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Homeowner Blog

George Riley

Recent Posts

How to Choose a Solar Inverter

George Riley 12 Nov 2019

The inverter is the heart of a PV system. It’s the crucial interface between your solar panels and the rest of the home, batteries or national grid. Aside from converting DC solar power into usable AC, it houses many of the system’s safety features and performance monitoring.

Given it’s such an important component, let’s talk about how to choose a solar inverter. What do you have to consider, and which is the best model?

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Topics: Solar PV

Best EV Charger for Tesla Cars

George Riley 31 Oct 2019

The electric car revolution is well underway and many people in the UK are now taking delivery of their Tesla Model 3. But have you considered how you’ll be charging your new vehicle? What’s the best EV charger for Tesla cars?

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Topics: EV charging, zappi

How to Get 5% VAT on Solar Panels

George Riley 04 Oct 2019

Another week and another upheaval in the world of solar… While the world wakes up to the imminent threat of climate breakdown, our trusty government has decided it’s the perfect time to hike the VAT on solar PV installations.

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Topics: Solar PV

Solar Tiles vs Solar Panels

George Riley 12 Sep 2019

With the increasing threat of climate change urging many of us to cut back on fossil fuels, solar is ever more appealing. It’s a technology that empowers individuals to supply themselves with clean, renewable energy at an increasingly affordable price. Innovation in this industry is constant, so let’s see how one of the developing trends in PV stacks up by comparing solar tiles vs solar panels.

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Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

Solar Panel Maintenance Checklist

George Riley 06 Sep 2019

One of the most appealing aspects of solar PV is that it requires very little maintenance in return for decades of functioning lifetime. With no moving parts, solar panels aren’t put under the mechanical stresses inherent in other generators. But the system is a significant investment - with most of its return based on using its electricity - so a little upkeep is worthwhile to ensure it’s always performing at its best.

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Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV

Green Roof PV: Solar Panels and Green Roofs

George Riley 22 Aug 2019

Image source: Optigreen

Those looking to make the greatest environmental benefit from their roof space may feel they should choose between solar panels and green roofs - but can you combine the two? Yes - though both systems need to be designed properly.

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Topics: Solar PV

Types of Solar Panel: Which Should You Choose?

George Riley 08 Aug 2019

It’s important to do your research when planning your solar system, but the sea of technical terms can soon become overwhelming. Let’s address some of those you may come across when comparing types of solar panel - and see how those types stack up.

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Topics: Solar PV

Black Solar Panels

George Riley 11 Jul 2019

Why are solar panels blue (usually)?

The standard solar panels that you see most commonly on rooftops are a shimmering blue colour. This is because they are made from polycrystalline silicon - lots of crystals melted together.

But you may have also seen black solar panels - these are monocrystalline. Formed from single silicon crystals, they have a greater efficiency and (in many people’s opinion) a more attractive appearance.

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Topics: Solar PV

Smart Export Guarantee Coming in January 2020

George Riley 11 Jun 2019

On 10th June, the government finally announced the details of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), the system to ensure people are paid for excess generated electricity they send to the grid.

This guarantee is seen as a replacement for the Feed-in and Export Tariffs, which ended on 31st March this year. Those schemes encouraged thousands of installs and helped bring the cost of solar down over 50% since 2011. The aim of the SEG is to continue promoting renewables but without costing consumers. Instead suppliers will have to start bidding competitively for the energy you generate.

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV

Solar VAT Rise Threatens Domestic PV - Should You Install This Summer?

George Riley 30 May 2019

The solar PV industry has faced a year of change in 2019, with more uncertainty lying ahead. First came the end of the Feed-in Tariff, the guaranteed payments for people generating solar energy. The 50% deemed Export Tariff for smaller systems ended at the same time and we’re still waiting to see what will fill the gap, to prevent customers with new solar systems from exporting excess electricity to the grid for free. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t impact people who installed their system before the final Feed-in Tariff deadline of 31st March 2019.) The current proposal from the government is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) - more on this below. As a final kick in the teeth to the industry, another threat to solar PV installation has resurfaced - a potential solar VAT rise on domestic systems from 5% to 20%.

So what does all this mean to you? Is solar PV still worth installing now, either as an extension to your existing system, or as a new system altogether, or should you wait? And what about a solar battery?

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV