Solar panel installation FAQs
What return on investment will I really get?
Solar panel installers have to use estimates called SAP. These are based on panels installed in Sheffield UK. If you are based in the South you will get more power, in the south east about 10% more. So all of the quotes on power and money generated are quite conservative and we expect you to get more.
Obviously the cost of the installation also matters. Our aim is to give you at least a 10% return but we will be able to give you a 12% return if you have a south facing roof with no overhanging trees and take 16 panels. Of course these returns are tax free and if you compare with return from money in a building society where you pay tax the returns are even higher.
Do I get the feed in tariff if I don’t use the electricity?
This is possibly the most confusing part of feed in tariffs and one of the most common questions. You get the feed in tariff whether you use the electricity or not. So even though you may be saving the cost of electricity by using what you generate, you still get paid for generating it with the feed in tariff. Almost to good to be true?
Why are your prices so competitive?
We aim to be significantly cheaper than the national companies with expensive salesmen to pay. The sales costs are normally at least 10% of the sale value, we simply don’t have those costs to pay. Additionally we have a lower cost base with no loans to repay or new offices to maintain (we have been in the same offices for over 10 years) The products we use are all top names and we pride ourselves on our installation procedures.
What should you look for in a Solar quotation.
There is the normal due diligence with any supplier. These panels are going to be on your roof for 25 plus years. The panels are very reliable with no moving parts. The inverter is the heart of the system and we use German and Austrian suppliers who give great backup and long guarantees. The worst comes to the worst a new inverter is £750 and prices will be lower in 10 years when there is chance of it failing, we will of course guarantee it for 5 years and offer a maintenance contract after that for peace of mind Personal displays to see what power you are generating we think are very important and we always include ones in our quote.
What happens in 15 year time?
http://www.iwa.biz/ government have committed to 20 years of feed in tariffs plus an increase with rpi. By then, unless there are major changes in the way we produce electricity it will be 2x more expensive. I would expect your return on investment will be around 20% and you will have paid off you initial capital long ago. You may have sold you house by now and a report recently said that panels increase the value of your house by 4%.
Why should we buy from Solar Strategies
We are committed to supplying the best quality product at a reasonable price without all of the add on’s of national companies with salesmen. We will not pressure you in any way. If someone does contact you and says for example can we visit you when both husband and wife are in, you can guarantee you are going to get the pressure sell and the “discount” (but still overpriced) for signing now…. the classic double glazing sell… we are horrified by this!
Do I need planning permission?
In the majority of cases installing solar panels is permitted development defined by panels no more than 200mm from the roof structure. If you are in a conservation area or a listed building you will need to talk to the appropriate authorities.
Solar warranty information
Warranties can be divided into the warranty on the reliability of components like inverters and panels, a warranty on the installation i.e. Solar Strategies and a warranty on the output performance of solar panels.
All of the components have warranties. These are passed to you the customer on installation of the system. At solar strategies we manage these for you so that if there are any failures or returns we can facilitate this for you.
Most of the components are passive i.e. have no moving parts and once installed are extremely reliable. If you think of your electricity meter and consumer unit these are components that rarely go wrong. The heart of the system is the Inverter and is the least reliable of the components.
The manufacturers provide a 5 year warranty and offer a further 5 years for around £220 i.e. the manufacturers are not expecting them to go wrong, we still think it wise to opt for this option and always include it in a quote. If you look at the worst case these components are currently around £1,000 and in 10 years' time we would expect them to have reduced in cost substantially. So in budgeting terms maybe budget £30 per year for an inverter repair in the years 10-20 when of course the system will be fully paid for and generating around 12% return on investment.
The panels are very reliable. The warranties are typically 6 years on manufacturing quality and then 10 years a warranty on meeting at least 90% of its output and 25years of 80% output. All of the tests available show that PV panels are very reliable.
The Solar Strategies warranty
Solar Strategies warrants that its workmanship and installation standards will be warranted for 10 years that we will remedy any faults caused by the installation methods and standards.
Indepedant warranty gaurantees
For additional peace of mind, all of our installations are independantly gauranteed for 10 years by IWA .
What is EPC?
The Department of Energy and Climate have announced from April 1st 2012 your home will require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to qualify for the Feed in Tariff.
If your home is at Level D or above you will qualify for the full Feed in Tariff of 15.44p per kWh.
If your home is lower than Level D you will qualify for the lower Feed in Tariff of 9.0p per kWh.
However, do not let energy efficiency requirements put you off. If your home is currently rated at Level E, simply upgrading your loft insulation by 10cm could upgrade your property to Level D.
What affects your properties EPC
- Has your property got Double Glazing?
- Has your property got a Condensing Boiler?
- Has your property got Cavity Insulation?
- Has your property got Loft Insulation?
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