Solar Panels For Your Park Home

 If you want to make long-term savings on rapidly rising energy bills and at the same time help the environment, this may be a good time for you to think about solar panels for your park home.

There is usually an initial outlay for installation. Some firms run schemes where you pay in instalments so you can start saving on your bills immediately. Also, with a well-chosen initial investment into solar panels, and if necessary, improved insulation and glazing, you could secure a significant proportion of your energy needs and possibly reduce your bills.

You could also significantly reduce your carbon footprint by taking advantage of the sun’s free and abundant energy. You could protect yourself, at least to some extent, from rises in fuel and energy prices long into the future. Solar panels have a lifetime of 15 – 25 years, (depending on the type and make) and are still often as much as 80% efficient near the end of their lives.

With some installers claiming to provide systems which combine solar panels with a storage battery that will deliver up to 90% of a park home’s energy requirement, the potential savings for you are significant.

You can also make further savings (as long as your park home has an individual meter for electricity), by contributing any surplus energy you generate with your solar panels, to the grid. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was introduced in 2019. If you sign up to it, you can get some financial support for the electricity you give to the grid.

The surest way to get a park home with solar energy is to get a new one made with a system pre-installed. Some manufacturers will make homes with a diverse range of renewable energy solutions built in. From heat pumps to biofuel and solar.

As with any major change to your home, it is a good idea to keep your insurers informed so that your park home insurance cover can be adjusted if necessary.

The best approach for you to come to the right decision may be to engage an expert at an early stage to go through these issues with you. Most companies offering to fit solar panels will begin with a no-obligation consultation about your home and your specific energy needs. You could also ask your neighbours and park management for advice as they may have experience with solar panels for your type of home. They may also have reputable companies they can refer you to.

In this short guide we present some of the questions you may want to consider before making the decision to go solar.

Are solar paneIs possible for your park home?

Before you go into whether solar is a desirable way to provide your energy, you need to make sure that it is even possible on your park home. Solar panels will add significant weight to your roof and you may also need to take in to account any wind-lift factor which solar panels may add.

There are lighter weight panels available or you may want to consider panels in a frame on your pitch at ground level. Again, you may want to look at what your neighbours have done and talk to your park management about this.

Is your location right for solar power?

The UK is sunny enough and not just because of this year’s unusual summer heat. Solar panels convert light, not heat, into energy in their photovoltaic cells. Cool, bright weather, with a lot of daylight sun, is in fact optimum. As with most electronics, heat can impair their efficiency. 

Solar panels work much better in the UK if they are on a South-facing roof. East and West facing are a little less efficient and North facing is significantly worse. Also, shadows from trees or other buildings do affect the efficiency of your panels, since it is light that powers them. As much as a 50% loss can result from shadows so it may be worth taking some branches off a nearby tree if it removes a shadow.

What is your normal energy use?

Solar electrical systems can be designed in two basic ways. The simplest system is to use the energy as it is being produced and at night, when no solar energy is being converted into electricity, your home switches to relying on the grid.

Alternatively, you can store the electricity generated in a battery. A battery system is an extra cost but your circumstances may be such that it works out to be good value for money. Your individual pattern and specific use of energy will very much determine what system is best for you, when you look at the different options available.

If you are out all day, for instance and use plenty of appliances and an immersion heater at night then you will probably need a battery. You could also do as a lot of solar users do and put your appliances on timers to come on in the day-time to utilise the periods of maximum sunlight.

Can you make money generating electricity?

The size/output of an average domestic solar PV system is 4.2kWp (kilowatt peak) and costs around £6,500. For park homes it will probably be closer to £4000 and 4kWp respectively as the arrays are usually smaller due to less roof space.

With any domestic PV system, there will be times when the electricity you generate is more than you can use or store, so the surplus will be exported to the grid to be used by somebody else. If you want to be paid for exporting, you need to make sure you’re getting an export payment. If you were able to claim the Feed-in Tariff (this closed to new applications at the end of March 2019), then you will be getting export payments as part of that. If not, you need to find an energy company that will pay you for this surplus.

In Great Britain, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) pays you for the electricity you generate.

Information about SEG rates from different energy companies is available online. 


Finally, a note about maintenance. Solar panels are generally very low maintenance in the UK because the frequent rain washes away most dust and debris, which can impede the functioning of your array. A wash down with water only (soap can damage panels) and a gentle wipe with a cloth should be enough once or twice a year.

Please note that all park home insurance cover is subject to acceptance of terms and conditions.

This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of residential park home insurance.  If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.

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Published – 21/10/2022