Solar PV panels for new builds

Photovoltaic solar panels or Solar PV is becoming a more common feature for people building new houses these days. It can help them meet their Part L obligations and it contributes to lower running costs for homes.

Photovoltaic solar panels convert daylight into electricity.

All new houses being built (since 2008) must install a certain amount of renewable energy. This is in the building regulations, but it’s also a very sensible thing to do. SOlar PV systems have no moving parts and typically are maintenance free. They have a very long lifespan and can last up to 30 years.

We have access to a range of different solar PV panels. For housing schemes we have a good quality solar panel which is easy to install and for the one off homes, we have a high quality solar PV panel which looks fantastic with slate or roof tiles.

To satisfy Part L in the regs, how much energy is required with Solar PV?

The simple answer is your floor area in m2 x 4

This will give you a number. This number is the amount of kwhr’s you must generate from renewables every year.

Example: A new build house is 220m2 and will have no other form of renewable energy.

220 x 4 = 880 kwhr/year

You can achieve this with a 1kwp system or 4 x 250w solar PV panels.

Can I recommend different “renewable” technologies to my client?

Yes of course you can. You can recommend heat pumpssolar thermal, pellet boilers or stoves. There are also other forms of renewable energy, though they are not very common.

What’s the cheapest way to meet Part L in the regs?

Typically Solar PV is the cheapest, though it may not be the most beneficial for you. Sometimes you are better off using a high quality heat pump. This will heat your house and provide you with all your hot water also. You won’t need a gas line or an oil tank with a heat pump. If the house is insulated to a good standard (not passive standard) we should be able to heat most houses for less than €900 per year.