guarantee on performance. All of our installers are MCS accredited, so you can be sure you are receiving quality, sound advice.

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