No. From the 6th of April 2008, planning permission will not be required for most solar panel installations, unless you live in a listed building. Even then, most councils will allow solar panels in most cases.
Is my roof compatible?
Most homes in the UK are suitable for solar panels. If you have a South, South East, Southwest or East and West facing roof space un-obscured by shading, then yes. Your internal plumbing/electrics will need to be checked through an on-site survey before the installation process begins.
What installing PV solar panels feels like for pioneers.
Any grants or incentives in the UK?
Grants are no longer available but have been replaced by the feed-in tariff scheme which pays a set amount for every kWh of electricity or heat generated. These apply to any domestic and commercial installation.
Even the UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared to the equatorial regions. Each square metre of the United Kingdom gets between 900 to 1,300 kWh of energy annually, so this technology does work in northern climates too.
In most cases, no, however, if you have 'Part P' electrical and plumbing skills, then it may be possible to install in a daily capacity. DIY flat-plate, PV and evacuated tube kits are available.
DIY installing can work out much cheaper. However, you will not be eligible for the generous feed-in tariff schemes currently available. All eligible installations must be carried out and certified, by an accredited MCS solar panel installer to qualify.
Solar technology is not a one size fits all. Installations for both heating and electric can be complicated, due to many issues such as roof access, layout and internal factors. Solar panel technologies vary in size, so potential installers will need to ask a few easy questions about your property to establish your options and costs.
Request a 'tailored to your home' quote.
A guide to EV & PV charging.
Charge your car with photovoltaics.
Being one step ahead of the crowd is how most people create and hold onto their money. Many people installed PV solar panels because it was a 'sure thing' and they were 'ahead of the crowd'.
PV (Photovoltaic) solar panels generate electricity using the sun's rays. 'Photo' refers to the Photons, which hit the panel, and 'voltaic' refers to the volts produced when a chemical reaction takes place within the panel cells.
These panels are divided into two types:
Thin slices cut from a single crystal of silicon with a typical efficiency of 15%. Slightly more expensive, but offer a higher peak output of 280-320 Watts per panel.
Thin slices cut from silicon crystals with a typical efficiency of 12% and give a maximum output of 180 Watts per panel.
Sell electricity to the National Grid with grid-connected PV systems. Generate electricity for yourself and export the excess power to the National Grid. Amazingly, you will be paid even if you use the power yourself.
You can put the panels together to make a system ranging from a minimum of 1KW going up to a max of 5KW for domestic installations, producing from 750 kWh to 4500 kWh per year.
With no moving parts, this lasts for many years with no maintenance required.
Once installed, your system will be at your service for 25-30 years in the UK climate.
A guide to solar heating panels
A super-efficient system for water heating.
Flat-plate Solar heating panels and evacuated solar tubes heat up hot water in your hot water tank supplying you with a constant supply of hot water, and in some cases space heating during the daylight hours. You won't need to use your existing boiler in the summer while using it less in the winter months too.
These panels are divided into three types:
The most traditional form is flat-plate technology, this panel heats up an anti-freeze compound called Glycol which circulates through heat exchangers in your tank to provide solar heated water.
Evacuated solar tubes.
An efficient way of heating your hot water tank using the sun's ray, giving the best performance of all solar heating technologies.
This third-generation way of heating, hot water and central heating using ambient atmospheric temperatures. This new hybrid technology works all year round, day and night, rain or shine. No government incentive is available for thermodynamic systems at this time.