Free electricity, supplied by the sun…

Solar PV panels for a new build home

Photovoltaic solar panels or Solar PV is becoming a more common feature for people building new houses these days. It can help you meet your Part L obligations while still providing you with renewable energy for your new home.

Photovoltaic solar panels convert daylight into electricity. You can use this electricity anywhere in your house.

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. It can become easy to overlook renewable energy and to consider using that budget to upgrade your kitchen or driveway, though you as a homeowner need to consider the running costs of your home long into the future. We all know that oil is depleting rapidly and we need to move to renewable forms of energy production.

Solar PV is a great way to generate your own free electricity, without any hassle. The system has no moving parts, so there is very little that can go wrong. Typically these systems have a 20 year performance guarantee. This should give you confidence to install solar PV.

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 do I need to generate with PV?

The simple answer is your floor area in mx 4

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

Example: My house is 220m2

220 x 4 = 880 kwhr/year

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

Can I generate this renewable energy requirement with different technologies?

Yes! You can use heat pumps, solar thermal, pellet boilers. 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 €1,000 per year.