FAQ's on Solar PV (photovoltaic or electricity)
Do you need a hot sunny day for Solar PV to work?
No, Solar PV works by converting the Sun's light into electricity. You will generate more in the summer because the days are longer and the sun is stronger being more directly overhead, but even on bright cold winters day you can produce a surprising amount of electricity.
How do I get paid for the electricity I generate?
The Government in 2010 introduced a Feed In Tariff or "FIT" scheme that *currently pays you 15.7p per unit for ALL the electricity you generate, even if you use some of it or all of it!
*(Correct on 21/4/15, subject to further reduction on 01/07/15)
Can I sell my excess electricity back to the grid?
Yes, you will also receive another payment from your current electricity supplier for 50% of the TOTAL electricity you generate called the Export Tariff, currently 4.77p per unit.
How will Solar PV cut my existing electricity bills?
Sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial solar installation your electricity costs will be reduced because you are generating your own electricity that you can use all day, everyday. The more electricity you currently use during the day, the more you will reduce your electricity bill.
Does my roof need to face due South?
No, a due South facing roof will normally give you the best average results across the whole year but if your roof faces more towards West or East of due South the PV panels will still produce an excellent 90% plus level of performance. The only aspect that really is not recommended is a North-facing roof.
See aspect performance chart below:

Some installations can end up with panels on the East side and also some situated on the West side of a roof. This can sometimes give you an enhanced level of performance across the whole day and year as the system is producing earlier in the morning as the sun rises in the East and is still producing later in the day when the sun sets in the West.
How do solar panels (PV) cells work?
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaic's (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting etc. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work - they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day.
Do I need planning permission to have solar PV installed?
In England, Wales and Scotland you don't need planning permission, unless you live in a listed building, a conservation area or a world heritage site. Nova Renewables can advise you of the need if you are concerned, call us for friendly no obligation advice on 01323 461200
Will it cut my carbon footprint?
Solar electricity is a green renewable energy source and doesn't release any carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants during use. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of CO2 per year - that's more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.
How long will the installation take?
90% of Solar PV installations usually take a day to complete but if you have a larger than average, split aspect or complex installation then it may take up to 2 days to complete.
Does a Solar PV installation need much maintenance?
No not really. As there are no moving parts in a solar cell plus they usually have a performance warranty of 25 years plus a manufacturer defect warranty of 10+ years they are considered virtually maintenance free. Even any dust and bird droppings that accumulate on the panels are usually washed off by normal rainfall but if you experience a long dry spell in your area (this normally means you have also enjoyed excellent electricity production!) Nova Renewables can arrange for them to be cleaned using a fresh water extended brush system, so no need for scaffolding etc. This can easily be completed in under an hour, call us for more details on 01323 461200.