More and more homeowners are choosing to have solar panels installed on their home. BBC News reported that the number of homeowners installing solar panels rose steadily throughout 2010. If you are interested in this home improvement there are certain factors to consider beforehand.
Sun Exposure on Your Property
Solar panels require a certain amount of sunlight to hit them at a certain angle. If your home does not have a direct line of sight to the sun for a majority of the year, you likely will not generate enough power to make the cost worthwhile. Energy Savings Trust recommends that your home have either a roof or a wall that faces south within 90 degrees. This angle will provide enough sunlight exposure provided there are not buildings or trees blocking the path.
Solar panels are generally a lightweight product, but when a bank of them is installed on your roof the combined weight is substantial. Find out whether your roof is strong enough by contacting a roofing contractor. Obtain the overall weight of the solar panels you are considering and ask the contractor whether your existing structure could handle that weight indefinitely. If not, find out what would be needed to increase the strength of the roof and consider whether this added cost will be recouped over time.
Most of the home solar panel kits sold in the UK do not require planning permission to be installed. However, you should check with the local planning officer. If the system exceeds a certain size the planning permission requirements will need to be met. Also, homes within conservation areas and those located in or near World Heritage Sites will have specific requirements and guidelines that need to be followed.
Cost and Savings
Installing solar panels is an environmentally responsible decision, but you need to decide whether it is also a fiscally responsible decision for your family. The initial cost can be quite high depending on the size of the kit, but over time a successful system will recoup a good portion of the costs and you may even profit from the project. Look at the numbers over a period of time and take into consideration any government rebates and programs that are currently under way to encourage these installations.
With these factors in mind you should be able to better decide whether solar panels are the right choice for your home. In many cases this home improvement is both beneficial and profitable over time, as long as all of these factors have been dealt with.
Save energy and more importantly, money by getting solar panel quotes online and bolster your home’s green credentials by getting other energy saving features such as UPVC windows and doors to keep the warmth in.