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Solar Electricity And Whether Your Home Is Suitable

So, you're sold on the benefits of having solar PV cells in your home and generating at least a percentage of your own electricity.

The next question that comes up for most people is with regard to the viability of having such a system for them. Although the systems can generate electricity even when the sun is not shining directly, there are genuine considerations to take into account when it comes to actually wanting to move forward with such a microgeneration project for your home.

First of all, the question must be asked as to whether you have somewhere to put it. You need a roof or a wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, and that area also needs to be somewhere that is not going to be overshadowed by something like buildings or even tall trees and their foliage. This is because the more direct sunlight it receives the better; whilst it can generate electricity when it is in shade, it will not generate as much and therefore the viability is compromised in this instance.

Secondly, assuming that it is going onto a roof then that needs to be strong enough to take the weight of the system. They may look like small little things from the road or far away, but actually solar cells can be quite heavy and perhaps surprisingly so, therefore the rool tiles must be strong enough to take the weight. You can get advice as to whether your roof is safe enough from either a solar panel installer or a construction expert.

Sometimes you also need to get planning permission in order to install solar panels. It really depends where you are in the country on this one. If you live in England and Scotland then the majority of solar electricity systems for homes do not require planning permission (below a certain size). You should check with the planning officer in your area just in case as there are exceptions such as listed buildings, being in a conservation area and so forth.

However if you live Wales or NI then you do need to get planning permission. It has been suggested that this might change in the future however.

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