Frequently Asked Questions
Does my roof need to be south facing?
Solar installations are most efficient when facing South as the sun’s rays fall directly on the panels. However, roofs facing in any direction are capable of solar generation but at a lower rate of efficiency. Full details of your generation potential will be provided in your quotation and estimated performance pack prior to installation.
Do I need planning permission?
If your house is listed or is in a conservation area, you will need to contact your local planning authority prior to installation to seek permission to install solar panels.
Part of my roof is shaded
Shading can have a significant effect on the performance of a solar installation. Even if a small part of the array is shaded it can affect the output of the entire installation. The solution to this is to install an optimised array which uses different equipment to mitigate the losses caused by shading.
What happens if I want to move home?
Solar installations have differing payback periods depending on the size and type of components fitted. If you are planning to move before the end of the payback period indicated on your performance estimate you need to decide whether the savings made on energy bills in the interim and the added value to your property are worth the initial investment.
What if I’m not at home during the day?
The installation of batteries along with solar allows you to store energy that is being produced in excess of the usage at any given time for self-consumption later on. The economic savings are greater when you are self-consuming rather than selling your excess back to the grid.
I have an EV
The batteries that would be installed as part of our installation would not be of a high enough capacity to charge an EV, and would drain very quickly if you tried to do this. However, your system can be set up to prioritise charging your EV before your battery installation when excess electricity is being generated.
Can I maintain power in the event of a power cut?
Yes, however the battery installation is unlikely to have the capacity to power your entire installation. Your higher power loads would be unavailable but you could select items that you would want to maintain during the loss of power, e.g. chest freezers, limited lighting, one of your socket outlet circuits.
What is the size of the installation?
The size of your installation is governed by two main factors – the size of your roof and your budget. Also it would not make sense with current SEGs to generate more electricity than you could consume.
What is the ROI?
Your return on investment will be estimated as part of the performance document you will receive along with your estimate. This is calculated using figures from your current tariff, your annual consumption, estimated generation and also estimated levels of inflation.
As part of your performance estimate, you will receive a breakdown of your projected self consumption, based on the size of your property and on the occupancy of your property, whether you are mainly out all day or not. The calculations are based on figures provided by MCS, your level of generation and the size of your battery installation.
How much power can I generate?
The amount of power you generate depends on the size of your panel array and the specification of the inverter. This will be tailored to your expected consumption as it is currently uneconomic to sell the excess back to the grid with the SEG.
Reducing my overall energy costs
With the increase in energy costs generally, the value of self generated electricity has also increased recently. Factors such as the amount of electricity you self consume will affect the level of savings but it can typically be over £1000 per annum. Estimates of your savings will be provided in your quotation and performance estimate package prior to installation.
Reduce CO emissions
Domestic solar generation is a clean renewable source of electricity and does not produce any harmful carbon based or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system can save over a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide per annum.
Solar PV installations provide the homeowner with both financial and environmental benefits. Savings on electricity bills typically exceed £1000 per annum and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over a tonne and a half.
Controlling my ecosystem (EV – Solar – Battery)
Any solar and/or battery installation performed by ChargedEV will come with an intuitive customer app which will provide both monitoring and control functions.
How long does it take from survey to installation?
Depending on the size and complexity of your installation, the time between survey could vary between 14 and 90 days. Factors that would affect this include the type of DNO application required, availability of components and capacity at the time of enquiry.
What’s the survey process?
We would conduct your initial survey and performance estimate remotely which will allow us to provide you with information on the financial savings and predicted performance of the installation. A physical site survey would be required before any contract is signed.
How long will the installers be on site?
The scaffolding would be the first element of the installation and would be erected in the week prior to the electrical work. The installation and commissioning of your panels and electrical equipment would be on the same day and take a full day. The scaffolding would be removed as soon as possible after completion of the roof work.
Do I need to arrange my own scaffolding?
ChargedEV works with national providers of roofing and scaffolding services and we can provide a quote for these works at the same time. Of course, you are welcome to use your own contractors should you wish to.
How are the panels attached to the roof?
Solar PV panels can be retrofitted onto an existing roof, on top of the tiles or other roofing materials, using roof anchors (also called roof-hooks or brackets), mounting rails and clamps. Mounting rails are usually made of aluminium (due to its lightness) and other components from aluminium or stainless steel.
Do I need permission to install from my DNO?
When installing solar PV or any form of electricity generation to a grid connected property, the local DNO will need to be informed. Depending on the size of the system this can be done retrospectively, unless prior permission needs to be granted. If prior DNO permission is required for an installation this can take up to 11 weeks to be granted. The size of the PV system is based on the AC inverter rating rather than the peak DC rating of the panels.
Do solar panels need cleaning?
Solar panels need to be kept clean in order to prevent dirt and grime from building up on the surface of the panels and reducing their efficiency. Cleaning of solar panels will help to keep them at maximum efficiency, therefore helping to lower your overall household energy bill.
It is recommended that your solar panels are checked and serviced every 2 years. We offer a standard service and maintenance package, which we can offer more information about on enquiry.
The Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme was designed by the government to promote the uptake of renewable and low-carbon electricity generation. Introduced on 1 April 2010, the scheme required participating licensed electricity suppliers to make payments on electricity generated and exported by accredited installations. The UK Government closed the scheme on 1st April 2019 and it was replaced by Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs.
The SEG launched on 1 January 2020 and is a government-backed initiative. The SEG requires some electricity suppliers, known as SEG Licensees, to pay small-scale generators, known as SEG Generators, for low-carbon electricity which they export back to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met.
If you want to be paid for any excess electricity you generate you will need to have a smart meter, most electricity suppliers are installing them free of charge for their customers if you don’t already have one.
General Tariff information
An energy tariff is how an energy provider charges a customer for their gas and electricity use. The two main types of tariff are fixed rate and variable. A fixed rate tariff sets the cost of energy for a certain amount of time, typically one year or more, while prices on a variable tariff can go up or down according to the market.
MCS & RECC
What is MCS?
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme is an organisation who create and maintain standards relating to low-carbon products, installers and installations. MCS accreditation is a sign of excellence in a renewable installer
What is RECC?
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code is an organisation who set out consumer protection standards for businesses who are selling or leasing renewable energy generation systems to domestic consumers. RECC is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as part of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and is also a TrustMark Scheme Operator.
How do these benefit me?
The governing organisations that we are affiliated with provide the customer with protection and peace of mind, guaranteeing quality workmanship and providing insurance backed warranties for your installation.
The workmanship warranty element of cover will be valid from the date your installation is completed. ChargedEV’s workmanship warranty is covered by the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and lasts for 6 years. Terms and conditions of the workmanship warranty will be provided to you as part of your quotation and estimate of the performance package prior to installation.
Your solar panels will come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of the panel’s performance and for the product itself. Different manufacturers offer different guarantees, with the more premium levels of protection usually associated with the more expensive panels. It’s wise to make sure you understand the guarantee before you purchase. Typically these warranties are in excess of 20 years.
The electrical equipment installed will be covered by product warranties that are typically around 10 years.