Solar Power: Frequently Asked Questions

Solar power in Doncaster

Here are a few questions that we’re regularly asked by customers. If there’s something missing that you’d like to know, just get in touch.

Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy

“In short, yes. The solar panels absorb light to generate energy. So while they work best on long summer days when there is the most light, they still generate energy in winter.”

Can I claim the feed-in tariff if a non-certified company performs the installation?

“To enter into the Government’s backed feed-in tariff scheme, your panels and the company that installs them, must be accredited and qualified under the Micro-generation Scheme (MCS).”

Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy

“In short, yes. The solar panels absorb light to generate energy. So while they work best on long summer days when there is the most light, they still generate energy in winter.”

Is Clover Roofing an accredited installer?

“Yes, we’re fully accredited under the Energy Saving Trust’s MCS for Solar PV installations and are members of REAL (The Renewable Energy Assurance Scheme). So, from start to finish, you’ll be in the hands of skilled and qualified professionals.”

So what is the feed-in tariff?

“Under the Government backed feed-in tariff you are guaranteed a fixed rate for every unit of electricity produced by your Solar PV system – whether you use it or not.

This scheme which was brought in on the 1st April 2010 will pay you 41.3p for each unit of electricity generated. The payments are tax free, index linked and guaranteed for 25 years.

Any surplus energy that you don’t use is sold back to the grid for 3p per unit.

Please note that these Government backed rates are guaranteed for all systems under 4kW that are installed before 31st March 2012.”

What is the payback time on the system?

“No one can be exact, but based on average electricity costs, and assuming modest inflation of energy prices, you can reasonably expect the system to completely pay for itself in about 8 to 10 years.

If the predicted trend for energy prices to soar comes true, this could be significantly reduced – and this is not taking into account the added value that a solar electricity generating system will undoubtedly add to the value of your property.”

What guarantees do I have?

“All payments are index linked, tax free and guaranteed for 25 years.

All our solar panels come with a 25 year performance guarantee.

All work carried out by Apollo is fully guaranteed for 5 years.”

How long are solar panels guaranteed for?

“The performance of the solar panel systems we install is guaranteed for 25 years, but you could reasonably expect them to go on generating electricity, silently and efficiently for up to 40 years.”

How do I know how much electricity I'm saving?

“As part of your Apollo Solar installation you can have a smart meter, which accurately records, stores and displays all the information you could ever need to know.

Don’t worry, it’s very easy to operate and to understand. We’ll also show you how to use it when the system is fitted.”

What about planning permission?

“For most homes in England and Wales, solar panels are considered to be a ‘permitted development’ – so it’s not a problem.

But if you do live in a listed building or in a conservation area, some restrictions may apply. Further information is available from the Government’s Planning Portal

Is there much to do before the installation takes place?

“In most cases you needn’t do anything. One of our surveyors will inspect your property, then you will be given a bespoke recommendation for the best system for you home, and the expected returns on your investment.

In some cases, such as overhanging trees and foliage, we may recommend additional work to get the most out of your system.”

How long does it take to install?

“We usually only take one day to fully install a system, from start to finish. Our highly experienced and qualified team work quickly and quietly so there is little disruption to your daily routine.”

Do I need a south facing roof to benefit from solar power?

“In the ideal world, you would have a south facing roof with an angle of 30° to get the maximum benefit.

However, these solar panel systems are so efficient that even in non-ideal environments, you are only talking about a 5-20% reduction on optimal output. If you have any doubts, just call for a free survey and we will be able to give you an accurate evaluation and quotation.”

How much maintenance is required?

“You really have to do nothing at all. These systems are self contained, have no moving parts and don’t require regular servicing.

Obviously, if there is a build up of dirt such as bird droppings, moss / lichen or environmental pollution, they will require cleaning. Other than that, it’s just a periodic inspection as you would have for any electrical system in your home.”

What about insuring my solar panel system?

“It’s always wise to have insurance to cover your investment against accidents. Please check with your insurance provider to make sure you are covered.”

Is my roof strong enough to support a roof mounted system?

“Most roofs are perfectly capable of holding a solar panel array. If there are any problems with your roof, our team will advise you when they carry out the survey.”

Can I store the electricity generated by my system?

“No, the electricity generated is either used during the day in the house, or it is automatically exported back to your electricity provider.”

We're always happy to provide a free quote. Just get in touch - let's see how we can help...