Is Solar PV Suitable for my Home?

A Solar Photovoltaic installation for the generation of cheap, green electricity via sunlight is suitable for many homes in the UK.

Here are a few key considerations to determine if a solar PV installation is suitable for your home –

  • Do you have a sunny place for a solar panel? Ideally you’ll need a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, and isn’t overshadowed by trees or buildings. If the surface is in shadow for parts of the day, your system will generate less energy. For homes that do not have a south facing roof, east-west splits are quite common, and will produce roughly 85% of the energy a south facing roof will.
  • Is your roof strong enough? Solar panels are not light and the roof must be strong enough to take their weight, especially if the panel is placed on top of existing tiles.
  • Is planning permission required? In England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland, you don’t need planning permission for most home solar electricity systems, as long as they are below a certain size – but you should check with your local planning officer, especially if your home is a listed building, or is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.

Planning permission
Installing certain renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels, has been made a lot simpler thanks to Permitted development rights introduced on 6th April 2008 in England and 12th March 2009 in Scotland.

Permitted development rights
In England and Scotland, changes to permitted development rights for renewable technologies have lifted the requirements for planning permission for most domestic microgeneration technologies.

The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), or the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Domestic Microgeneration) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2009 grants rights to carry out certain limited forms of development on the home, without the need to apply for planning permission.

Always check with your local authority to find out if you require planning permission or not, the information on this page is for guidance only.

Contact NGPS today to discuss your energy saving requirements or to arrange for a Free Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Energy Survey to establish your energy usage and tailor your renewable installation to suit.

For further information about the suitability of Solar PV for your home visit the Energy Saving Trust

Special feature panel-Map showing average solar radiation in UK