Frequently asked questions:

How does solar power work?

Solar power works by harnessing energy from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) panels. These panels contain cells that convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to power your home.

Is solar electricity suitable for my home?

Solar electricity is suitable for most homes with access to direct sunlight, only thatched roofs are truly problematic. An assessment of your home's location and energy needs can help determine its suitability for solar power. Contact us for a free, no obligation survey.

How much roof space do I need?

Most homes purchase between 1.2 kW to 4 kW systems. A typical 4 kW system requires approximately 20m2 roof space. There are different sizes and different shapes of panels and they do not have to be next to each other meaning most roofs are large enough to support your needs.

What sort of roof do I need?

Solar panels can be installed on various roof types, including slate, tile, metal, and flat roofs. The Ideally, the solar PV installation should receive as much light as possible to maximise electricity generation. Shadows cast by trees and neighbouring buildings will marginally reduce the potential energy generated. The most ideal location for solar in the UK is a south-facing roof at 30° – 40° pitch, although East and West facing roofs work at 85-90% efficiency compared to an equivalent south facing roof.

Do I need planning permission to install solar panels?

In England most solar electricity systems don’t need any planning permission. However, we will consult your local planning office if you live in a Listed Building, a Conservation Area or in a World Heritage Area.

We can undertake full planning application on your behalf – this includes the purchase and design of two Ordnance Survey Maps (1:500 and 1:2500), as well as the Planning Specification, and the Design and Access Statement, and all other relevant required submission documentation.

What types of solar panels are available, and how efficient are they?

There are different types of solar panels, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Efficiency varies, with monocrystalline panels typically being the most efficient.

Can I add a solar battery system for energy storage?

Yes, you can add a solar battery system to store excess energy generated during the day for use at night or during power outages.

How long do solar panels typically last, and what factors affect their lifespan?

Solar panels typically last 25-30 years. Factors like quality, maintenance, and environmental conditions can influence their lifespan.

How do solar panels generate power on cloudy or rainy days?

Solar panels can generate some power on cloudy or rainy days, although their efficiency is reduced. They still capture diffuse sunlight to produce electricity.

How do solar panels perform in extreme weather conditions?

Solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and storms. Our high-quality panels are durable and can handle the worst of UK weather.

Is solar power a good investment?

Solar power can be an investment by reducing your electricity bills, generating income from excess energy sold to the grid, and increasing the value of your home.

What maintenance do solar panels require?

Solar power systems have few moving parts, needing very little maintenance. Rain usually cleans rooftop systems, but an annual service visit is recommended for optimal performance.

For issues like dust, debris, snow, or bird droppings, use warm water and mild dishwashing liquid with a telescopic cleaning pole.

Solar power is a reliable technology with 20–25-year warranties on panels. Panels last over 25 years, but the inverter may need replacement (around £750).

What warranties are offered with solar panels, and what do they cover?

Solar panels typically come with performance warranties (guaranteeing a certain level of output) and product warranties (covering defects). What’s more, all of Impact Service’s installations come with a 10-year workmanship guarantee. Contact us for a free, no obligation survey and we can advise on the best panels for your home.

What's involved in connecting a solar PV system to the electric grid?

We will notify your Building Control Officer and, if necessary, the District Network Operator that you have installed a solar PV system.

Can I sell excess energy generated by my solar panels back to the grid?

Yes, many regions offer net metering or feed-in tariffs, allowing you to sell surplus energy back to the grid.

What safety precautions should I take during and after solar panel installation?

Ensure that a certified installer handles the installation, and follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents during maintenance.

What questions should I ask when choosing a solar installer?

Ask about their experience, certifications, references, and warranties. Also, inquire about their installation process and timeline.

What is MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) Accreditation?

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme is a government validation to certify both the products that are used in installations, and that the companies and installers are qualified. You can only qualify for subsidies such as the Smart Export Guarantee Scheme, if you use both MCS products and an MCS accredited installer.

The idea is to “evaluate microgeneration products and installers against robust criteria providing greater protection for consumers”. This protects you from shoddy products being installed; and it should prevent unprofessional companies from doing the work.

How can I become carbon neutral with solar power?

It is not as easy to become totally carbon neutral; you may be carbon neutral where it comes to your energy requirements but there are many other factors to consider for a household to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutral means that no carbon is used or your carbon is offset during your day to day activities i.e. you may generate your own electricity to boil a kettle, however there might have been a significant carbon footprint to manufacture and transport the kettle to your home. You need to factor this carbon footprint into account and over generate electricity to become carbon neutral.

How does installing solar panels reduce my carbon footprint?

Installing solar panels substantially reduces your reliance on fossil fuels, resulting in a significant reduction in your carbon footprint. When you generate enough energy to meet your electrical and heating needs, you can effectively offset your carbon footprint.

For instance, a 4kW solar PV system in the UK can reduce your carbon footprint by about 1 tCO2e annually, equivalent to driving approximately 5000 fewer miles per year.

What happens to my solar panels if I move to a new home?

Ownership of the technology is linked to the site and therefore in the case where a building or homeownership changes, the ownership of the technology would also transfer to the new owner.

How does having solar panels affect the value of my home?

Solar panels can increase the resale value of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers due to reduced energy costs.

Where can I find additional information about solar power?

The Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Climate Change (Low Carbon Buildings Programme) are two websites which offer very useful information. If you have any specific questions, contact us and we’d be happy to help.

The Energy Saving Trust –

Department of Climate Change –

Would you like to know more?

Get in touch and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

01603 304306 Send us a message