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Solar Panel FAQs

How do solar panels work?

In this infographic we explain the basic elements of a typical solar installation. 


Unless specifying for a new build, the Consumer Unit and the Electricity Meter will already exist within your premises and would be incorporated into the solution.

Simplicity of Solar - infographic

Is solar the right renewable energy source for me?

If you have roof space available, the simple answer is yes! As solar installations are covered under Permitted Development and there are clear guidelines on the connections for installation, investing in a solar array to create power from natural resources is the right solution. At Harnessing Energy our consultative approach ensures that it’s clear what you can expect visually and on what the return on the investment is likely to be.

​Is planning permission required for an installation on a domestic roof?

In the vast majority of cases, the answer is NO as there is a blanket exemption assuming that the deployment complies with certain criteria. These will be explained as part of the consultation and they will ultimately affect the physical installation.

Will I need to undertake any electrical works prior to a solar installation?

Maybe - every property is different. We complete a thorough site survey prior to any order confirmation. This activity involves inspection of the internal and external roof space, an assessment of the existing consumer unit and the electrical supply and connection. We'd give you a detailed breakdown of any remedial works that may be required.

Aren’t solar panels expensive?

They used to be but the surge in demand has brought costs down. We give a detailed breakdown of everything involved.


Irrespective of the cost, the reality of a solar installation is that it is an investment, one that will cover its cost over a period of time. In the current climate, with soaring electricity prices and low interest rates, as investments go solar offers an immediate return. Coupled with the long term benefits of the self-generation of power, it's a win-win situation.

Are there any government grants to help with the provision of a solar installation?

This is an ever-changing landscape but at the moment there is little governmental support for those wishing to benefit from solar energy. We hope (and lobby) for changes as we believe solar is one of the most accessible self-generation options available. Whether this will come in the form of assistance with the actual deployment, or with a reimplementation of the Feed in Tariff/Smart Export Guarantee type schemes – we will always be abreast of what is available and incorporate this into our service offering where applicable.

Does a solar installation have to be completed by an MCS certified installer and use MCS certified equipment?

No it doesn't. MCS have created a set of standards around solar and other means of self-generation along with certifying products that can be used. For installers and maintainers there is a process and cost to becoming MCS Approved and it's the same for manufacturers. Unlike gas installations (using Gas Safe as a government backed scheme for standards and certification), a solar installation has no obligation or legal requirement for certification. Being MCS approved carries a significant cost which will ultimately be passed onto the client.

We are incredibly focused on our compete service, from initial engagement through to successful solar installations for our clients. We adhere to the highest standards, feeling that membership of an organisation such as MCS, whilst giving us a lovely logo to add to our website, adds very little else other than cost.

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