Solar Panels on your Home

More and more householders are seeking to install solar panels onto their homes both to improve environmental performance and to reduce energy bills.  Feeding tariffs were introduced under the Energy Act 2008 and came into force on the 1st April 2010.  Householders can sell energy back to the utilities as long as an agreement lasts for 25 years or more (nb – the agreement period will be reduced to 20 years for all new solar photo voltaic installations (solar pv) installed from the 1st August 2012).

However, before installing solar panels, the following should be considered:-

Planning Permission
In many cases, fixing solar panels to your roof is likely to be considered “permitted development” under planning law with no need to apply for planning permission.  There are, however, exceptions and checks should always be made at your local planning department.

Building Regulations
If you wish to install solar panels on your roof, building regulations will normally  apply.
The ability of your existing roof to carry the weight of the panels will need to be checked and proven.  Some strengthening work may be required.  Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the work such as electrical installation.

Listed Building Consent
If your home is a listed building, solar panels will require an application for listed  building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.

Stamp Duty Land Tax
HM Revenue & Customs consider solar panels to be fixtures and therefore chargeable to stamp duty.  It would also apply where the roof space is leased and they constitute tenants’ fixtures.

Mortgaged Properties
If you have a mortgage on your house, you may need to obtain permission from the lender.

Leasehold Properties
If your property is leasehold, you may need to obtain permission from your landlord, freeholder or management company (see our Commercial Property – Landlord & Tenant webpage).