Solar Panels - For Your Home - FAQs | Effective Home

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Not sure whether to switch to solar? Want to make money by storing and selling energy? Interested in living greener and cleaner? You’re in the right place.

Facts

FAQs

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Fact1

Solar energy is good value for money

The energy we use has never been more important, both to our finances and to the wellbeing of our planet.

The sun is beaming out free, green energy. Generating and using it with solar panels from Effective Home can help you reduce your future energy costs, as well as cutting your carbon footprint.

A small investment now is worthwhile…

Did you know energy bills have risen by 40% in the last 5 years? It’s a huge increase which the Office for National Statistics says is 11.59% higher than the rate of inflation.

It’s time to take back control – generate your own free energy without having to put up with price hikes anymore.

Fact2

Solar energy has never been cheaper

You may have thought the cost of solar panel installation was high. Here’s the good news. Even though there is an upfront cost, the average price of a typical solar panel system dropped 25% between 2015 and 2018.

With finance options available from Effective Home on all new installations (subject to status), there has never been a better time for solar to power your home.

Fact3

Solar energy is good for the planet

The National Grid provides energy from a range of sources including fossil fuels which are polluting our atmosphere at an unprecedented rate, contributing to climate change. But there is hope.

Together, we can strive for a brighter future. By using more renewable, green energy like solar, instead of carbon-based energy from the Grid, we can each do our bit to cut the carbon from our lives.

FAQsCheck out our 10 frequently asked solar questions

Is solar energy worth the investment?

Sunlight is free – so once you’ve paid for the solar panel installation, you save money on your energy bills – and can even sell your surplus energy and battery capacity to the Grid.

How much could solar energy save me?

You could earn and save up to £31,022* if you switch to solar PV, add a battery and Trade via Social Energy.

By generating and using your own solar energy – instead of power from the National Grid – you can make significant savings on your electricity bills. The Energy Saving Trust calculator estimates that a typical 4kWp solar panel system can knock between £200-£305** off your annual bill with the Smart Export Guarantee SEG depending on where you live.

Using battery storage alongside your solar panels can further increase your savings – because a battery will store the surplus energy that you produce, so you can use it when the sun goes down instead of drawing it from the Grid.

*Social Energy figures based upon a new Social Energy connected SolaX battery and a 4kW Solar PV system with JA Solar JAP60S-1-275 panels with an annual panel degradation of 0.5%, installed in April 2019 in the South of England, at a capex of £8,495. Factors include: customer annual electricity consumption of 4000kWh, annual solar generation of 3800kWh, on-site solar usage of 26% (based upon BPVA studies), initial electricity unit rate of 16.45p/kWh with annual electricity inflation of 7.03% (Based upon approved data from the National Office of Statistics). These figures include Social Energy benefits from self-consumption, FFR, grid trading, network avoidance and SE export payment of 5.6p/kWh. Returns include factoring in future forecasted costs of battery system overhaul and solar inverter replacements at year 15. Considering the above factors, the specified system delivers a net benefit of £31,022.30. These calculations demonstrate a 365% ROI for Social Energy.

**Example of annual savings based in Manchester with SEG (Sept 2020): https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels

How will switching to solar reduce my carbon footprint?

You could cut 100 tonnes of carbon.

Imagine you’re on a return flight from London to New York. You’ve just generated 986kg CO2 – per passenger, not the whole plane. Think about how much carbon the aircraft you’re in is emitting into the atmosphere. Now times that by 100. That’s how much carbon you can cut by simply using solar energy over a 30-year period.

100 tonnes of carbon wiped clean off your carbon footprint and out of our planet’s atmosphere. Surprised? That’s the power of solar.

  • The average UK household produces 8.1 tonnes of CO2 a year
  • 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from households
  • Half of your home’s carbon footprint is made of the energy you use

Do solar panels need maintaining?

A solar panel system needs hardly any maintenance at all – they even self-clean when it rains. A quick washdown with a hose a few times a year will shift any other dirt or dust. Zero expense and no need to call an expert out.

What happens if it’s not sunny?

There’s a big difference between sunlight and daylight. Solar panels need daylight to generate power – not the sun’s rays.

This means you can still generate power even on cloudy days. In fact, less direct sunlight can be beneficial – too much heat can reduce the power solar panels capture by up to 25%.

Source: https://www.cedgreentech.com/article/how-does-heat-affect-solar-panel-efficiencies

Do I have the right roof for PV panels?

The area, facing and pitch angle of your roof will affect your solar panel system options.

Area
The more panels that can fit on your roof, the more energy you can generate. A roof area between 10-20m2 will typically deliver up to 45% of an average household’s electricity needs.

Facing
The ideal facing is south, clear of any shade caused by trees or adjacent buildings. However, even panels placed on east or west facing rooftops are worthwhile – producing between 80-85% the energy of south.

Pitch
Fun fact: in the UK, the angle of the sun is 50-60 degrees. This means that the perfect pitch angle of a roof to capture solar energy is between 30-40 degrees, which handily enough is the typical angle of most UK house rooftops.

Will I need planning permission for the panels?

No. No red tape, no hassle – a solar panel system doesn’t need any special permission from your local authority to be fitted onto your home.

The only exception to this is if you live in a listed building or live in a designated Conservation Area or World Heritage site. Even then, you can still have solar panels installed – they need fitting onto a roof that isn’t visible from a road.

Why do I need a battery?

It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Your solar panels are soaking up all that daylight enabling you to power your home. But then, the sun goes down – no more solar energy is being generated, but you still need to power your lights in the evening. What happens then?

Well, if you didn’t have a battery, you’d then switch to using power from the National Grid – costing you money. But with a battery installed in your home, you can use all the extra solar energy captured during the day that you didn’t use.

So you can keep the energy you’ve generated and use it exactly when you need it most – instead of it going to waste.

Is it easy to earn money trading solar energy?

In the summer months when we have more daylight (meaning more solar energy is generated), we generally use less energy to power our homes. So your solar panels may produce an abundance of energy.

With a home battery system in place, you can store excess energy to be used when you need it – and you can also sell energy on the UK’s energy market. Here’s how it works…

No hassle trading
Effective Home has partnered with Social Energy to enable our customers to trade energy with the Grid automatically without having to lift a finger.

Earn ~5p per kWh
When the National Grid needs extra power, any excess energy stored within the network of home batteries will be sold at around 5p per kWh (depending on your provider rates), earning you income.

Rent your storage
You can also earn by lending out the storage in your home battery. If you’re not using the space, then the Grid’s excess energy can be moved here temporarily – and you get paid rent.

And what’s best is that the app manages and trades your energy automatically. You can easily see all the info you need about your solar panel system all in one place.

The app can quickly and clearly show you how much energy you’ve created, what energy you’re using and how much income you’re earning by selling surplus energy and renting out your battery storage.

What system is right for me?

There are a lot of options, from the type of solar panel to the size of battery. But don’t worry. When you request a survey from us, an expert will assess:

  • Your home and rooftop – this will determine what your solar panel system options are
  • Your energy consumption – this will tell us what type of home battery you need so you don’t pay for one that’s too big, to make sure you get the best returns.

Then we’ll tell you exactly what system is best for your household and discuss everything through with you in detail.

Book your free home survey today

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