Can i have Solar Panels on my house

A guide to domestic solar panel installation

With energy price increases and concerns about climate change, solar panel installation is an appealing option for many homeowners.

As leading renewables experts in Edinburgh, we are often asked: ‘can I have solar panels on my house?’. The majority of UK homes have a roof suitable for solar panel installation – this is great news for anyone looking to generate their own renewable electricity.

In this article, our knowledgeable accredited solar installers address some of our most frequently asked questions about solar PV systems…

Do I need solar panel planning permission in Scotland?

The rules around solar panel planning permission were eased in 2008, in order to make renewable technologies more accessible to consumers.

In Scotland, most domestic solar panels don’t require planning permission. However, roof-mounted solar PV systems are subject to permitted development building regulations. Regulations apply to the panel as well as the associated pipework or electric. Essentially your roof-mounted solar PV is likely to be permitted unless:

  • it is installed on part of the external walls of a building containing a flat
  • panels, when installed on a flat roof, are located within 1 metre of the edge of the roof or protrude more than 1 metre above the plane of the roof
  • project higher than the highest point of the roof (excluding the chimney)
  • building is within a conservation area or World Heritage Site and the solar PV equipment is installed on a roof which forms the front of the building and is visible from the road

Solar PV equipment should be installed with minimal effect on the amenity of the area and must be removed if it is no longer needed or used for domestic generation. For further information, take a look at the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Domestic Microgeneration) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2010.

If your property is in a conservation area or is a listed building, you should seek further advice from a planning officer.

My roof is flat – can I have solar panels on my house?

The ideal roof for solar panel installation has a pitch of between 30-40° from horizontal. However, the angle of the roof can fall outside of the ideal range and still generate electricity effectively.

Solar panels can absorb sunlight, even when they are in a horizontal position. However, the issue of solar panels for flat roof angles is that they won’t be able to self-clean and may become less effective. They simply require more frequent checking and maintenance, as dirt or debris may build up on them.

Can I have solar panels on my house if the roof isn’t south-facing?

Panels on a south-facing roof will generate the most electricity from solar energy. This is because south-facing roofs receive the sun when it is at its most intense, for the longest period of time.

East or west-facing roofs can also be suitable for solar PV installation. East and west-facing roofs will still see a good amount of sunlight throughout the day – an east-facing roof in the morning and a west-facing roof in the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, solar panels on a north-facing roof won’t offer effective performance.

Shade can dramatically affect the amount of power that solar PV panels generate. If your roof is in shadow for long time periods, you may consider other options such as ground-mounted solar.

How do I know if my roof is big or strong enough for solar panels?

A roof space of 15-25 square metres or more is ideal for a solar PV system and most roof shapes can accommodate solar panels. A typical installation could be around 15 to 25 square metres, comprising 15 or so panels.

When it comes to PV solar installation, you should always consult a specialist. Solar panels aren’t light, so we will make a number of checks as part of our inspection, to ensure that your roof can take the additional load.

If you’re in any doubt about the integrity of your roof, we recommend that you get an independent structural report carried out.

Why choose us for your solar panels?

Here at P Blackhall, our solar engineers offer a range of services that will enable you to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.

Our solar panel services include:

  • advice and guidance on domestic solar panel installation
  • free no-obligation quote, tailored to your property and needs
  • fitting by MCS-accredited solar installers (Microgeneration Certification Scheme)
  • ongoing solar panel maintenance services
  • solar panel repairs

We can fit a solar panel for flat roofs or sloping rooflines and we can work around most obstacles.

Call the experts in solar panel installation, Edinburgh

We hope that our article has provided some insight into your suitability for solar panel installation. Click to find out more about the benefits of solar power technology.

We are happy to give advice on the best solar PV system for your home, in order to reduce costs and increase your reliance on green energy. Alternatively, for a free no-obligation quote, please call us on 0131 378 6168.

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