Solar Panels and Battery Installation in a Modern Bungalow

The photographer Gordon Ridgewell moved to Littlebury about 10 years ago, his late wife Megan’s family having been associated with the area since at least 1646. In August he had 10 solar panels installed on his garage roof accompanied by a battery storage system.

Gordon says “I had been inspired by my neighbour and Village Hall meetings to consider solar power. As well as the cost savings, I wanted to do my bit for the planet. After talking to a salesman visiting the village, I took the plunge, but confirmed they were legitimate by visiting their offices – 2 staff recognised me from Littlebury and my wedding photography days! “

(Note: it is not recommended to place business with a cold caller without fully qualifying the offer and the supplier).

“The installation process was fantastic! The system was installed within 2 weeks of ordering, and the process took just a few hours. I was impressed by the quality and speed of the installation. Since my house is a bungalow they only needed ladders and 3 people to do the work. The LEP volunteered to help during the sales pitch and then oversaw the installation. “

Solar Panels installed on the west facing garage roof
Solar Panels installed on the south-east facing garage roof

The system is working out well so far for Gordon. “In the summer and early autumn I used very little electricity from the grid and I didn’t pay anything for electricity in September. Now it is winter less electricity is generated, but I have discovered that I can use the battery to store energy from the cheap overnight economy 7 rate (20p night time rate) which I then use during the day. This is very easy to control with the supplied mobile phone app. I will receive payment for electricity exported direct to my bank account once every 3 months. ”

Gordon pictured with his solar system inverter (top) and battery from GivEnergy in his garage
Gordon’s mobile phone app showing solar power being generated for use in his home with excess being stored in the battery or exported to the grid

Gordon was overall pleased with the installation and running of his system, but there were some confusing parts. Gordon says “I was initially concerned about accepting an offer from a cold caller, but I did my research and they proved very efficient. The one area where I had a problem was registering the system to receive payment for the electricity exported to the grid. The terminology is confusing and you have to deal with two companies, one for supply and one for solar power generation. This is now sorted. They also require a meter photo every 3 months which is a 2 man job. (Note: LEP can provide help and support with issues like these).”

Gordon plans to switch energy supplier to Octopus energy which he says has more advantageous tariffs for solar energy export, and good night time rates to exploit with battery storage.

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