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FAQs

How much will it cost to install a renewable energy system?

It is difficult to be exact until we have discussed your individual needs and surveyed your property. But we can say that for an average family home solar panels to heat your water cost around £3,000 – £4,000 and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce electricity start from about £3,500. Solar energy is also subsidised by incentives from the government called Feed in Tariffs for solar PV and Renewable Heat Incentive for solar heating and heat pumps.
Heat pumps (ground or air source) can also be a very attractive investment; particularly if you heat your building with oil or electricity and have under-floor heating. Costs for these vary significantly and really need a proper survey and heat loss calculations to be done, but costs start from about £5,000.
All of these will pay you a substantial income for every unit of energy that you generate making it a very attractive investment.
There is also increasing evidence to show that installing renewable energy can add to the market value of a house.
As members of the Solar Trade Association we are proud to adhere to their code of practice for sales and customer service. We will always be clear with you about what you are getting for the investment you are making, how much the solar panels cost and we will ensure full after sales care for you.
Contact us now for a no obligation assessment at your premises or home.

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What does the installation include?

Each solar energy installation is different depending on which technology you choose. A solar PV system will typically involve the installation of solar panels on the roof, an inverter in the roof space and a meter near your consumer unit/fuse board.
A solar thermal or heating system will depend on the layout of the property and the existing hot water system. Typically the installation includes a solar heating panel of evacuated tubes, a replacement solar rated twin coil cylinder, electronic controller, pressure vessel, circulating pump, piping, valves, safety controls and insulation and non-toxic anti-freeze.
In both cases it will include scaffolding, installation, commissioning and making good (generally 2 people for 1-2 days).
Heat pumps involve installation of the heat pump unit – instead of a boiler – and may involve work to the heating system as well. Ground source heat pumps will require a trench or borehole to collect the energy.

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How much will I save?

The Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes provide a significant financial incentive to install renewable energy systems. The Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) is accessible for properties with a solar PV installation, and the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will be available to properties with a solar thermal or heat pump installation from August 2011.

The FIT will pay up to £0.0439 for each unit of electricity you produce – whether you use it or not – and will produce an annual return of up to 10%; guaranteed for 20 years and linked to inflation! On top of this you can use as much of your free solar electricity as possible.

The full domestic RHI will be available from spring 2014 and all systems installed after 15th July 2009 will qualify.

Commercial RHI is already available and pays 10p per kWh for solar thermal and up to 8.7p per kWh for ground source heat pumps.

The energy savings for solar thermal depends on what type of fuel you are using (electricity is much more expensive than gas for example), how much hot water you use, when you use it, the efficiency of your boiler and last but not least how much we assume fuel prices will rise in the future. As such, for a domestic system savings can range from £100 to £500 per annum – much more for larger installations or swimming pools!

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Is Eco2Solar fully accredited?

Yes. Eco2Solar are fully accredited for the Feed in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive through the UK Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This is an onerous qualification to obtain and, when we received this certificate in April 2008, we were one of an elite group of only 12 solar installation companies to be accredited. Not only is this a demonstration of the quality of our solar heating installations and our customer service, it is also necessary for our customers to obtain grants.
If a solar installer is not accredited by MCS then you cannot claim Feed in Tariffs or Renewable Heat Incentive!

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How much disruption will a solar panel installation cause?

Eco2Solar will make the solar energy installation as easy and hassle free as possible. The installation will generally take only 1 or 2 days and you should not be without electricity or hot water overnight.

Our fully qualified solar installers will leave you home as they found it – with the exception of free energy from the sun!

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How many panels will I need?

This will depend on the type of technology you choose but typically just two solar panels are required to heat water and around 10- 15 solar PV panels is sufficient to supply the solar energy needs of an average household. If you have a larger project in mind, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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Do we have enough sun in the UK for solar power?

Absolutely yes. It is important to distinguish between solar radiation levels and air temperature. Even if you cannot see the sun, if there is daylight there will be “diffuse” solar radiation. Solar radiation is what provides the energy for the panels and solar radiation levels in this country are as high as parts of Germany (the largest solar market in the world) and 60% of the levels at the equator.

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Will the solar panels work when the weather is cold?

Yes. Solar heating and PV panels are temperature independent working on solar radiation. They will work on cold, clear winter days providing you with a surprising amount of energy. One of our clients has reported temperatures of 50 centigrade in his hot water cylinder in February – with his boiler switched off; all of the heat provided by solar energy! It is a similar story for solar PV.

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Which way should the panel face?

It should face roughly south, but anything between southeast and southwest is fine – often panels facing east or west can be efficient enough to be cost effective. Solar panels can be installed on any roof angle from horizontal to vertical allowing the panels to be positioned on a pitched roof, flat roof or even on a wall.

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What about shade?

Shade from buildings or trees will reduce the amount of solar energy that falls on the solar panel, so the less shade, the better. Solar PV panels in particular are susceptible to shading which can reduce their effectiveness significantly. There is technology available to minimise the impact of shading, such as smart inverters which split the solar PV array into several parts, it is best to avoid shading where possible. Eco2Solar can advise you of this as part of the survey process.

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Can I convert my existing hot water system?

Yes. A solar heating system can be fitted to existing water heating systems (including combi-boilers) whether powered by gas, oil, solid fuel or electricity.

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Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

No. Unless your house is a listed building or is under construction – in which case you will be putting plans in anyway.

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Can you do the job for me?

Yes. Our engineers are fully qualified to carry out the installation, normally in one or two days. All of our solar installers are qualified electricians, plumbers or roofers and carry a BPEC solar qualification.

Eco2Solar also ensure that our installers visiting your property will be smartly dressed, polite and neat in their work. Solar energy installations generally take only a day and our installers will clean up afterwards – leaving your home as they found it.

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Can I get help towards the cost of solar panels?

Yes – through the Feed-in-Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. The Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) is accessible for properties with a solar PV installation, and the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will be available to properties with a solar thermal or heat pump installation from August 2011.

The FIT will pay up to £0.0439 for each unit of electricity you produce – whether you use it or not – and will produce an annual return of up to 10%; guaranteed for 20 years and linked to inflation!

The domestic RHI is now available and all systems installed after 15th July 2009 will qualify. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is like Feed in Tariffs for heat. It works in a similar way to the Feed in Tariffs in that you, the customer, receive a premium rate for every unit of heating that is generated by the system. The RHI has been introduced separately for commercial and domestic properties.

Current Domestic RHI tariff rates Biomass boilers and biomass stoves Air source heat pumps Ground source heat pumps Solar thermal
Tariff (per kilowatt hour renewable heat) 10.98p 7.3p 18.8p 19.2p

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