Get Your Free Energy Assessment

Call Us

(020) 3038-4595

Operating Hours

Mon to Fri 9:00am to 6:00pm

Prefer to Talk?

Explore FAQs: Quick Information

In simple terms, solar panels work by capturing the UV rays of the sun, allowing them to be converted into electricity for use in your home. Solar panels contain something called photovoltaic (which is where solar PV gets its name) cells, spread between layers of materials, each of which has different properties that cause them to become energised when hit by light from the sun.

The movement of particles within these material layers builds a charge via the so-called ‘photoelectric effect’, creating the current needed to power your home. To do that effectively, the solar PV system needs to be connected to an inverter, which will change the direct current generated on your roof into alternating current, for use inside the home. This vital last bit of the process is what turns the raw power made on your roof into usable electricity for boiling the kettle or watching the TV inside the home.

If you’re also wondering, ‘how do solar panels work on cloudy days?’, the answer is that any visible light is enough to trigger the reaction described above. So, solar panels work in exactly the same way as usual on cloudy days, it’s just that they are able to produce more charge when the sun is shining brightly.

There is no way to give exact savings figures without conducting an in-home consultation with one of our Cre8 Zero super hero’s. They’ll be able look at your existing electricity usage, roof layout and design a system specifically to you. 

First, your solar panel installer will erect scaffolding around your roof to ensure the installation team stays safe. The next step is to set up a solar panel mounting system that will act as the base of the panels. 

Once complete, your solar panels will rest on the mounting structure. But wait, we’re not finished yet! Your installer will then have to activate the electrical system. The solar inverter and battery must connect to a consumer unit that will generate power. 

Once all these components are up and running, your solar panel installer will turn on the system. Your new solar panels are ready to start saving you energy and money!

Any excess solar power that hasn’t been used can be used two ways. The first is that you can export it back to the electricity grid for a credit, Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The second is within your battery – you can export the power here to save it.

At Cre8 Zero, we recommend a yearly service for your solar panel system. It’s easy and affordable but it’s also important that you ensure that your solar panel system remains effective and safe. Talk to us about a systems health check today!

The best place to install solar power is on the south-facing section of an unshaded roof. This gives the panels the best environment in which to generate electricity. Other orientations (having the panels facing a different direction) of solar panels will still work, and contrary to popular belief you don’t need constant sunshine beating down on them. But for best results, a sunny south-facing roof is the best place to install solar panels.

Why do solar panels work best when facing south? Well, in the UK, south-facing gardens get more hours of direct sunlight than those that face other directions. When sunlight (or daylight) hits the solar panels, it stimulates photons inside them, whose movement leads to the generation of electricity. So, the more light that hits the panels, the more energy they can make.

The best place to install solar panels should also be a location free of shade, for example that are cast by overhanging trees. Large shadows covering your panels will inhibit their ability to produce electricity from light.

Yes, solar power can be stored, as long as you have the necessary equipment to do so. All you need is a solar power storage battery capable of drawing electricity from your PV panel system and saving it for later use. Using a battery like this is the only way that you can store solar power and prevent it leaving the system if it is not used.

For years, there has been a question that crops up every time the topic of solar panel installations is discussed – can solar power be stored? The motivation for the question is obvious. Lots of people were excited by solar panels and their money-saving potential, but knew that if they weren’t there to use the power when it was made, it would go to waste. People wanted ways to store solar power, so that it could be used at night and during storms.

The solar power storage batteries that make this possible don’t just let you store solar power. They also open up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to saving and earning money, by providing you with the opportunity to sell and trade excess energy your system produces back to providers, meaning you can earn money on your usage. Can solar power be stored? Yes! And it can also be sold off to increase savings. What’s not to love?

Due to advancements in photovoltaic technology, the energy efficiency of solar panels has risen dramatically in the last 15 years. Over a decade ago, solar panel efficiency rates were only around 10-12%.

Now, solar panels function with 15-20% efficiency! With the invention of longer-lasting solar cells, panels that work during the night and those that can track the sun in the sky, we are consistently raising the bar with solar technology.

Solar panels and home electric vehicle charging points are two of the most popular home improvement measures of the past few years, often being invested in together by energy and cost-conscious homeowners. But the two systems sitting alongside each other begs a key question: can solar power charge an electric car? Well, the answer is yes.

‘Can solar power charge an electric car?’ has been a common question among forward-thinking consumers for some time, not least because of the cost-saving and environmentally friendly implications of linking the two systems together. Charging an electric car with solar power not only saves money by using the sun’s rays to power your EV, it also reduces the car’s carbon footprint and running costs.

To charge an electric car with solar power efficiently, you will need a solar power storage battery, so that electricity generated by your system during the day can be used to charge your car at night. In this scenario, you’re effectively using free electricity to charge your car – much cheaper than drawing from the grid or using a public charger! You can still charge an electric car with solar power without using a battery, but you will have to charge it up during the day, and with some charge times sitting at around seven hours, this could be an issue.

Solar power helps the environment by using natural means to generate clean, green, renewable energy. Unlike old fashioned ways of generating energy, such as through coal-fired power plants, there are no greenhouse emissions generated by the household production of electricity.

In fact, the generation of electricity has now become so efficient that it has officially been classified as the greenest way, in terms of carbon emissions factors, to heat and power your home. This is one of the reasons why countries such as the UK are using less and less gas power and are, in some cases, shutting coal power plants down.

In 2022, most solar panels are made from silicone and enclosed in transparent glass. The idea of harnessing solar energy was envisioned over 100 years ago by French physicist Edmond Becquerel. 

He proposed a theory called ‘The Photovoltaic Effect’ and suggested that solar cells could convert sunlight into electricity. Becquerel’s idea was the catalyst for several scientific advancements, such as the invention of the first solar cell in 1893.  

Forty-eight years later, the first silicon solar cell was released, quickly followed by the first silicon solar panel in 1954. The rest is history: solar panels allow us to power homes and commercial buildings and grow food and crops. They are one of the most revolutionary inventions of modern times!

There can be considerable differences between the cost of different solar panels, but as with many household investments, it’s worth remembering that when it comes to quality, efficiency and operation, you get what you pay for with solar panels. Most people find that striking the best combination of solar panel power output and roof coverage is the most cost effective way of investing in solar power.

How much do solar panels cost? A lot depends on the quality of materials used and the power output rating of the panels. Brands who use higher quality or more complex materials in their panels, or who offer higher capacity solar panels, are able to command a higher price per panel. But while they might seem pricey, they’re likely to perform better in the longer term. Cheap solar panels, meanwhile, might seem like a bargain but might not deliver in the ways you expect.

The best way of pricing up solar panels is to work out how many you will need. In most cases, you’ll want at least enough panels to cover average household electricity consumption, which is 3,800 kWh. Buying 10 panels each with a 400 kW capacity will be enough to meet that need, all you need to do is choose between the different manufacturers and find the solar panels that fit your budget.

The UK is no stranger to shifting climates, but your solar panels won’t be a victim of it! Solar panels are designed to cope with both heat and freezing conditions. Most solar products are put through their paces before they come into the market. This includes being put through extreme hail testing for hail travelling at 80 mp/h.

One of the most common questions people ask about solar is a simple one: will solar power work on cloudy days? It’s called ‘solar power’ after all, implying that the sun is an important part of its production, so you can understand why people would want to know this one. So, does solar power work on cloudy days? Or only when it is sunny?

The simple answer is that yes, solar power works on cloudy days. As the photons inside solar panels that are responsible for creating electricity can be stimulated by any visual light, they work in the same way as normal on cloudy or overcast days. Basically, if it’s light enough for you to see the solar panels, it’s light enough for the solar panels to work.

Of course, solar panels work best on really sunny days. Why? Because those little photons that move around to create charge are forced to move more when the light, UV and heat levels go up. Busier photons means more charge being built up. But it doesn’t mean it has to be sunny for them to move at all.

To determine how many solar panels you need, find the answer to this calculation: multiply your household’s hourly energy requirement by the peak sunlight hours for your region and divide that by a panel’s wattage. 

Access a free online calculator or work with your chosen installer to determine how many solar panels you need. Remember that the size of your roof, how much sunlight it gets, and the direction it faces will also affect this calculation.

Solar panels have become the go-to home upgrade for those looking to save money on their energy bills, as well as help the environment. But are solar panels worth it? We find that in the vast majority of customer consultations, solar panels are worth the investment. Solar panels make your home more energy efficient, they reduce household bills and can also lead to you earning money on your energy usage – although there are a couple of things to be aware of if you’re trying to determine whether solar panels would be worth it for you.

First, a south-facing roof makes the installation of solar panels more worth it, simply because the orientation of the panels means they will be operating at maximum efficiency. That’s not to say you can’t have solar panels on roofs that don’t face south, just that they work even better if they do face that way. In fact, experts say the further south you live, the more you can save through solar, because of the enhanced panel operation that comes with more sun.

Assuming your roof isn’t too shady for any other reasons (such as overhanging trees), the benefits of solar panels are there to be had. The biggest one is that you can sell solar power generated by your panels back to suppliers through the Smart Export Guarantee or platforms such as Social Energy. This means you can earn money through your solar panels. Also to be considered when weighing up whether solar panels are worth the investment is the fact that a good system can, like an EV charging point, add value to your home, as more and more buyers see energy efficiency as a desirable quality in their new house.

Yes, we also work with businesses to help them install solar systems. At Cre8 Zero, we know what it takes to run a business. Office electricity costs are not cheap, and with energy bills on the rise, we’re sure you’ll be looking for alternative ways to keep costs low. 

That’s why at Cre8 Zero, we are proud to offer our services to companies in need. We will work with industrial and commercial businesses, local authorities, housing associations and more.

Our professional and knowledgeable team are ready to help you become more sustainable while cutting costs. With our services, we want to put control over energy costs back into your hands. 

The installation and use of solar power batteries has boomed over recent times, but if you’re one of the customers yet to adopt this exciting technology, you might be wondering: are solar power batteries worth it? The simple answer to this question is yes, solar power batteries are worth the investment, although the benefits can vary depending on your energy usage patterns.

Solar power batteries work by storing excess energy generated when it’s sunny and making it available when you need it. If you’re out during the day, this means you can still use the solar power your system has generated, rather than letting it go to waste. It is for this reason that 65 percent of people with solar power batteries say they had theirs installed, followed by a fifth who said they wanted to save money.

Another factor in determining whether solar power batteries are worth investing in is the fact that they can be used to enable grid trading over a platform such as Social Energy. This lets you sell and trade excess energy back to the grid, meaning you can save and earn money on your electricity usage – another compelling benefit that might make solar power batteries worth it for you.

If your home meets the requirements, solar panel installation can fall under ‘permitted development laws’: you do not have to seek permission from your local authority. However, there are exceptions to the rule. 

Installing solar panels onto a flat roof would require you to gain planning permission. For the sun to reach, the panels would need to be angled 0.2 metres above the slope: this breaks one of the central requirements for permitted development (‘the system cannot protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the roof slope’). 

Any dwelling considered a monument or a ‘listed building’ cannot have solar panels installed without planning permission. You would require both listed building permission and planning permission. 

In conservation areas (places of architectural or historical interest), you may be able to install solar panels without planning permission. However, if you want to install them on a wall in front of a motorway, you must make an application.

For many people thinking about making the switch to solar power, one of the key questions is ‘can solar power run a house?’ It’s understandable: after all, why would you want to invest in something that won’t repay you in the expected way? Well, the good news is that, yes, solar power can run a house – and can even be used for other things like charging electric cars.

Of course, there is some subjectivity in the answer to the old ‘can solar power run a house’ question. Households with very large energy consumption may find that they need to top up their usage with electricity drawn from the mains supply, to cover every last boil of the kettle or spin of the washer dryer, but the vast majority of need will be met by the solar power system itself. Smaller households who consume less energy in general will largely find that their electricity needs are totally met by solar power.

It is worth nothing that solar PV systems – the type where solar panels are used to generate electricity to power the home – cannot be used to run or warm a boiler, so you will need some element of gas supply to meet that need.