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The first step to having free solar panels installed on your property is the application process. We encourage anyone to apply regardless of their property and whether you are domestic or commercial client. Sustain have implemented a fairly straightforward application process because we are well aware that many people hate filling out forms. Unfortunately, we do need to find out some crucial information about your property to proceed with your application.
When you fill out the application for free solar we need to know where your house is in order to determine if the roof points in the right direction and whether it is large enough to fit the panels on. To find this out we need your postcode, this will show us the area that you live in.
There are a few other contact details we will need so that we can get back to you with progress on your application. There is also room for you to provide a message. It is important that you let us know any important factors that may help your application. For example the Google images may not show any trees causing a shadow on the roof, but since the images were taken the trees have grown causing significant shading. It is this information that is important for your application because excessive shading can affect the performance of the solar PV panels. Also, perhaps you’ve extended your roof since the Google images were taken? Again, we need to know about this.
After Receiving Your Application
Once we have received your application our in-house team will aim to process it within 72 hours. Our team will be able to assess your property remotely using Google images and once we know the outcome of your application we will contact you immediately.
We will typically send you an e-mail in the first instance to confirm the applications acceptance. The communication to confirm acceptance of your application is always done by email in the first instance. We will then follow up with a telephone call within the next 72 hours to confirm the process moving forward.
By using Google Earth we will able to assess your property remotely and can measure the roof, check the azimuth and assess whether there are any shading issues. We may use Google Streetview to assess shading as it is a very reliable way of completing an initial assessment of the property. Using these technologies is a practical and cost effective way to find out whether a property is suitable prior to a site assessment.
Suitability For Solar PV
As part of the application process, it is essential that we assess the suitability of your roof for solar. Your roof should ideally be the right shape, orientation and be of sufficient size so that the solar PV system can be installed. Here are two important factors:
It is not essential that all roofs face due south, it is absolutely fine if you have a roof which faces south east or south west. We can install solar PV on a roof that is within 55 degrees of due south. We can use Google Earth to measure how far off due south your roof is.
The roof of the property should be of sufficient size to accommodate the panels. By utilising our vast experience of numerous solar PV installations, we already have some configurations for different roofs of varying sizes and shapes. We import your roof details into some software and this will give us an appropriate configuration for your roof. Unfortunately, we are not able to simply fit two panels on someone’s roof, it needs to be a substantial system.
Other Reasons For Failed Applications
Some other reasons why your application may have failed could be due to the following:
- Type of roof tile
- Protrusions on your roof
- The shape
- Shading issues
- Roof strength and structure
- Potential scaffolding issues
See more information on property suitability for FREE solar PV.
It would be fantastic if every property in the UK could have free solar panels installed but it may not meet the specific criteria. If our desktop team finds that your roof is not suitable for free solar panels we will send you an e-mail explaining why you have been declined.
For the most part, our desktop team are accurate in their findings, however if you know something that has changed with your property or you are sure your application should be OK, reapply. When you do so make sure you indicate why you feel your property is suitable in the message field. Perhaps you know of some trees that have recently been cut down and as such the shading issues have been significantly reduced or you had an extension since the Google images were taken.
It is generally possible for us to know whether your property is suitable from the initial assessment using Google Earth and other desktop solutions.
Sustain will then arrange for one of our local surveyers to assess your property in detail, an on-site survey will provide the definitive answer as to whether your property is definitely suitable.
When an initial assessment has been completed the next step is an onsite survey. We will contact you in advance to arrange an appointment for the survey at a time convenient for you. The onsite survey is free for free solar PV applications, don’t worry about having to pay anything!
The on-site survey is an important part of the process because a number of things need to be taken into consideration. We need to do some measurements in various locations around the property and assess where certain items can be installed.
The survey provides lots of information for our planning department so the installation process is efficient.
Our legal team are required to undertake some legal checks prior to the installation taking place. They are standard checks that we will carry out on your behalf. We will need to obtain consent from mortgage providers and inform your insurance provider of the impending installation.
Restrictions are in place, which prohibit the installation of solar panels and this may include listed buildings or particular restricted areas. We also need to perform checks which may not be immediately obvious to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
It is also essential that we check that the person we are communicating with is actually the owner of the property. We obviously cannot install a solar PV system without the property owners consent.
Sustain are confident that our customer service, support and after sales support is the best in the industry. Every client who is approved a free solar panel installation will have a property visit from one of our local representatives.
They will explain the installation process and confirm some minor details with you prior to the installation of solar PV on your property. We see this as an opportunity for our clients to ask any pertinent questions that they may have in relation to the process.