Questions & Answers

General

Battery storage allows you to make the most of the electricity generated by your solar panels. Solar PV panels can’t store electricity, so unless you have a battery, any solar power that isn’t used immediately is exported to the grid. Installing a battery allows you to store the electricity generated during the day, and use it in the evening, or at night, when your panels aren’t producing any power. This could allow you to save even more money on your electricity bill, as you’ll import less from the grid.

The belief that solar panels need sunshine to generate electricity is a common misconception. Solar PV panels run on daylight, not sunshine, so your Sunplug system will generate at least a little electricity, even on cloudy days.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is completely passive, the panels don’t make any noise at all. When operating at optimal conditions, neither the inverter or the battery will produce any significant noise, meaning that the Sunplug system is largely silent.

When the Sunplug system is installed, there can be a very brief period of time during which your home may be without power. This is, on average, around 20 minutes. Power will resume as soon as the system is installed.

No. When installing Sunplug, there is no need to adapt any of the existing infrastructure. The qualified engineers will lay new cables to connect your solar panels, inverter and battery, but none of the existing wiring will be touched.

In 2010, the UK government introduced a subsidy scheme designed to encourage the uptake of a range of small-scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies, including solar PV. These subsidies are called Feed-in Tariffs, or FiTs, and they apply to anyone who generates and uses renewable energy on their property. The tariffs take the form of sums of money paid by utility companies to homeowners.

 

There are two types of FiT:

Your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked for the duration. Your energy supplier will pay you a further rate for each until you export back to the electricity grid. At some stage, smart meters may be installed to measure the exact amount exported, but until then it will be estimated as being 50% of the solar electricity you generate.

 

The Feed-in Tariffs apply to all domestic solar propositions, so if you’re looking to install a solar PV system on your home, you’ll be able to benefit financially from these government subsidies. Once a system is registered for the FiT, the tariff is guaranteed for the entire period of eligibility, which is usually up to 20 years. The payments are index-linked, so will fluctuate in line with inflation or deflation, and are generally paid quarterly (every three months).

If you choose to buy Sunplug for your home, you’ll receive both the generation and the export FiTs. The FiT rate you receive will depend on your home’s EPC rating.

If you choose to buy solar energy and get Sunplug free, the generation and export FiT will be paid to EDF and Lightsource.

Fix My Energy

You can sell your home at any time. An improved EPC rating, lower electricity bills and sustainable living are attractive to house buyers.

We can arrange to transfer Sunplug to the new owner or you can buy it outright to add additional value to your home as it’ll generate free electricity for the new owners. We can also remove it.

No. As solar panels are deemed a ‘permitted development’, you will not need planning permission for a Sunplug system unless your home is a listed building or in a conservation area.

Yes! Sunplug is available to both EDF Energy and non-EDF Energy customers.

If you have a mortgage and have chosen to buy energy with Sunplug, we’ll contact your lender to secure their permission.

You’ll pay for the solar electricity you use via a monthly Direct Debit – we’ll give you 10 days notice of the bill every month.

Installing Sunplug is a fairly simple process. From start to finish, it usually takes just one or two days to fit the solar panels, inverter and battery. A team from Lightsource will oversee the entire process, including the positioning and removal of scaffolding.

If you choose to buy energy with Sunplug, you’ll enter into a 20-year contract. Should you wish to terminate the contract early, Lightsource can remove the system from your home, at a cost dependant on how much of your contract has elapsed.

Once the 20-year period of your Sunplug contract is up, ownership will be transferred to you. The solar panels we install have a performance warranty of 25 years, so you’ll still be able to generate clean, renewable energy completely free of charge!

If you choose to buy energy with Sunplug, you will be required to sign a number of documents allowing us to contact your mortgage provider, secure a lease for your roof and set up a direct debit for your electricity payments.

If you’re unsure about anything, we recommend speaking with a qualified solicitor.

If you buy energy and receive Sunplug equipment, installation and maintenance for free, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments will go to Lightsource and EDF.

Own My Solar

Installing a Sunplug system is a fairly simple process. From start to finish, it usually takes just one or two days to fit the solar panels, inverter and battery. A team from Lightsource will oversee the entire process, including the positioning and removal of scaffolding.

If you’re buying Sunplug for your home you do not need to contact your mortgage provider.

There are two types of Feed-in Tariff or FiT (check out FiT guide for more information):

  1. The generation tariff – this is based on the total amount of renewable energy generated
  2. The export tariff – this is based on the estimated amount of renewable energy exported to the grid

If you choose to buy Sunplug for your home, you’ll receive both the generation and the export FiTs. The FiT rate you receive will depend on your home’s EPC rating.

Yes! Sunplug is available to both EDF Energy and non-EDF Energy customers.

If your home has a pitched, south-facing roof, it is likely to be suitable for Sunplug. Some types of roofing material (ie thatch) are not compatible with solar, and if your roof is shaded by foliage or other buildings, solar PV panels may not be the right option for your home.

You’ll pay for your Sunplug solution in two installments, a 10% deposit on acceptance of the initial quote, followed by payment of the outstanding balance within 10 working days of the installation. Both payments should take place via BACS.

Add A Battery

Yes you can! The Sunplug upgrade is designed to work as an addition to your existing solar PV system. This means that our skilled engineers can install Sunplug without interfering at all with your solar panels, inverter or any other components.

The Sunplug upgrade is compatible with all makes and types of solar PV panels, as long as they are working efficiently. If your panels are producing sufficient amounts of electricity to power the battery, your system is suitable for Sunplug.

You’ll pay for your Sunplug solution in two installments, a 10% deposit on acceptance of the initial quote, followed by payment of the outstanding balance within 10 working days of the installation. Both payments should take place via BACS.

The battery can be wall or floor mounted. For optimal performance the battery needs to be placed in-doors in a well-ventilated space that is easily accessible. A utility room or similar is an ideal location.

The battery is approximately 45  x 40  x 12cm, while the inverter measures approximately 45 x 51 x 15cm

Installing a Sunplug upgrade is a fairly simple process. From start to finish, it usually takes just one days to fit the inverter and battery.

This can vary depending on your location, the weather and your panels, but at peak production times it can take just three hours to fully charge the battery.

Again, this depends on your situation. The Sunplug upgrade option is capable of discharging up to 2.5KWh at a time.

The battery is designed to require minimal maintenance and comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 10 years. Our offer also includes a two years of operation and maintenance (O&M) cover, during which time you can contact Lightsource who will arrange for an engineer to fix any fault with the battery. You will have an option to extend this cover at the end of the two years if you choose.

Go solar today and save on your energy

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