Need Help? We get a lot of questions about our solar panel systems and how it all works. That is why we have compiled a list of all our frequently asked questions and their answers. Hopefully you can find what you are looking for here. If not, head over to our contact page and get in touch.

General FAQS

How Are Panels Installed On A Flat Roof?

The most common way we install panels on a flat roof is flat on dense concrete blocks. The mounting frame is attached all as one piece and weighed down by the blocks, which makes this method of installation extremely stable and secure. This pitches the panels flat, parallel to the roof face.
We can install panels at an angle on a flat roof on ballast weighted tubs, this gives the panels a 15-degree pitch – please note you may not be able to fit as many panels with this configuration due to shading restrictions.

I Have Birds In My Area, How Do I Stop Them Nesting Under My Panels?

We offer a bird mesh solution which is a strong PVC coated aluminium mesh that attaches to the exterior of the panels and acts as a barrier to stop birds nesting underneath the panels.

Do I Need Planning Permission To Get Solar Panels?

In most cases no, however, if you have a listed property then you will need to get planning permission. For more information please follow this link

Will My Install Still Go Ahead Despite Adverse Weather?

FAQS about My System

Will I Be Able To Use My Panels Or Battery In A Power Cut?

All inverters in the UK legally have to sense grid voltage to supply power. If there is a power cut the panels will stop producing, the inverter has a cut-out in it to ensure the panels don’t feed any power back to the grid when there is a power cut.

If your panels were to continue producing in the event of a power cut, it could endanger the safety of engineers working on or repairing the grid.

You will not be able to use your panels or sell anything back to the grid during a power outage.

If you want to take advantage of your battery unit(s) during a power cut, we can provide an Emergency Power Supply unit (EPS). However, this means a completely separate circuit so another fuse board would have to be fitted to the battery. This EPS unit will not power your entire home in an outage and will only work if the battery has charge too.

Is My Roof Strong Enough For Solar Panels?

The onsite surveyor will take a look at your roof from the inside the loft space and outside to assess the condition. In our experience, most roofs in good condition are able to take a load of at least 100kg/square meter. On average our systems weigh 25kg/square meter with an additional snow tolerance of 10kg/square meter.

How can I tell how much power my solar panels are producing?

We provide you with a physical mounted meter in your installation. The meter will tally up the total amount of power your system has produced since it has been installed (we commonly refer to this as a generation meter).
You are also provided with an app which gives you live readings on how much power your system is producing. The app also gives you daily, monthly, yearly and all time production figures.

Who Is Responsible For Registering My System With The National Grid?

Every Solar PV system needs to be registered with the National grid and local District Network Operator (DNO). As the solar installer, we are responsible for contacting and applying for grid approval on behalf of the homeowner. You may be required to sign a document to allow us to gain this permission on your behalf if your system size is over a certain threshold.

Please bear in mind, it can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks to hear back from the DNO about a grid application.

Why Does It Look Like I’m Drawing From The Grid And Not My Battery First?

Every home’s consumption fluctuates constantly and regularly throughout the day, kettles, tumble dryers, lights, and turning the telly on will have an effect on the amount of power your home is consuming.

There will be instances when your home will draw from the grid before your battery, this is a necessary feature of the battery management system/inverter and is designed this way to ensure the longevity of the battery life.

If the battery kicked in exactly as and when it was needed, and there was no ramp up or down of power requirement, then the battery life would be considerably shortened.

Because of this, there may be times when it appears on your monitoring that the home is drawing power from the grid before the battery. This is perfectly normal to see, and you should see over time that the battery kicks in to supply the power.

(Please note, the app will only update every 5-6 minutes and readings are not real-time)

For technical support issues click here for our reset procedure instructions

FAQS about Finances and Documentation

When Do I Get My Installation Certificates/Documents?

We aim to get your documentation and certification to you within 14 working days of the settlement of the final invoice. This will include the necessary documentation to apply for a Smart Export Guarantee with your electricity provider.

How Much Power Will My Panels Generate And How Much Will I Save?

You are provided with a performance estimate and savings table on your survey report after the on-site surveyor visit. We aim to give you the most accurate figures possible but please note these are not a guarantee of performance or savings.

How Do I Register For A Tariff To Get Paid For The Excess Energy I Send Back To The Grid?

You need to contact your energy provider and ask to sign up for their Smart Export Guarantee tariff (SEG). They will send you an application for you to fill out and also ask for some documents, an MCS Certificate, which is sent in your handover documentation, and a DNO notification approval, which is sent to you via email separately.

You need a smart meter to be able to claim this tariff, so if you haven’t already got one, contact your supplier to get one installed

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Home Smart Energy is a trading style of Smartfoam Ltd. Registered Address and Trading Address: Lynnem House, 1 Victoria Way, Burgess Hill, RH15 9NF. No. 09925135. Our VAT Registration No. 230912243. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN789507.

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