Solar photovoltaic panels
Priority for Completion: Low
This recommendation should be included if the building potentially has appropriate roof space and photovoltaic panels are not already fitted.
Strictly speaking this is not an energy efficiency measure as it does not reduce the amount of energy the building uses. Instead it produces electricity with a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel power stations. It is also generated closer to the point of use resulting is less waste during the transmission process. As such, practicable energy efficiency improvements should be completed before solar panels are considered. As a result we have rated this as being low priority and suggest it is only considered once other higher priority improvements have already been made.
What are photovoltaic panels?
Photovoltaic panels, often called solar panels or PV, use the energy from the sun to generate electricity. This can be used within the property or fed back into the electricity grid. The video below explains the physics and engineering involved in much more detail.
Fitting photovoltaic panels
Installing this technology usually requires appropriate roof space. You may also need planning and other consents.
Fitting this specialist technology requires expertise. It must only be undertaken by suitably qualified professionals registered with an appropriate scheme. All work undertaken will also be subject to Building Control and must meet the current Building regulations.
Renewable technologies like photovoltaic (PV) panels should generally only be fitted after fabric and service improvements have been completed. It is best practice to reduce the energy demand first before producing energy with a smaller carbon footprint.
Previously this technology was heavily subsidised by government funding schemes. However, the cost of this technology has reduced considerably in recent years and most of these schemes have now stopped. Even so, where they are fitted appropriately photovoltaic panels are usually a cost effective sustainability measure.
Most of the cost benefits from PV panels now come from the electricity generated and used within the building. It may therefore be worthwhile considering battery storage systems as part of your system.