FAQs


General Frequently Asked Questions

Solar PV Frequently Asked Questions

Biomass Boilers’ Frequently Asked Questions

Air Source Heat Pump Frequently Asked Questions

Ground Source Heat Pump Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Thermal Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Where does Lewington Solar Install?

We primarily install our renewable technologies within Leicestershire and  Northamptonshire but we have also completed work in the surrounding counties, for a more specific answer you can contact us.

Will I need planning permission?

We always advise you should check with your local council whether you will need to apply for planning permission when having any renewable technology installed. With planning permission it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Can I claim the RHI and the Feed-in Tariff at the same time?

Yes you absolutely can. In fact this is the best way to maximise your savings and earnings. For example if you have an Air Source Heat Pump and Solar PV you would be self sustaining with little to no need for any grid energy what so ever. Whilst claiming both financial benefits of the RHI and the FITs at their normal rates.

Solar PV Frequently Asked Questions

Solar PV FAQs

How long will it take to install?

We will always aim to install a full solar PV system, commission and test within 1-2 days.

Does the condition of my roof matter for the installation?

In some ways yes, for obvious reasons you would not want to mount Solar PV panels to an unstable or loose roof tiles/slats/slates. A new roof or recently renovated roof would be ideal however this is not necessary as long as your roof is stable. An assessment will be made when carrying out a quote,

If its cloudy outside will my solar panels still generate as much electricity?

Yes, in fact they can be at their most efficient when there is some cloud in the sky. This is because solar panels loose efficiency if they overheat which on a cloudy day is less likely. Typically you will lose efficiency at temperatures above 25°C.

What is the life expectancy of my solar panels?

The manufacturer will guarantee the efficiency of your solar panels for 25 years. This is not to say this is their life expectancy but this is their guaranteed life expectancy.

What servicing and maintenance are required for solar PV?

There is no mandatory servicing required for solar PV. In some cases the inverter may need to be changed after 10 years but this is not always the case and the cost of which will be offset by your Feed-in Tariff. As for maintenance you should treat them like windows. By that we mean you should clean them every now and then to make sure that dirt isn’t effecting the efficiency of your solar panels (and therefore your back pocket).

Is there anything I need to monitor after the installation?

We strongly recommend that you check consistently that no shading has occurred. This is most often caused by a nearby tree growing and causing shading on your panels. Even a small amount of shading will adversely effect the entire performance of that panel which will effect the output of the entire system so monitoring shading is important.

I don’t have a south facing roof can I have solar PV?

Yes of course. There is quite a wide spectrum of angles your PV panel array can face without losing too much efficiency. Of course the more the panels are moved from due south the less efficient they become.

Why is efficiency so important?

Efficiency is integral to the financial benefits of solar PV. Efficiency effects the amount of electricity your system will generate from any given amount of solar input. The more electricity you generate the higher the feed-in tariff payment will be and it will mean you use less grid power.

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Biomass Boilers’ Frequently Asked Questions

Biomass FAQs

What are the different types of biomass boiler?

Biomass boilers differ on the fuel they use. You have the option of pellet fed, wood chip or log fed. We primarily recommend pellet fed biomass boilers for several reasons: they are more reliable than wood chip and log fed biomass boilers; they are the cheapest source of fuel & they require less space for fuel storage. That being said we can and have installed all three types of biomass boilers.

How important is the quality of wood we use in our biomass boiler?

Incredibly important. High quality wood whether it be pellet, wood chip or log needs to be high quality and sourced responsibly. This list of suppliers have been certified for bio fuel distribution click here to see this list.

Is burning wood that sustainable?

Yes very. If sourced from a registered bio fuel supplier the wood by law has to be grown in a sustainable way and in fact, it is creating new forests for the sole purpose of bio fuel.

How expensive is the fuel?

Rough Guide to pricing:

Wood Pellet – £220 per tonne

Wood Chip  – £110 per tonne

Wood Log – £100 per tonne

How expensive is Biomass to have installed?

For obvious reasons the price varies depending on the heating and hot water needs of your property. Therefore prices are given on individual basis due to the unique needs of each property.

Do you need a back-up boiler?

We don’t see the need to have a back-up boiler as the biomass boiler is very reliable and will handle 100% of your needs. However, we are more than happy to install one or keep the original if you desire.

Do I have to feed in the fuel in myself?

With pellets there is an automatic pellet hopper that places the pellets into the boiler to meet your heating needs. All you will need to do is fill the pellet hopper every now and then. With wood chip and logs manual placement is required.

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Air Source Heat Pump Frequently Asked Questions

Air Source Heat Pump FAQs

What is an EPC and why do I need one?

An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate, this is required prior to all Air Source installations. An EPC gives your property a rating of energy performance. ASHPs use electricity to draw in air to power the heating, the higher your energy performance the less you will have to pay for electricity.Therefore it is important for the installer to know your EPC rating.

How will it affect my existing hot water and central heating system?

Air Source Heat Pumps do not require any changes to radiators, hot water cylinder or pipework that your current system has. It will replace your current boiler (gas/oil/LPG/electric) only. Although if required an upgrade to the entire system can be installed by Lewington Solar.

Should I consider Underfloor Heating too?

Yes we strongly recommend considering Underfloor Heating. Underfloor heating is between 15-30% more efficient than standard radiators. This means you will save more on your energy bills because your heat pump will require less electricity to run.

How difficult are they to maintain and will I need an annual service?

Air Source Heat Pumps are very easy to maintain and do not require an annual service or safety check.

How much electricity do they use?

Air Source Heat Pumps use very little electricity when compared to the amount of hot water they can produce. Typically for every 1 KWh of electricity you put into the ASHP it will produce 4 KWhs of energy to heat your hot water.

As they are fans do they create a lot of noise?

Air Source Heat Pumps do create noise. Technology has led to much quieter heat pumps and now they create about as much noise as a fridge freezer.

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Ground Source Heat Pump Frequently Asked Questions

Ground Source Heat Pump FAQs

What is an EPC and why do I need one?

An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate, this is required prior to all Ground Source installations. An EPC gives your property a rating of energy performance. GSHPs use electricity to power the pump, the higher your energy performance the less you will have to pay for electricity.Therefore it is important for the installer to know your EPC rating.

How big are Ground Source Heat Pump Units?

The above ground unit itself is about the size of a fridge freezer and can be placed in a number of different locations in or out the house. The ideal place would be in a basement or as close to the ground loop/bore hole as possible, this maximises the amount of heat you can draw from the ground.

Should I consider Underfloor Heating too?

Yes we strongly recommend considering Underfloor Heating. Underfloor heating is between 15-30% more efficient than standard radiators. This means you will save more on your energy bills because your heat pump will require less electricity to run.

Should I have a bore hole, horizontal or compact collector?

There are benefits of each, but more often than not it will be a decision that our expert ground source heat pump engineer will advise you on when you have your quote. He can direct you towards the right collector as every house is different.

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Solar Thermal Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Thermal FAQs

How many solar panels will I need?

For a standard home 2 flat plate solar panels is all you will need.

How effective would solar water heating be in Leicestershire & Northamptonshire?

Very effective. Solar thermal panels will provide the average family with around 50-60% of their hot water needs spread throughout the year.

What servicing do solar collectors require? What types of service maintenance do Lewington’s offer?

Solar thermal panels require a bi-annual service. Once installed your system would be added to our bi-annual service list where you receive a reminder 2 weeks prior to the service date.

How should solar panels be fitted for maximum efficiency?

Solar panels should be mounted on a south facing roof at a 30° angle away from trees, surrounding buildings and chimneys. Fortunately, the average tilt of a UK roof is about the optimum angle for receiving solar energy.

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