Enhancing your home with a new extension is a great idea, but you might want to take the opportunity to make it even better by adding solar panels to the roof. After all, you will now have a large space that needs to be heated and more roof space to accommodate the panels. Doing it all at the same time can be a great idea and even save you money in the long run.
For the most part solar panels do not need Planning Permission, but you may find that your home is subject to some of the restrictions that currently exist regarding the installation of solar panels on the roof. These restrictions are as follows:
- The solar panels should be positioned so that they do not have a visual impact on the area or the external appearance of the building. Ideally this means putting them on the back of the house
- The panels should be removed when no longer required
- The panels cannot protrude further than 200mm from the roof slope and cannot be installed any higher than the highest part of the roof (but not on the chimney!)
- Panels cannot be installed on a listed building or within the grounds of a listed building
- Solar panels cannot be installed on a designated monument site
- Panels installed in conservation areas cannot be fitted to the front of the house or building
- Permission must be sought from the leaseholder for installations on flats and the management company must be informed
While you will not need Planning Permission if you fit into the above criteria, you will still need Building Regulations approval. The electrical work, the load capacity of the roof and the registration of the builder will all need to be checked. The installer needs to be registered under the Competent Person Scheme or your panels will not be eligible for the feed-in-tariff.
Making money from your panels
Don’t forget that adding solar panels to your home will allow you to enjoy the benefits of cheaper electricity bills and the feed in tariff which will help you to claw back some of the costs. So even when you are splashing out on a new extension, you could be making long term investments in your home and the environment. It sounds like a win win to us.