Solar PV

FAQs

If you’re thinking about installing a Sunuser PV system, the chances are you’ve got some questions to ask us. Please find below some of the most frequently asked questions.

Now the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) has ended, what is the Smart Export Guarantee?

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is the government’s planned replacement for the FiT scheme. Once in place, the SEG should ensure that homeowners are paid for the electricity they export to the grid. A government consultation is underway and we’re awaiting details of its launch. We’ll keep you updated.

Will a PV system improve the energy efficiency of my home?

Yes – a PV system will improve the rating on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which tells you the energy efficiency of a property. An EPC is needed for a new build property or if a property is being sold or rented out and is valid for 10 years.

My property doesn't face south - will I still get good results from my PV system?

Yes, Sunuser PV systems will work efficiently and effectively on easterly and westerly, as well as southerly facing houses.

Can I combine or convert a solar thermal system and a solar PV system?

No, they are two separate systems that cannot be combined or converted in any way. They work independently of one another – solar thermal systems generate hot water and solar PV systems generate electricity. Many Sunuser customers have both solar thermal and solar PV systems.

What is an inverter?

An inverter converts Direct Current (DC) generated from the PV modules on the roof to Alternating Current (AC) which can be used to power appliances within a property exactly as normal grid generated electricity would do. A single inverter can be installed internally in a property or, if deemed appropriate, micro-inverters can be installed to each individual PV module on a roof.

My roof is partly shaded. Will a PV system work?

With a single inverter, if any of the PV array is shaded, the entire system performance would be reduced. We strive to design systems to ensure optimum performance and if we consider a roof unsuitable we would advise you accordingly. For example, trees may be trimmed or cut down, alternative roofs could be used or systems could be mounted on the ground. Furthermore, micro-inverters or optimisers could be fitted to each PV module – this ensures that shading on any one PV module will not affect the output of any other PV modules. This will ensure optimum system performance.

Does the system require maintenance?

The glazed modules are essentially self-cleaning as rain will remove any dust or debris.

I live in a Conservation Area. Will I need to apply for Planning Permission to install a PV system?

The PV installation is usually classed as a ‘permitted development’. Only in certain conservation areas or if your property is Listed may Planning Permission be needed. Sunuser will check this for you and if necessary complete and submit the full Planning Application on your behalf.

Do PV systems still work in the winter?

Yes. Electricity will be generated even when there is no direct sunlight. For example, on 4th February our 3.78 kWp system at our Head Office generated 8.19kWh.

Will the installation damage my roof?

No. The PV modules are secured by our experienced installation engineers to rails fastened to brackets, which are attached to the underlying roof timbers. There are no structural alterations to the roof and the solar PV modules are easily removed. Only the highest quality MCS approved roof fixing systems are used and each PV modules weighs only 20kg spread over 1.64m².

What guarantees and technical support do Sunuser PV customers receive?

Each installation comes with a comprehensive 2 year guarantee. The inverter is guaranteed for 5 years and the solar PV modules have a 25 year performance warranty we know will be honoured. All Sunuser customers have access to our highly trained technical department via telephone or e-mail to ensure they are making the most of their system.

What happens if there’s a power cut?

Most Sunuser PV systems are all entirely grid connected; they do not run on batteries. If there is a power cut to your property, your PV system will automatically switch off. This is a safety measure to ensure the protection of anyone who may be working on the electricity circuit within your property.

Should I wait a few months to get my Sunuser PV system?

No! Act now so you can start making savings on your electricity bills.

What is a kWh?

‘kWh’ stands for a kilowatt hour. This is the same as a ‘unit’ of energy on your electricity bill.