How Solar Power works for Homes

We’ve put solar panels on the roofs of hundreds of homes, paying all the costs for materials, installation and maintenance ourselves which gives homeowners a supply of free electricity.

The panels turn sunlight into an electrical current. The current flows into an inverter that converts it from DC electricity to AC electricity that can be used in the house. The electricity is fed into the consumer unit, and is used first to meet the home’s need. If the panels are producing less electricity than the home needs, some will be imported from the grid and charged for by the customer’s usual electricity supplier; if they produce more electricity than the home needs, some will be exported back to the grid.

Customers can get a third to a half of their electricity needs supplied from the solar panels, with most of the electricity produced in the middle of the day.

We pay for the installation and the maintenance by taking a lease over the space above the roof to give us security for 20-25 years, and by collecting money for the all the electricity generated in the house through the Government’s Feed In Tariff scheme.

Some customers pay for the installation themselves and make a return from the Feed In Tariff. The Government made big reductions to Feed In Tariffs for solar installations made after January 2016. We are currently looking at how we can make new installations pay after that date, so watch this space. The changes have no effect on solar PV systems installed before 16 January 2016.

If your house already has one of our systems, and you have any questions, contact us here for more information or read our FAQs.

Existing Solar Customers

If you already have one of our systems on your home’s roof, you could be saving hundreds of pounds a year from your electricity bill.

You should have a welcome pack sent by us when the system was first installed with summary information on how to use get the best from the solar panels and safety instructions for your electrician if you have work done at the house, as well as a copy of the lease over the roof space.

If you don’t have the pack, please email or call us to get another.

The equipment Green Nation have at your house:
  • Solar panels mounted on a metal frame and attached to the roof structure
  • An inverter – a box, often red in colour, with a small electronic display, mounted on a wall in your loft, garage or another convenient location in the house
  • A solar generation meter – a small box, often grey, with a small electronic display that shows how much electricity has been generated by the solar panels. This usually sits next to the inverter, and is completely separate from your normal electricity meter that measures the electricity coming in from the grid
When Green Nation will contact you

We monitor the production from the panels daily at no cost to you by keeping a mobile SIM card in the solar generation meter.

We may need to contact you if: -We are not getting any information from the generation meter, and need to check that the panels are still switched on -We need to visit to clean or maintain the equipment -We need to arrange for a meter reader to call at the house – this typically happens only once every few years

Occasionally, we may ask if you are able to go to the generation meter and take a reading for us. If the meter is in your loft and is difficult for you to access, please tell us that, and we will arrange with you to send someone to the house.

When you move, please let us know the name of the new owner, and we will send them a welcome pack. Contact us here.

New owners

If you’ve just bought a house with one of our systems on the roof: congratulations, you will have many years to benefit from solar electricity keeping your bills down – you should be able to get a third to a half of your electricity from the solar panels, depending on what you use and when.

If you have any questions, please contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much energy will the panels generate?

The amount of energy depends on a number of factors, such as the number of panels on the roof, how south-facing it is, the time of year and the weather.

The panels will generate electricity when it’s cloudy, but sunny days are best.

Very approximately, a solar PV system will generate around 1,000 units (kWh) of electricity every year for every four panels installed.

What will happen to my electricity bills?

Your electricity bills will go down, but you will always need to import electricity as the panels do not operate at night and they do not store electricity. You can maximise the savings by using electrical devices when the solar panels are working, for example by running the washing machine in the middle of the day.

Will the panels work if there is a blackout?

Unfortunately not. To protect any engineers who may be working on the line, if there is a blackout the panels automatically shut down until the electricity supply is restored.

How long will the system last?

Solar panels will last for at least 25 years. Some of the other components may need replacing during this time, but if you have a free PV system then maintenance is included for free for as long as our lease lasts.