Advice and Support for your Solar Panels

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Panels 

Just bought a house with solar panels or had them installed? Or if you are just moving house to one with solar panels the following may be useful information for you:-

Will a solar PV system affect me selling the house? 

The solar panels installed on your property are owned by you and were purchased as ‘fixture and fittings’ as part of your property. The panels are not leased.

Solar PV should be seen as a positive feature by prospective buyers as it will contribute to lower energy bills compared to a house without solar.

If you are registered for the Smart Energy Guarantee (SEG) or its predecessor (Feed In Tariff) scheme, you will lose any benefit from this. However, any prospective purchaser could potentially still receive these payments.

Keep the user manual and MCS certificate as these may be required for the new owners.

I have bought a house from another homeowner where Absolute Solar have installed the solar PV. What do I need to do? 

To be eligible for any remaining warranty on the solar PV system, you will need to provide proof of ownership of the property from the purchase. You can contact us at info@absolutesolar.co.uk if you have any concerns about your system.

You also need to advise your energy provider that you have solar panels on your property. If the previous owner was registered for the Feed in Tariff, or Smart Energy Guarantee then you may be eligible to take on any future payments by completing the appropriate Change of Ownership forms supplied by the energy provider.

Useful links 

Here are some great information sources and resources if you would like to find out more about Solar PV:

 

What guarantees will my solar panels come with? 

Your solar system has a 12-month parts and labour warranty. There is also a back-to-back parts and labour warranty in line with the housing developer’s warranty.

Your solar panels will come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of the panel performance.

What is MCS and why does it matter to me? 

MCS is a standards organisation; they create and maintain standards that allow for the certification of products, installers and their installations. MCS certified Installers, such as Absolute Solar, have undergone a rigorous vetting process to demonstrate that they adhere to the standards.

These standards demonstrate a commitment to quality.

An MCS certificate is proof that your installation has been designed, installed and commissioned to the highest standard using only MCS certified products by an MCS certified installer.

How Can I Monitor My Solar PV Usage?

We install a generation meter as part of your solar PV system.

This will show you how much energy your system is generating.

At the very minimum, we recommend that you should check your generation meter once a week and take a note of the reading to ensure that your system is performing as expected.

There are many monitoring systems on the market to allow you to monitor generation and consumption in more detail.

How do I know if my system is working? 

There will be a generation meter installed, usually near your fuse board, which measures every unit (kWh) of electricity your solar PV system produces.

The figure on the display is cumulative, showing the total since installation, so you should see the reading gradually increase.

If you want to monitor how your system is performing, you will need to keep a record of the generation readings at regular intervals, perhaps weekly. You can then compare this figure to the Annual Estimated Generation figure on your MCS Certificate.

Bear in mind the system will perform better in summer than in winter but if you think your generation has decreased or stopped then contact Absolute Solar at info@absolutesolar.co.uk.

What happens in a power-cut? 

If mains power is lost, your inverter will detect this and shut down immediately.

This is a necessary safety function to protect people who may be working on the mains electrical network, so during a power cut you won’t be able to use any solar generated electricity.

What is the Smart Export Guarantee?

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was set up by the Government to replace the Feed-in Tariff and came into effect January 2020. If you generate solar electricity, are not already receiving Feed-in Tariff payments and you have a smart meter, then you can sign up to an SEG tariff with an electricity supplier to be paid for any solar electricity that is exported to the grid. All electricity suppliers with more than 150,000 customers must offer an SEG tariff, but the rates will vary between companies. You don’t have to apply for the SEG through the same company you buy your electricity from so shop around to find the best deal.

What documents do I need to be able to apply for the Smart Export Guarantee?

Homeowners applying for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will require a copy of their MCS Certificate and proof of ownership of their property. This is to demonstrate their entitlement to the SEG payment. Your developer should provide you with your MCS Certificate with the handover pack when you purchased the property. If you haven’t received this, please get in touch with us (info@absolutesolar.co.uk) providing your address, plot number, the name of your developer and the name of the original site.

Proof of ownership can be obtained from the vendor of the property, in most cases the developer. This should be a copy of a letter from your developer or solicitor on their letterhead confirming the ownership of solar panels into your name

The homeowner will only need to provide proof of grid connection and commissioning to their SEG provider if the PV installation is greater than 50kw. Most domestic installations are 3–4kw.

What is the Feed-in Tariff?

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) ended in March 2019. Homes with solar PV systems installed before this time could sign up to a fixed tariff with electricity suppliers which paid them for each unit of electricity the solar panels generated.

What maintenance do solar PV systems require?

There are no moving parts to a solar PV system, so they don’t require any maintenance or servicing other than an occasional clean, however, for peace of mind you may wish to consider an extended warranty option with us. Keep an eye on nearby trees in case they start to shade the solar panels. If you think there may be a problem please contact Absolute Solar at info@absolutesolar.co.uk

Do solar panels need cleaning?

Generally solar panel arrays in the UK will not need heavy duty cleaning as they are designed to self-clean  in the rain. However, depending on location, they may suffer from a high build-up of dirt,  leaves, bird droppings or salt water if near the coast, so cleaning the modules on a regular basis  may be required, depending on the amount of soiling. The obvious danger is working at heights, so we would recommend you hire a professional – window cleaners often offer this service.  No abrasive chemicals should be used – warm soapy water is fine.