Solar Electric Panels

Solar roofs generate electricity from daylight; intense sunlight is not necessary which is good news for the British home owner. The UK is a perfectly suitable location for solar roof power generation. UK irradiance levels currently stand at 1000 W/m2/year for London, with a range of 800 W/m2/year to 1000 W/m2/year across the UK; similar in fact to irradiance levels in Germany and the Netherlands. There is little difference in solar irradiation between Scotland and the south coast of England.
Solar PV is a simple renewable energy system where cells are used to convert sunlight into electricity. These cells consist of thin layers of semi-conducting material usually silicon which generate an electrical charge when exposed to daylight. The greater the intensity of the light the greater the flow of electricity.
The electricity  which is produced by panels or tiles on the roof will either be used in the home or will be exported back to the electricity grid.  At night, electricity will be drawn from the national grid.


Roof Mounted Solar Panels

If you wish to install solar panels but you are not re-roofing your home, a roof mounted system would be ideal. A roof mounted system is a series of solar electric panels which are mounted onto the roof of your home. It will not require any alterations to your roof structure.

The following permitted development limits apply to roof mounted solar panels:

  • Panels should not be installed above the ridge line and should project no more than 200mm from the roof surface.
  • If the property is a listed building then an application must be made for listed building consent even where planning permission is not required.
  • If the property is in a conservation area then planning permission is required when the solar panels are visible from the highway.


Integrated Solar Panels

Advanced solar solutions have been developed that have both practical and aesthetic benefits. Solar electric roof tiles can now be integrated into the roof in exactly the same way as the roof tiles without the need to alter roof lines, colour or pitch. This highly aesthetic method means that planning consent is not normally required. In fact, if you were to incorporate these solar tiles into your property, it can sometimes help gain planning permission.
On roof installation can be carried out by the roofing contractor with minimal training. These tiles are laid just like conventional roof tiles and are secured to the battens by screws. However, you will need to hire an electrical contractor to connect the tiles and an approved contractor for connection to the grid.


Beautifully Integrated Solar 


Planning Permission

Planning permission to install solar roof panels on a domestic property is not normally required provided that: 
  • The property is not in a conservation area.
  • The property is not a listed building.
  • The property has not had its ‘permitted development’ rights removed. 


To generate 1 kiloWatt of grid electricity, 568kg of CO2 is produced. Grid electricity generation is 3 times more carbon intensive than gas production; therefore, solar PV displaces 3 times more carbon than solar thermal.


Solar Feed-In Tariff

The Solar ‘Feed-in Tariff’ is a government backed policy which aims to encourage the uptake of renewable energy in the UK. The government finalised their ‘Feed-in Tariff’ scheme on February 1st 2010, and stated that from April 2010, homes which have installed solar electric systems will be rewarded for the amount of energy they generate, regardless of whether the electricity is consumed or not.


The Feed-In Tariff explained

A feed-in tariff is a subsidy paid for every kiloWatt (unit) of power generated by a solar system. 

  • An extra tariff is also paid for every kiloWatt exported into the grid.
  • It is paid on systems installed since July 2008.
  • Level of feed-in tariffs depend on the technology and size of system.
  • Domestic photovoltaic systems up to 4kW attract the highest tariff rate.
  • To qualify, system must be accredited and be installed by an accredited installer.
  • It is to be paid for 25 years, and will be index linked to inflation..
  • The FIT is self financing – levy to be added to utility bills to cover the costs.
The recent cut in the FiT announced by the Government early in November has now been confirmed as unlawful by the Court of Appeal.   After a period of some uncertainty there is now good news for homeowners as Feed-in tariff rates will not reduce to the rates announced before Christmas but those originally laid out in legislation as 43.3p per kWh generated for domestic installations until 3rd March 2012.
For full FiT details check out your local energy supplier’s website where rates are usually published or visit


Solar Links


Sandtoft Roof Tiles

PV48 Solar System

T: 0844 9395 900




Viridian Solar

Solar Thermal

T: 01480 831501



The Carbon Trust

T: 0800 085 2005




The Energy Saving Trust

T: 0800 512 012




Feed In Tariff Information




Energy Solutions - PV Calculator




 Renewable Energy Association


Maintenance Plan

Missing tile? Cracked Mortar?

Download our Maintenance Plan here.
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