Are building regulations required for solar panels?

Building Regulations for Solar Panels

We get asked this question a lot by our customers, so we are confident that you would like to know the answer too.

From building regulations for a conservatory through to building regulations for solar panels, we know that understanding building regulations can sometimes be very confusing. Which is why we are here to help you and give you expert guidance that you can trust.

Do you need building regulations for solar panels?

The answer: yes. 

If you wish to buy solar panels for your home, then the installation is subject to standard building regulations. This is because the existing roof will need to be checked by an experienced electrician to prove that your home is suitable for solar panels, and more importantly, has the ability and infrastructure to carry the weight of them. Ultimately, giving you and your family peace of mind that your home is structurally sound.

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Is my house suitable for solar panels?

Most homes are suitable for solar panels. However, the size of your solar array (several solar panels set up in one installation) will depend on your electricity consumption and roof size – the larger your roof space, the more solar panels you can have.

You will also need a small amount of room available in your attic to house the inverter, which is roughly the size of a microwave.

To get the most out of your solar panels your roof will ideally be facing true south. But do not worry if it is not – it is still worth installing solar panels on east or west-facing roofs as the loss in output is only minor, hardly noticeable really!

We would not recommend installing solar panels onto your home if it has a north-facing roof or is predominantly in the shade as you might not get the best performance from your solar panels.

What do I need to know before buying solar panels for my home?

Before buying solar panels (and getting any applicable building regulations), you will need to consider these 4 things:

  • Your current energy consumption, to determine how many solar panels you will need
  • Where you are going to put the solar panels, for example your roof or even your detached garage
  • The condition of where you will install your solar panels, to ensure that they can be supported  safely and securely
  • How you will pay for the installation and maintenance of your solar panels

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Will buying solar panels reduce my electricity bill?

Yes! The good news is that although the initial purchase and installation cost can be a bit expensive, solar panels pay for themselves in the long term and a cost-effective way of generating (and saving) electricity.

What if my solar panels are installed without building regulations?

If you decide to go ahead and install solar panels on your home without following the correct building regulation procedure or obtaining any relevant certificates (if needed) then there may be two devastating impacts. Firstly, your local authority may serve an enforcement notice requiring alteration or removal of the work, or secondly your local authority may prosecute you in the Magistrates Court where an unlimited fine may be imposed.

Can I get retrospective building regulations approval?

The good news is that if your home improvement project has been done without building regulations, you can apply for ‘regularisation’ – retrospective approval – from your local council.

When applying for regularisation your local council will send a building surveyor to your home to assess your home improvement project. They will then give you confirmation that your project meets building regulation standards or give you recommendations for how to bring it up to standard. Both resulting in you being issued the relevant certificates.

Do solar panels require planning permission?

The installation of solar panels may be classed as ‘permitted development’ with no need to apply to your local council for planning permission. There is, however, a set criteria which your solar panels must meet to benefit from these permitted development rights:

  • Your solar panels must not be installed above the highest part of your roof (excluding your chimney) and should project no more than 200mm from the roof slope
  • Your solar panels must not be installed on a building that is classed as a listed building or scheduled monument
  • If your home is in a conservation area or in a World Heritage site, solar panels must not be fitted to a wall which fronts a dual carriageway or busy main road

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Invest in solar power today and read this article if you want to find out why! To get started simply compare the whole solar panel market or alternatively contact us and we will get back to you.

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