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Total Energy Installations are here to answer all your questions
Find out how you can save money, save energy and save the planet

How does Total Energy Installations differ from other Solar companies?

We supply a complete Solar PV service, from initial advice and product recommendations to site surveys and detailed installation. Our dedicated after-sales support is available 24/7 and we organise all your applications for the governments Feed-in Tariff initiative. That’s 100% of the work covered, all you need do is call us and we promise to do the rest!

How does Solar PV work in simple terms?

In simple terms this is how your new PV system works. The PV cells draw energy from the sun (or daylight) which is captured and converted into DC current. It is then passed through a DC Isolator, into an inverter that changes the electric current to AC. This allows the supply to be fed directly into your home’s main supply to be used instead of drawing from the expensive National Grid.
Any power you generate that you do not use is passed automatically back to the National Grid with the agreed payments paid back to you.

PLEASE NOTE: To achieve Feed In Tariff you need to have a minimum of a band D Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This needs to be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). Here at Total Energy Installations we have 4 in-house assessors. All our installations come with a FREE Energy Performance Certificate included in the price.

How much additional income could I generate?

The Feed-in Tariff initiative will pay you 14.9p* for every kilowatt hour of solar energy that your system generates. Compare that to what energy companies sell electricity for which is around 13p per kWh. In addition the scheme will pay you 4.5p for every kilowatt hour that you don’t use - that is fed back into the National Grid.
*As per the TiF changes made on 31st October 2011

NOTE: If you have been quoted 41.3p from a competitor supplier please note these figures close on 12th December 2011 and you will not receive that tariff if your installation is not fitted and approved by then!

Will I need to apply for planning permission?

In most cases planning permission is not required, unless you live in a listed building, or your property is located in a conservation or area of natural beauty.
As soon as you register interest with us we will identify if a planning application is required and organise any paper work that is necessary on your behalf.

Does my solar system come guaranteed?

Yes it does! Total Energy Installations provide a fully written performance guarantee that lasts for an astonishing 25 years. We also provide a fully written no quibble installation and product component guarantee for 10 years, which covers all parts of your system.

How much roof space will I need?

The space you need to install a solar PV system starts at around 14sqm for a roof mounted system. This gives you enough room for a 1.8kWp system.
For larger systems you will require 8sqm for each additional kWp fitted. For example a 3kWp system will require 24sqm of space.
We also fit ground mounted and flat roof solar panels. Ground mounted systems need more space to avoid solar panels shading each other.

Do Total Energy Installations provide a Maintenance Package?

Yes we do! You have the option to take one of our bespoke fully incorporated maintenance packages. This back-up service will assist in maintaining maximum performance of your solar system with regular annual servicing and component checks.

How does solar help the environment?

The fossil fuels currently used to provide your energy (coal, oil and natural gas) are running out, and produce carbon dioxide when burnt for energy. This causes global warming and upsets the ecosystem. Solar power uses energy from the sun. It is free, renewable and does not produce CO2.

Does my solar panel stop working if it gets dirty?

Usually any dust or dirt washes off the panels when it rains, if the panels are installed on a roof of at least 15 degrees. In extreme cases dust may cause a power reduction of about 10%.

How are the Feed-in Tariff payments received?

This primarily depends on the choice of your energy provider. Your energy account statements will be issued quarterly and feed-in tariff credits will appear on your bill. You can apply for payment of credits at any time, provided you are eligible.

Does solar work when it’s cloudy?

It’s a popular misconception that solar is powered directly from the sun. This is not necessary true; it generates power from light sources. Therefore even though the weather may be cloudy your solar system will still be generating free clean electricity.

Is it possible to increase the size of my solar system in the future?

This depends on your roof space and the size of the inverter. If you have sufficient roof space and additional capacity in the inverter you could increase the size of your system. Or you could add a second system to your roof.

Is mains electric still needed?

Because solar PV systems only produce electricity when they are exposed to sunlight, at other times another source, such as mains electricity or a generator, will be required. When there is no sunlight, no electricity is produced, so you will need to draw electricity from another source such as the grid.

Where will my solar panels be placed?

Our site surveyor will determine the optimal position for your solar PV system.
There are many factors to take into consideration when planning the placement – from orientation to the sun, to the area available and the distance to the meter.

Will solar change the value of my property?

When you purchase a solar system, all of its benefits, including the warranties and electricity savings, are linked to the property. Even if you move, all warranties will remain with the system, meaning that the new owner will receive the benefits.
There is not yet enough data to accurately predict the effect of a solar energy system installation on property prices but it goes without saying that having the system is more beneficial and attractive to home buyers.

What happens when it gets dark?

As solar PV systems only produce electricity when they are exposed to daylight, they do not produce electricity at night. At night you will need another source, such as electricity from the grid or power from any solar batteries that build and store energy during the day.

How much will I save on my energy bills with Thermal Solar?

Based on the results of recent field trials (Energy Saving Trust) savings from a well installed system are £55 per year when replacing gas heating and £80 per year when replacing electric immersion heating; however, savings can vary from user to user.
Carbon savings are around 230kgCO2/year when replacing gas and 510kgCO2/year when replacing electric immersion heating.

What is the difference between a solar hot water system and solar PV system?

A solar hot water system uses the sun’s warmth to directly heat water.
A solar PV system converts sunlight into electricity for use in the home or to be fed into the electricity grid. The heat output of the sun is not important for solar PV systems, but the amount of sunlight available is.

Can I talk independently about the Feed-in Tariff to anybody?

Yes of course you can! Here are the details for then FiT team: Feed-in Tariffs Team, Office for Renewable Energy Deployment Department of Energy and Climate Change,
4th Floor, Area A,
3 – 8 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW.  Telephone: 0300 068 5733 or Email: fits@decc.gsi.gov.uk