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Help Centre

Find the answers to any questions that you may have about the technology of the systems we use and information about FEC Renewables. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to your questions below. If you cannot find the answer to your question try our Eco Forum or Contact Us direct.

  • How do I know if solar panels are worth it for me?
    Start by evaluating your current energy consumption. Review your utility bills to understand your energy usage patterns. This step will give you a baseline for your energy needs. The average UK household consumption is roughly 3500kWh or 10kWh daily. If you consume the average or higher, it's likely that you would benefit from solar panels, although other factors can affect this, ie roof type, orientation etc.
  • How long will it take before I see a return on my investment?
    You’ll see savings on bills immediately! The payback of the installation cost depends on many variables, such as your local weather conditions, shading, pitch and orientation of your building. Typically, you can expect to pay off a home system in 8-12 years and a commercial system in 6-8 years. With many solar panel manufacturer's offering up to 25 years energy output guarantee, you could generate free energy for years after you've made your money back!
  • I rent my property. Would I be able to get solar panels installed?
    You would need to check with your landlord. We’ve installed Solar PV for many landlords as they can benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee and the increase in property value.
  • Do I need a south facing roof?
    No, Solar PV panels work on light, rather than heat and all roofs have light shining on them. Many customers have east/west facing systems and typically generate around 86% of an equivalent south-facing roof. You may not generate as much as a south facing roof but you could still be generating enough for your needs and more.
  • Do I need planning permission?
    In most cases, no. Domestic solar panel installations are considered ‘permitted developments’ and don’t require planning permission unless: you live in a listed building the building is in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty. (solar panels are permitted in a conservation area as long as they’re not installed on a wall or roof that faces a main highway) the panels protrude more than 200mm from the roof. We always fit within this limit. you are having a ground mounted array. If you’re unsure about permitted developments, please visit the Government’s planning portal or book a call back and get free advice from us.
  • I’ve got shading on my property, is that a problem?
    Shading will reduce the power output of solar panels and any panels directly connected to the shaded panel. Severe shading, like a chimney right in front of panels (known as Hard Shading) can also cause some long term damage. We will be able to advise you on the best place for your panels to be installed.
  • Do you provide finance options?
    We do offer finance. FEC Renewables acts as a broker and not a lender. Our finance partner offers our customers finance options for green energy projects. Choosing finance can be factored into your FREE projection report, whilst it can certainly still be a wise financial investment, it's important to know that this option will delay your estimated payback period.
  • What is a heat pump and how do they work?
    Heat pumps absorb warmth from the outdoor air, ground or water (even when the air, ground or water feel cold). They use this warmth to heat your home and hot water. They work in exactly the same way as a fridge or freezer, only in reverse, with the refrigerant and a compressor providing useful heat rather than cooling. Heat pumps run on electricity, and for every unit of electricity they consume, a well-installed and reasonably high-spec model will produce 3 units of heat. This would give it an efficiency of 300%, which is much higher than a new condensing gas boiler which may achieve an efficiency of 90%.
  • What are the different types of heat pumps?
    There are two types of heat pump that we install: air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. Ground source heat pumps use buried fluid-filled pipes to absorb heat from the ground. These pipes can either be in horizontal trenches around 1m below the surface, or in vertical boreholes which go much deeper, from 60m to 200m. An indoor unit houses the compressor and heat exchanger to transfer the heat to the central heating system and hot water cylinder. Air source heat pumps are more affordable and easier to install and therefore account for the vast majority of installations. Heat pumps typically consist of a sealed external unit containing a fan. The fan draws external air across a heat exchanger that contains a liquid refrigerant which absorbs heat energy from the air – even when the air is very cold. The refrigerant is pumped through a compressor which increases its temperature. It then transfers this heat via another heat exchanger to water contained in pipework that goes into the house and connects to the central heating circuit and hot water cylinder.
  • Will I need to change my radiators to install a heat pump?
    Most wet heating systems (e.g. where hot water is pumped through radiators) have been designed to work with gas or oil boilers which produce water at higher temperatures than heat pumps. Because heat pumps work most efficiently at lower flow temperatures, they work very well with underfloor heating. That’s because underfloor heating works at a lower temperature and tends to be on for longer periods. This doesn’t mean heat pumps can’t be used with radiators. But it does mean that they need to be big enough to emit the amount of heat required to heat a room. Upgrading to bigger radiators could be as simple as replacing single panel radiators with double panel ones. But, in some cases, you may need space for wider or taller ones. If you add insulation and reduce your heat loss, your existing radiators, or at least some of them, could be adequate. Your heat pump installer will calculate the required output of the radiators in each room.
  • Will I need to insulate my house?
    The more insulated and efficient your home’s fabric (walls, roof, floor, windows), the less heat it needs to stay warm. This means it’s easier to deliver this heat at a low flow temperature, which means a more efficient heat pump and lower bills. If your house is leaky and uninsulated then having a low flow temperature can be challenging due to the sheer size of the emitters required. The overall heat demand will be higher too so the heat pump itself may need to be bigger. A detached house will lose much more heat than a mid-terrace of the same size. This means it can be harder to run heat pumps efficiently in larger houses with lots of uninsulated external walls. But it is possible – you may just need large radiators or underfloor heating.
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