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We’ve installed solar panels on over 900 homes in partnership with Derby City Council, who provided over £6million in funding.
They have mainly been fitted to bungalows and ground floor flats to benefit elderly and disabled tenants who are more likely to be struggling with rising fuel bills. We also installed some systems to blocks of flats with large roofs and chose to feed the electricity into the ground floor flats and the communal areas.
Not all council properties are suitable to have solar panels fitted. Generally, we install them on south-facing roofs, as they receive the right amount of sunlight to work properly. We also consider the pitch of the roof and the roof construction to make sure it will be able to hold the weight of the panels.
Solar panels and the electricity you use
Having Solar panels installed on your roof does not mean that all your electricity is free. You will still receive a bill from your electricity supplier for any electricity you still use that is supplied by them. You could save up to £100 a year off your electricity bill with solar panels.
When your panels are producing electricity, the electricity produced by the panels will always be used first. Any extra electricity needed will be charged as normal from your electricity supplier via your electricity meter.
Making the most of your solar panels
If you want to save as much money as possible and take advantage of the free electricity produced by the panels, you need to decide to use appliances when you know the panels are likely to be producing electricity (i.e., during the day)
TIP: Try to use one major appliance at a time, so that you are taking full advantage of the free electricity.
You do not need to change your current lifestyle if you don’t want to. Any electricity generated by the panels will automatically supply any appliances you have on all the time including timers, your fridge/freezer and items left on standby. So even if you don’t do anything, you will still benefit from this free electricity. Any electricity that is not used will go back on to the national grid automatically through your electricity meter.
Solar panels require very little maintenance, but from time to time contractors or Derby Homes Repairs Team may need to check or service them. Please make sure you do not block access to the inverter and generation meter and do not tamper with any of the equipment that has been installed. Only a qualified Solar PV trained electrician should work on the equipment installed.
Solar Panel Safety
If your home is fitted with Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels you will have some electrical control equipment installed in the loft.
Please DO NOT switch off your solar PV panels at either of the isolation switches next to your fuse box or in the lost unless you are instructed to do so, or unless there is an emergency. The panels and control equipment generate high voltage electricity that can be dangerous if interfered with.
The panels will switch of automatically if there is a power cut or the main electricity supply to the property is switched off. You do not need to turn the isolation switches back on.
The panels on the roof are fragile and can be easily damaged. You must make sure anyone working on the roof, such as television aerial or satellite dish installers is aware of the risks. You should only use registered, qualified installers as you may be liable for any damage they cause to the panels or equipment.
Anyone who goes into the loft must not interfere with the electrical equipment. It is important that air can move freely around the control equipment. You must not store items or boxes near it.
You must report and damage to the panels or equipment to Derby Homes as soon as you are aware of it. You can do this via MyAccount.