FAQs

Solar Panel House

Glossary of terms

Questions

Are there any maintenance costs involved with Solar PV panels?

No, there are no moving parts in Solar PV panels, meaning there are no maintenance costs involved.


How do I get the money from the feed in tariff?

You have to make sure that you have your panels installed by an MCS accredited installer such as Best Eco, and we will register the system for you. Your electricity company will then make the payment directly to you.


Will I need planning permission?

In most places in England and Scotland planning permission is not necessary, as long as the system is below a certain size. However in Wales and Northern Ireland, planning permission is necessary in conservation areas and on listed buildings.


How much space do I need on my roof for a Solar PV installation?

To install an effective Solar PV system a minimum of 12m2 is required. This is so we are able to install a typical domestic system of 2.2kWh.


Do I have to pay tax on my income?

For domestic PV installations HMRC announced that tax will not be payable on income from the Feed-In Tariffs. Commercial installations will pay tax at the applicable rate.


How do I find out the cost of installing any of these systems and whether or not my property is suitable?

Contact us for a free consultation and quotation on your property, we are happy to look at any site for you and guide you through the simple steps to getting any of these systems installed in your home or building.


How does the Feed In Tariff (FIT) work?

You can be paid for the electricity you generate and for any surplus electricity you export to the grid and you will save on your bills because you will be using your own electricity.

Your supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (KWh) of electricity you generate.

You will get a further 4.5p/KWh for each unit you export back to the grid so you can sell any electricity you don’t use yourself.

You will make savings on your bills because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t buy as much electricity.

You will be reducing your carbon footprint.

The tariff period is up to 2035.


We don’t get enough sun for solar panels?

Solar panels capture the suns energy using photovoltaic cells (PV). They can still generate electricity on cloudy days.

Costs have fallen significantly.

Use your appliances in the day to save money.

In order to gain maximum benefit a south facing roof is best followed by south west through south east. East and west facing roofs can also be considered.


How do I claim the money back?

If you don’t have your solar PV system installed by an MCS accredited company you will not be able to access any of the feed in tariffs.


What is the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI?)

The RHI is a government scheme aimed at householders looking to replace their current heating with renewable heating due to launch in Summer 2013.


What is the Green Deal?

It is a government scheme which will enable bill payers to get energy efficiency improvements on their property without having to pay up front.


What are the typical financial returns on these types of systems?

1. Solar PV

FIT payments are index linked. Tariffs are continuously revised.

Tariffs at 1/11/12 are:

Currently all electricity exported to the grid is paid for at 4.5p

2. Solar thermal

For commercial systems 8.9pKWh (up to 200 KWh).it is an inflation linked payment and decreases annually for new installations.

Domestic customers can apply for £300 per solar thermal installation.

3. Heat Pumps

Tariffs at 1/4/12 are:

These payments are fixed amounts based on the output of the heat meter and decrease annually.

4. Biomass

Commercial systems

Payments are based on output of the heat meter.

For domestic customers the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) allows you to apply to the energy savings trust for a £950 voucher for a biomass boiler.

A domestic scheme is due to launch in summer 2013.