What is solar power?
Solar panels take advantage of nature’s most powerful resource: the energy produced by the sun. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic systems (PV systems), use semiconductor technology to convert energy from sunlight into electricity that can power your household
How does Solar & Storage work?
Using daylight to power your home
Solar panels absorb energy from daylight and convert it into electricity. When daylight hits the panel it is converted into Direct Current (DC) which flows to an inverter. This inverter converts the electricity from DC to Alternating Current (AC), the standard electricity that comes out of power outlets. Batteries work much like the name suggests - storing electricity to be used at another time.
Is solar worth the investment?
Solar panels can increase the value of your home as well as making it more energy-efficient
The payback period for solar panels is getting shorter year-on-year with the increase in energy prices - you can lower your energy costs by up to 90%
Not only is solar power good for the environment, but you can even earn money back for surplus energy exported back to the grid
Are solar panels right for me?
A few things which could influence your solar installation to keep in mind.
An unshaded, South facing roof is ideal for maximum electrical output. East or West facing roofs could still be considered, and even North facing roofs can work in some situations. Get in touch with us to find out.
If you live in a listed building, conservation area or national park, you would need to get permission to get a solar panel installation.
You need a strong enough roof to support the weight of the solar system. If your roof isn’t suitable, no worries, we could still offer you a storage solution.
Find out more about solar
How much can solar panels reduce your reliance on the grid?
Find out what our customer, Matt, had to say about his PV solar panel system, and the impact it’s had on family life and their carbon footprint.
Benefits of battery storage. 6 reasons why you should get a home battery
Is teaming up your solar panels with a home battery worth the investment? In short - yes. But what are the benefits of battery storage for renewable energy, and why should you install one?
How effective is solar in winter? We asked a customer
5 years after Steve had his solar and storage system installed, we’ve reached out to check how he is finding his green home and if it’s still beneficial during winter (spoiler: it is!).
Questions about solar?
How do I know if solar is suitable for my home?
Solar panels are generally suitable for most homes in the UK and our team of experts is on hand to use satellite images to talk things through with you during your free virtual survey.
However, some of the most common reasons a home would not be suitable are:
• not enough roof space (an 8 solar panel installation requires a space of 2 small car parking spaces)
• roof is in a state of disrepair or very unstable
• roof is thatched or natural stone
• very uneven roof or lots of obstacles (like lots of skylights or dormer windows)
Are solar panels a worthwhile investment?
Especially with electricity prices from your energy supplier ever increasing, solar panels are a handy way of taking the cost of powering your home into your own hands. Our solar panel and battery solutions will still be generating clean energy for you in well over 20 years.
They’re a great way to boost your home’s green credentials too - as it doesn’t get any cleaner or greener than generating your own solar energy to use to power your home or an electric vehicle. There is also increasing evidence that solar panels can increase the value of your home, as more and more prospective buyers actively seek homes with renewable technologies already installed.
Do I need planning permission for solar panels?
In many instances, the installation of solar panels is covered by the General Permitted Development Order and therefore does not require planning permission.
However, you should check with your local planning authority if you live in a:
• conservation area
• area of outstanding natural beauty
• national park
• listed building
How do I decide the right size and location for my solar system?
Our friendly solar experts can help you find the right solar panel solution for you during a virtual solar survey. You can get a solar panel quote online using our online calculator, to compare solar panel and battery storage options. Or, speak to one of our experts who will assess your roof for available space, check for any shading or obstacles that could obstruct the sun, and analyse the optimal location on your roof to install your new solar panels.
Shortly after your call, they’ll send you a proposed design with some options around number of solar panels, exactly where they can be located on your roof, and an optional upgrade to add a battery to store up any excess solar you generate. After that, it’s up to you how green you want to go!
What’s involved in a solar panel installation?
Solar panel installations will almost always require scaffolding to allow our team to safely access the roof. An installation job will generally take about 4 days which involves setting up the scaffolding, securely fixing your new solar panels to your roof, wiring up all the associated cables, and then setting up your inverter (which is what takes the electricity generated by your panels and turns it into electricity that can be used in your home).
Once that’s all complete, our installers will talk you through a detailed handover and also set you up with a solar panel monitoring app so you can track how much clean energy you’re generating throughout the year.
Do solar panels need direct sunlight?
Solar panels do not necessarily need direct sunlight to generate electricity. While they are most efficient when exposed to direct sunlight, they can still produce electricity on cloudy or overcast days and even in indirect or diffuse sunlight.
Here's how it works:
Direct Sunlight: Solar panels are most efficient when they receive direct sunlight. Direct sunlight provides the highest intensity of sunlight, allowing the panels to generate the maximum amount of electricity.
Diffuse Sunlight: Solar panels can still generate electricity when the sunlight is scattered or diffused, such as on cloudy days. Their efficiency is lower than in direct sunlight, but they can still produce a significant amount of power.
Indirect Sunlight: Even when the panels are not facing the sun directly, they can produce some electricity. For example, if the sun is behind clouds, or if the panels are facing away from the sun but still receive some light, they will produce a reduced amount of electricity.
It's important to note that the efficiency of solar panels decreases in lower light conditions, which means they produce less electricity. To maximise their performance, it's ideal to install solar panels where they receive the most direct sunlight possible. This typically means placing them on south-facing rooftops or in locations with minimal shading.
Solar panel systems are designed to generate electricity throughout the year, taking into account variations in sunlight due to weather and seasonal changes. Additionally, the use of energy storage solutions, like batteries, can help store excess energy generated during sunny periods for use during less sunny times, further optimising the benefits of solar panels.
Do solar panels work in winter?
Yes, solar panels can work in winter. Solar panel systems continue to generate electricity during the winter months, although their efficiency may be reduced compared to the sunnier seasons of the year.
Here are some key factors to consider regarding how solar panels perform in winter:
Daylight Hours: Solar panels rely on daylight to generate electricity, and even in winter, there are still daylight hours. However, the days are shorter, which means there is less time for the panels to produce electricity compared to longer summer days.
Sun Angle: The angle of the sun in the winter sky is lower than in the summer, which can affect the efficiency of solar panels. Panels are typically installed at an angle to capture the most sunlight, and this angle is optimised for the region's average sun position. Some systems have adjustable mounts that can be tilted to better capture winter sunlight.
Snow and Ice: Snow and ice can accumulate on solar panels in winter, which can temporarily reduce their output. However, most modern solar panels are designed to be self-cleaning to some extent, and snow can often slide off the smooth surface. Additionally, when the panels are generating heat from the sun, they can help melt snow and ice.
Temperature: Solar panels are actually more efficient at colder temperatures, up to a point. Extremely high temperatures can reduce efficiency, but cold weather typically improves the conductivity of the panel, allowing for more efficient electricity generation.
Energy Storage: To maximise the benefits of solar panels in winter, we often recommend that you pair them with battery storage. Excess energy generated during sunny periods can be stored for use during cloudy or night-time hours.
In summary, while solar panels may be somewhat less efficient during the winter due to reduced daylight hours and the angle of the sun, they can still provide a significant amount of electricity. Proper system design, regular maintenance, and, where needed, battery storage solutions can help ensure that solar panel systems remain productive throughout the year, including the winter season.
How long do solar panels last?
Solar panels are built to endure and are designed for a long and productive life. On average, you can expect your solar panels to keep producing clean, green energy for an impressive 25 to 30 years. Some may even continue working effectively for 40 years or more!
Why Solar Panels Are Long-Lasting:
Quality Matters: Egg installs high-quality solar panels which are engineered to withstand the harshest elements, from scorching heat to freezing cold. Investing in top-notch panels pays off in the long run.
Solid Warranties: Most solar panels come with warranties that guarantee their performance the warranty on our panels lasts for 25 years. This warranty assurance means you're covered, should any unexpected issues arise.
Minimal Maintenance: Solar panels are incredibly low-maintenance. A periodic cleaning to remove dirt and debris is usually all they need to keep performing optimally.
Efficiency Endurance: While solar panels do experience a slight decrease in efficiency over time (about 0.5% to 1% per year), it's a gradual process. Even after decades of service, they'll still be churning out substantial power.
So, if you're pondering the benefits of solar energy, rest assured that your investment will continue to shine for many years to come. Solar panels are not just an eco-friendly choice; they're a long-term energy solution that keeps on giving.
What is the best direction for solar panels?
In the United Kingdom, the best direction for solar panels is generally south-facing. Solar panels installed on a south-facing roof will receive the most sunlight throughout the day, maximising energy production. This is because the sun is typically in the southern part of the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
However, it's important to consider that solar panels can still be effective when facing east or west, and even southeast or southwest orientations can work well. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
South-Facing: South-facing solar panels will produce the most electricity over the course of a year in the UK. They capture sunlight during the middle of the day when the sun is highest in the sky. This is especially important during the winter months when daylight hours are shorter.
East-Facing: East-facing panels will receive more morning sunlight and less afternoon sunlight. This orientation can be beneficial if you have a higher electricity demand in the morning or if you want to maximise production during the earlier part of the day.
West-Facing: West-facing panels will receive more afternoon sunlight and less morning sunlight. This orientation can be suitable if your energy consumption is higher in the afternoon or if you want to capture the late-day sunlight.
Combination: Some homeowners choose to install panels on both east and west-facing sections of their roof to capture morning and afternoon sunlight, which can help distribute energy production more evenly throughout the day.
Roof Angle: The angle at which the panels are installed can also affect their performance. In the UK, a roof angle of around 30-40 degrees is often recommended for fixed solar panels. However, the optimal angle can vary based on your location and specific circumstances.
Shading: Ensure the panels are shaded as little as possible by trees, nearby buildings, or other obstructions. Shading can significantly reduce solar panel efficiency so opting for a shade optimised system, if there is any shading, can help to minimise the impact.
Local Conditions: Local factors, such as climate and weather patterns, can influence the effectiveness of different orientations. Consulting with one of our solar experts is the best way to determine the best orientation for your specific location.
Keep in mind that solar panels are still effective even if they are not perfectly south-facing. The difference in energy production between various orientations may not be significant, especially with the overall efficiency improvements in solar technology. Ultimately, the best orientation for your solar panels in the UK will depend on your energy needs, the layout of your property, and your preferences. Consulting with our solar experts will help you make an informed decision.
Questions about storage?
What battery storage options are available?
We offer a range of home batteries with storage capacity from 5kWh to 13.5kWh. To make sure you have plenty of storage capacity, to collect any excess solar energy generated, to use later when you need it (even when the sun has gone down).
I’m thinking of getting solar panels, should I get a battery too?
A home battery is a great way to ensure that you store any excess energy you generate from your solar panels to use later in the day when you need it – for example, in the evening when the sun has gone down. Especially if you’re not using as much energy during the day when your solar panels are generating energy, a battery makes sure you don’t lose out on that hard earned green energy – as without a battery, if you don’t use your solar energy it gets lost to the electricity grid. This means you’d instead have to rely on more expensive, less green energy from energy suppliers instead.
Also, installing a battery at the same time as your new solar panels means your battery qualifies for the same VAT rate as solar (instead of 20%) – so getting them together gives you an extra smart saving!
How can I monitor how much energy my battery is storing?
All of our home battery options come with an app which allows you to monitor the performance of your solar panel and battery storage system, including a live view of how power is moving between your solar panels, your battery, and your home.
Should I get a battery if I don’t have solar panels?
You absolutely can – but you should consider the benefit of doing so, which is significantly less if you don’t have solar panels. It is possible to sign up to a “time of use” tariff from your energy supplier (e.g. Economy 7) which would allow you to charge up with cheaper electricity overnight to use during the day for a modest saving, but with energy prices constantly changing we advise you give it some real thought first.