Your Questions Answered

FAQs

Everything you need to know before you choose your new solar package.

Get in the know.

Whether you need info about the process, or help choosing your package, we’ve got you covered.

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FAQs

Choosing your products

Rather than relying on the grid for your energy, the only thing you need to rely on when you go solar is the sun. Our solar panels are made out of semi-conducting materials, which means they are able to harness sunlight as it makes contact – creating an electrical current and powering your home directly.

How many solar PV panels you need depends on the size of your property, the amount of people you live with, and the amount of energy you use.

No matter your circumstances, it’s important you get the right solar panel package for you. If we install less than you need, you won’t generate enough energy to power your home, and if you have too many, you’ll have more energy than you can use – especially without installing a solar battery to save your excess electricity.

If you think your energy consumption may change in the future or you’re planning to switch to an electric vehicle, it may be in your interest to install more solar panels than you need for your current usage. But don’t worry! Just answer a few simple questions – it’ll help us fully understand your needs, and your future needs, and one of our Home Energy Consultants will make sure you feel confident and secure in your choices along the way.

Solar panels are a great investment in your future, but it’s important to understand that they’re not right for everyone. There’s plenty to consider before you can begin your solar journey:

  • Do you own your own home? At this time, we can only offer solar panel installations to homeowners, so if you rent, you won’t be eligible (unless you qualify for the ECO Scheme).
  • Is your home a listed building? If you live in a listed building, you’d need to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA), and where necessary, apply for Listed Building Consent (LBC). If you’re unsure, you can check if your home’s protected by visiting Historic England and searching the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
  • Does your home sit in a conservation area? Similar to above, if you think your home may sit inside of a conservation area, contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA), who will confirm, and let you know if you need planning permission to go ahead with your solar install.

It’s understandable to be worried if your roof is shaded – your solar panels, of course, need enough sunlight to work effectively. But you’d be surprised to know that with the right placement, you can often generate more than enough energy from solar panels on a partially shaded roof to make your investment worth your while.

Remember – if you’re still worried, we’ll thoroughly survey your home to make sure our solar PV panels are the right choice for you, before you’ve spent a penny.

Even though the UK isn’t exactly known for being sunny, especially in the winter, we get more than enough sunlight to make solar energy a well-worth long-term investment. Your savings potential is only improved if you were to also have a solar battery installed – allowing you to save the energy you generate for when you really need it.

As a general rule, you don’t need planning permission for solar panel installations.

Although, if your home is a listed building, you’d need to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA), and apply for Listed Building Consent (LBC). You can find out if your home is a listed building by visiting Historic England, and searching the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).

Similarly, if you think your home may sit inside of a conservation area, contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA), who will confirm and advise.

Much like the traditional battery you’d buy for your TV remote, a solar battery storage unit works by collecting the energy generated – in this case by your solar panels – and storing it. This is particularly useful because solar panels naturally generate the most power during daylight hours, which is often when homes use the least electricity. With a battery, you can use your energy when you want – giving you complete freedom over your usage.

The number of batteries, or the size of your battery you’ll need will completely depend on your energy usage, and how much energy you need to power your home. Most households only need one battery to sustainably fit their needs, but if your home has an especially high energy output, you may need further battery storages.

An EV charger does exactly what it says on the tin – it charges up your electric vehicle, providing it power in the same way as filling up a petrol or diesel car would do. The charger pulls an electrical current from the outlet or the grid and transfers that electricity to your vehicle.

The EV chargers we offer are compatible with both Type 1 and Type 2 electric vehicles, which means they work with all electric and hybrid models – giving you the freedom to switch cars without worrying you’ll need a new charger.

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FAQs

Buying your products

Yes and no. To get a provisional quick quote, all you’ll need to do is answer a few questions about your home and your energy needs. Once that’s done, you’ll have the chance to speak to one of our Home Energy Consultants, who will arrange an in-depth survey of your home. This will allow us to fully understand your needs and your home’s eligibility, so we can provide you your full, detailed quote.

  • It’ll save you money. Utilising solar technology in your home is a great way to keep your pennies in your pocket, by cutting on monthly energy bills.
  • It’s great for the environment. By switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, you’ll greatly improve your carbon footprint.
  • It’ll last you for the long haul. As long as they’re kept clean and unaffected by the environment, a new set of solar panels will last 20-35 years on average. Not only that, but you’ll break even on your investment long before that, so you’ll be saving money for decades to come.

Through the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, you could be eligible to claim free energy efficiency upgrades to your home, such as solar panels. The scheme is benefits tested and aims to help our most vulnerable customers begin their journey to energy efficiency.

Once we’ve installed your solar panels, you can also take advantage of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The government backed scheme allows electricity suppliers to offer a tariff so homeowners can sell the excess electricity they generate back to energy companies.

To apply, you’ll need your MCS certificate and number that’ll be provided when your solar panels are installed. Just print out the application form and return the form by post – or email it to SEG@utilita.co.uk

  • It’ll keep you off grid. Being able to store excess energy for when the sun isn’t shining further reduces your reliance on the grid for electricity. You’ll be in much more control of your energy usage and you’ll massively cut down your monthly bills.
  • You’ll stay powered when others aren’t. Using your panels and having a bank of energy saved up for emergencies means that even power outages won’t keep you off supply.
  • You won’t notice it’s there. Not only are our solar batteries weather resistant and child and pet friendly, but they make very minimal noise. They’re simple, effective, easy to own, and require low maintenance.

The simple answer is no – you don’t need battery storage for your solar panels to work. However, a battery allows you to have a bank of saved energy from your solar panels, which can be used outside of daylight hours or whenever you need it. This will save you £££s in the long-term, so we strongly recommend it to help you get the most out of going solar.

  • It’s very convenient. By owning your own EV charger, you’ll always have a charger handy to keep your car running. You can plug in your car whenever you’re not using it, or even overnight, without queues or unnecessary journeys – take charge of your charging needs.
  • It’ll save you money. Not only is charging an electric car cheaper than filling up a tank with petrol, but charging at home saves you even more money than using a public charge point. You’ll see the biggest savings if you use and store all of the solar energy you generate, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of our time of use tariffs when you need to charge at night.
  • Your environment will thank you. Owning your own EV charger is yet another step in going greener and reducing your carbon footprint. Driving an electric vehicle already releases significantly less emissions than petrol-powered vehicles, and by charging at home using your own solar power, you’ll have a massive impact on your environment.

We’ve partnered with Ohme to offer two EV charger models, both with slightly different features to suit your specific needs. The Ohme ePod is the more compact, cheaper model and is entirely controlled via the Ohme app on your smartphone. It’s also untethered, which means you can store the cable in your car out of sight when not in use – offering a neater appearance with less visual clutter.

The Ohme Home Pro, on the other hand, is slightly more expensive, comes with an LCD screen, and is tethered. This means the cable is always attached to the EV charger, without the need for a separate cable – perfect if you value convenience over aesthetic.

No, when you fill out your virtual survey, we’ll ask you the right questions and if your home is eligible, we’ll provide an option to add the extras to your solar package. We strongly recommend a battery for all of our solar panel systems, whereas the need for an EV charger will depend on your circumstances.

FAQs

Installing your products

As long as they’re kept clean and unaffected by the environment, a new set of solar panels needs little maintenance and last 25-30 years on average. Not only that, but you’ll break even on your investment long before they need replacing, so you’ll be saving money for decades to come.

We recommend getting your solar panels cleaned annually to keep them clear of debris and in top condition, however a cleaning service is not something we provide at this time.

Yes. Before our expert engineers install your solar panels, we’ll need to put up some scaffolding outside your home. This usually happens the day before your installation, and we aim to remover the scaffolding within three days so we can minimise any disruption this may have.

The average lifespan of a solar battery is up to 15 years, but this will depend on the model of your battery, how much you use it, and the level of maintenance it’s given. Keep in mind – solar panels can last much longer than that, so you would likely need a replacement battery later down the line – but remember, our solar batteries come with a 10-year warranty. We’ve got you covered!

Once you’ve seen your provisional quote, you’ll speak to a Home Energy Consultant and get a home survey booked. Most people tend to install their battery in their loft, a garage or a utility room, but we’ll work with you to help you decide the best place in your home.

In order to maintain its longevity of performance and efficiency, Sunsynk recommend that their solar batteries stop discharging at 20%. However, this can be changed if requested. Just give us a call on 03301 759 713.

Your battery’s state of charge is essentially how much charge (energy) is remaining in your battery – which is shown as a percentage. How long your the charge in your battery will last depends on your home’s energy usage. For example, if you use 1kW of power per hour, the charge will last for five hours.

Yes. Depending on your energy usage, you may benefit from more than one solar battery. We can install up to six batteries for your system, and you can have these installed at any time. Just get in touch with us by emailing home@utilita.co.uk or calling us on 03301 759 713.

Yes. With Sunsynk, you’re able to charge your solar battery using energy from the grid. For further details, you’ll need to contact your energy provider for to discuss Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs.

The chargers we install take roughly five and a half hours to charge an average car from empty to a full tank, but this time will depend on the model of your electric vehicle. Your Home Energy Consultant will be able to give you more information once you’ve completed your virtual survey.

Yes, we’ll make sure you’ve got everything you need. Your engineer will hand you your Manufacturer’s Installation Operating Manuals before they leave, and you’ll receive a full handover pack within five working days from the completion of your install. This will include various certificates, warranty information, and some handy FAQs to get you started on your energy efficiency journey.

FAQs

Energy efficiency

You’ll start saving on your energy usage as soon as you start generating your own electricity and turn your battery on to store it for later. While there is a sizeable up-front cost involved in going solar, you’ll make your money back in no time and then saving £££s for years to come.

We won’t be able to work out the exact amount you can save by going solar, but we can give you a pretty good idea. Once you’ve answered a few questions, we’ll have a better idea about about your annual electricity usage (kWh), and this will help us calculate your potential savings as accurately as possible.

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure on your annual usage, we can still give you an estimation, based on average energy usage in the UK. Which of the following options best describes your home?

Low usage:

  • You only use energy for a few hours per day
  • Your house tends to be empty on weekdays
  • You only have 1-2 bedrooms

Medium usage:

  • You use high-energy appliances frequently
  • Your house often has people home during the day
  • You have 3-4 bedrooms

High usage:

  • You always use lots of devices at the same time
  • Your house is rarely empty
  • You have 4+ bedrooms

We understand these options might not directly apply to your home, but they help us understand your rough saving potential for your quick quote.

Based on your answer and the amount of solar panels in your recommended package, we’ll be able to provide a ballpark figure that’ll help you see just how much you could save each month by switching to greener energy!

Harnessing energy from the sun is one of the most environmentally friendly ways of powering up your home. It’s a completely renewable way of generating power – which means the energy source won’t ever run out. As long as sunlight is hitting your solar panels, you’ll be able to generate electricity.

Every home utilising solar panels reduces the amount of fuel being burned by boilers, and less greenhouse gas emissions are launched into the atmosphere as a result. It may seem like one home switching to green energy won’t make a grand-scale difference, but every difference counts in the fight against Climate Change. The more people that are able to make the switch to solar, the better for you, your children and your environment.

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