Solar panels are a great way to save money over the long run and reduce your carbon footprint. Although Coventry isn’t the sunniest of location, you can still generate a decent amount of energy from solar panels.
To help you along with the process, we have put together this in-depth guide to solar panel installation in Coventry. We will cover the most frequently asked questions about costs and benefits, and we will also talk about the process itself, questions to ask your installer and ongoing maintenance.
Solar Panel Installers in Coventry
There are various solar panel installers located in around Coventry. Head over to Solar Guide to compare the different installers. It’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple installers before going ahead with installation.
Benefits of Solar Energy
There are two main benefits to installing solar panels:
Reduce your energy bills – Unfortunately, the government’s ‘Feed-in Tariffs’ scheme no longer accepts new applicants, however, financial incentives for solar panel installation are still present. The price of solar panels has reduced over the past few years, yet energy prices are on the increase.
Reduce your carbon footprint – Installing solar panels on your roof is a step in the right direction when it comes to climate change.
Who Will Benefit the Most From Solar Panels?
People who spend a lot of time at home during the day will see the greatest benefits from solar panels, and the quickest return on investment. Although almost anyone will see benefits in the long run.
There is a small difference how effective solar panels are at producing energy depending on how far north or south you are in the UK. Since Coventry is relatively central, you can expect the efficiency of the solar panels to be around average compared to the rest of the UK.
Can I Get Free Solar Panels in Coventry?
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Coventry?
The cost of solar panels is about the same throughout the UK, so living in Coventry shouldn’t have much of an impact on the price. The biggest factor which determines the price is the size of the system being installed. The table below will give you a rough idea of the size of the system you will require and an estimate of how much it will cost.
|System Size||Roof Space Required (m²)||Suitable for||Estimated Cost|
|3kW||21||Family of 3||£5520|
|4kW||28||Family of 4||£6040|
Can I Get Paid for Generating Electricity?
Unfortunately, the Governments ‘Feed-in Tariffs’ scheme (which paid for surplus electricity) closed to new applicants on 31 March 2019. However, you may still be able to sell your surplus solar power.
How Much Can I Save?
If you spend most of the day at home you can save significantly more than if you are out for most of the day. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you do spend a lot of time at home, a 4kW can save you between £205 and £220. You will save more the further south you are so in Coventry the savings will be about average in comparison to the rest of the UK. If you are out of your house for most of the day the estimated savings are between £85 and £90. If you do spend most of the day out of your house, you can increase your savings with a solar battery.
A 4kW system costs around £6040, so it will likely pay for itself after around two and a half to six years, depending on how much energy you use.
Is My House Suitable for Solar Panels?
Although Coventry may not be the sunniest of locations, it is still a great place to install solar panels. Solar panels will still generate energy when it is overcast and the hours of daylight is more important than how sunny it is.
Planning permissions is not usually required for solar installation.
Although Coventry is a great location for solar panels, there are some factors you need to consider to ensure your specific house and roof is suitable.
Size – A 250-Watt solar panel is around 1.75m x 0.9m. The number of these panels you need will depend on your electricity consumption. To give you a rough idea, a household with three people will need to install around 12 panels which will require
18m² roof space.
Space in loft – The inverter – which is about the size of a microwave – will require a small amount of space in your loft.
Structure – 12 solar panels weigh approximately 360kg. Before installing solar panels, you need to make sure your roof will be able to support them. Your solar installer will be able to help you with this.
Roof direction – In the northern hemisphere, solar panels are not suitable for north facing roofs. Conventional wisdom tells us that a south-facing roof will provide the most sunlight, but there is some debate on whether or not an east or west-facing roof is preferable to a south-facing roof. There isn’t too much in it though and your solar installer should be able to provide some specific advice for you.
Obstructions – Solar panels require sunlight to function, so you need to make sure the roof where they are installed is not shaded by trees or other obstructions.
Pitch – The ideal angle of a roof for solar panels in the UK is between 35° and 40°. However, as long as the angle is between 10° and 60°, the loss of performance will be minimal. If your roof is not at a suitable angle, the solar panels can be fitted to and angled mount.
How Long Does Solar Installation Take?
The installation process itself should only take one or two days. If an installer predicts it will take longer than this, you should find a different installer as they may be trying to overcharge for labour. The longest part of the process is finding a suitable installer, getting quotes and having your home assessed.
Questions to Ask Your Solar Panel Installer?
You might be wondering which questions are important to ask solar installers. Solar Guide have put together a list of eight questions you should ask your solar installer. You can see these questions below, but make sure to head over to Solar Guide for a more in-depth explanation.
- Is the solar installer MCS certified?
- Is a structural report included in the quotation?
- Will my roof need strengthening?
- How will the panels be held on the roof?
- Will you need to carry out shading analysis?
- Who will be installing the solar panels?
- What warranties will be offered?
- Does the price include any extras
A question that isn’t on that list and I would recommend you asking is how long installation will take. It should only take one day or two at the most. If they predict it will take longer than this they may be trying to overcharge for labour.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Most solar panels fitted today are expected to last 40 – 50 years. The warranty should be around half of that. The warranty usually covers loss of efficiency below 80% because solar panels to become less efficient over time.
Can Weather Damage Solar Panels?
Solar panels are designed to last so they shouldn’t be damaged by weather. There was an incident in Denver where a severe hail storm destroyed countless windows and cars, yet of over 3000 solar panels at the National Renewable Energy Lab, only one panel broke.
Severe weather should not damage your solar panels, but if it does, the solar panels should be under warranty if it happens within around 25 years of installation.
Do Solar Panels Require Ongoing Maintenance?
Solar panels don’t require much maintenance, but the little maintenance they do require you want to get right in order to maximise your benefits. Monitoring the performance and keeping the panels clean are the main things you will need to do. You can find some great tips for cleaning and maintenance over at GreenMatch.