Frequently Asked Questions
As of April 1 2010, the government has introduced a scheme, which pays a “Feed-in Tariff”, for electricity generated by renewable sources. This means that, regardless of whether the electricity is used or not, each unit of energy produced by photovoltaic solar panels generates an income. This income is guaranteed on every installation for 25 years. By receiving this tariff, FreeSolar is able to offer solar panels to homeowners completely free of charge.
Please see our “Why Solar” section for further information on the tariff.
If the scheme is stopped, this simply means we will not be able to perform any more installations. However, existing installations are guaranteed and protected.
Since FreeSolar receives the tariff, you don’t need to worry about this unless you choose to buy photovoltaic panels from us. However, the tariff, once in place, is guaranteed and index linked, meaning it is tied to rates of inflation.
In the majority of cases, one day.
No. Electricity can only be generated in the day and solar energy cannot be stored. At night, your electricity will automatically switched to your normal supplier.
Using readily available information systems, such as Google Earth, we have assessed your roof. Key elements of suitability include the angle of your roof, the direction your house faces and whether or not, your roof is shaded. However, a more detailed survey will be carried out by one of our fully qualified technicians before the panels are installed.
After 25 years the ownership of panels reverts to the homeowner. The solar photovoltaic panels should still be at least 80% effective in the amount of electricity they generate so you will still benefit from the free electricity that they generate.
No. We own the solar panels.
Yes. Our section on “Buysolar or FreeSolar” gives some of the basic information on the both the free and paid for solar deals.
Generally speaking you will not need planning permission for the installation of solar panels. The installation falls under ‘permitted planning rights’ which allows you to do certain things without gaining extra planning permission. However, there are some circumstances when planning permission will be needed. This includes houses that fall within conservation areas or listed buildings.
Yes but we do that for you. We have an agreement with the majority of mortgage lenders, which complies with a process implemented by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). We will need to take some of your mortgage details so that we can complete the process of informing your mortgage company on your behalf.
No. We are responsible for insuring your panels separately at no cost to you. Our insurance covers any damage caused to or by the panels. However, you will need to inform your home insurance provider.
If FreeSolar were to cease operating or to go into liquidation, the solar panels would remain in place and you will continue to receive free electricity. However, instead of being paid to FreeSolar, the feed in tariffs would be paid to the creditors. Maintenance would continue to be carried out by our installer partners.
Yes, there is a seven day cooling off period from when you sign the contract.
When you sell your house, the panels and the agreement will pass to the new owner through a deed of covenant. The new owner will continue to benefit from the free electricity until the end of the term of the Agreement.
Research from the Energy Saving Trust also shows that many people are willing to pay more for a house that has some form of energy generation. The result is that it could both increase the value of your home and help it sell more quickly.
No. We are also responsible for the maintenance of the panels for the next 25 years.
When we assess your roof, we will check its condition. As such, it is likely that any unexpected problems with your roof are ones that will be covered by insurance, such as damage caused by falling trees or unusual weather conditions. However, if you need to make repairs or alterations that are not covered by your insurance, you are liable for the cost of moving the panels.
It is generally estimated that you can reduce your energy bill by between one third and one half, depending on how you manage your electricity usage. Obviously, you will save more by performing energy intensive tasks, such as washing or drying clothes or running dishwashers during the day. Using timer switches can allow you to still do this when there is no one at home.
In theory, yes. However, only installations put in place by MCS certified installers are eligible for the feed-in tariff, meaning that you may never make back the money you spend on the panels. Stores like Homebase, who sell solar panels, recognise this and so partner with electricity companies to install the panels for you. This means that the deal is the same as with any company selling solar panels.