What Next After Installing Solar Panels?: A Complete Guide

Congratulations on joining the clean, green energy revolution! Installing solar panels is a fantastic step towards reducing your carbon footprint and saving on energy costs. However, the journey doesn’t end with installation. There are several important steps to ensure you get the most out of your solar energy system. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do after solar panel installation.

1. Understand Your Solar Energy System

Before you start reaping the benefits, it’s crucial to understand how your solar energy system works. Familiarise yourself with the following components:

  • Solar Panels: These capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
  • Inverter: This converts the direct current (DC) generated by the panels into alternating current (AC) used in your home.
  • Meter: This measures the amount of electricity your system produces.
  • Monitoring System: This can be a physical display or an app that tracks your energy production and usage in real-time.

The lead installer will talk you through the system and show you where everything is. They will explain any technical language and will suggest some ideas of how to maximise your solar energy usage. You can also watch this short video clip from SolarEdge to help you to maximise your solar usage from Day 1!:

Learn how to maximise your solar usage by watching this short tutorial from SolarEdge.

2. Register Your Solar Energy System

Your new solar array will need to be registered with the DNO (Distribution Network Operator) in your region. Sunlit Solar will ensure all the paperwork, liaison and possible witness testing/inspections are arranged and carried out. This process often involves:

  • Submitting Documentation: Provide proof of installation, such as contracts and schematics.
  • Inspection: Allow an inspector to verify the installation meets local codes and standards.
  • Grid Connection: If applicable, ensure your system has permission to be connected to the grid.

As well as registering with the network (which Sunlit Solar will take care of as per above), to support your registration, you will receive an email from Sunlit Solar containing:

  • Handover Pack
  • Owners Manual and Maintenance Schedule
  • Solar PV Test Report & Electrical Installation Certificate
  • Confirmation of Commissioning letter to Sunlit Solar from the National Grid
  • MSC Installation Certificate
  • Terms and Acceptance from Sunlit Solar
  • Data Sheets, Warranty and User Manuals for the equipment installed
  • Information about the layout of your solar system with shutdown procedures
  • A Copy of your Invoice
  • Building Regulations Certificate of Compliance (NICEIC)

3. Apply for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG):

If you generate renewable electricity in your home or business, you can feed any electricity that you don’t use back into the grid. Under the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), you will be paid for every unit of electricity that you feed back. You won’t be paid for any that you use yourself.

Contact your electricity company and explain that you would like to apply for for their SEG tariff. They will explain the process. It usually involves:

  • completing an online form
  • uploading the Confirmation of Commissioning letter (sometimes called a DNO letter)
  • uploading a copy of your MCS certificate.
  • uploading a copy of your proof of purchase (paid invoice)

4. Set Up Solar Monitoring

Modern solar energy systems often come with monitoring capabilities. Setting up and regularly checking your solar monitoring system allows you to:

  • Track Energy Production: See how much energy your panels are generating.
  • Identify Issues: Detect performance problems early.
  • Optimise Usage: Adjust your energy consumption habits based on production data.
SolarEdge Customers:

If you have a Solar Edge system, once your panels have been installed, the Office Manager at Sunlit Solar will send you an email stating that she has set up an account so that you can access your mySolarEdge monitoring app. There are instructions for how to download the app with a link to some information about using the app (https://www.solaredge.com/uk/mysolaredge). Alternatively, you can watch this short video clip:

Information video from SolarEdge explaining how to use their monitoring app.
Solis Customers:

The lead installer should set you up with a username and password for the SolisCloud monitoring technology. After downloading the app, you will then be able to log into your monitoring system to track the electricity that you are using.

5. Maintain Your Solar Panels

Regular maintenance ensures your system operates efficiently. Key maintenance tasks include:

  • Cleaning Solar Panels: Remove dust, leaves and debris to maintain optimal sunlight exposure. Generally, cleaning twice a year is sufficient, but this can vary based on your location.
  • Inspecting Solar Components: Check for any visible damage or wear, especially after severe weather.
  • Professional Inspections: Regular monitoring of your system via your monitoring app allows you to identify any issues that may require a professional to investigate.

6. Maximise Your Energy Efficiency

To make the most out of your solar investment:

  • Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances: Reduce your overall energy consumption.
  • Insulate Your Home: Proper insulation can significantly lower heating and cooling costs.
  • Use Energy During Peak Solar Production: Run high-energy appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers, during the day when your panels are most productive.

7. Monitor Financial Savings from Solar Energy

Track your utility bills and compare them to your pre-solar installation costs. This will help you:

  • Evaluate ROI: Understand how quickly your investment is paying off.
  • Plan Future Upgrades: Consider additional energy-efficient investments based on your savings.

Read our blog ‘How to Get the Most Out of Your Rooftop Solar’ to find out more about how to monitor your solar system.

8. Stay Informed and Involved in Solar Energy Trends

The renewable energy landscape is constantly evolving. Stay informed about:

  • Incentives and Rebates: New policies may offer additional financial benefits.
  • Technological Advances: Upgrades in solar technology can enhance your system’s efficiency.
  • Community Programs: Participate in local initiatives and share your experience to encourage more people to switch to solar.

Keep an eye on your inbox for regular updates from Sunlit Solar regarding the above.

9. Consider Solar Battery Storage

Adding a battery storage system can further enhance your energy independence by:

  • Storing Excess Energy: Save surplus energy for use during cloudy days or nighttime.
  • Providing Backup Power: Ensure you have electricity during power outages.

Sunlit Solar can advise you on further upgrades to your solar system to maxmise your solar energy usage.

Ongoing Support

Installing solar panels is a significant step towards sustainable living, but it’s just the beginning. By understanding your system, maintaining it, maximising energy efficiency, and staying informed about developments in solar technology, you can ensure that you get the most out of your solar investment. Enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy and the positive impact it has on both your wallet and the environment!

By following these steps after installing your solar panels, you’ll maximise efficiency, optimise savings and contribute to a greener planet.

SolarEdge and Solis also have support services that may be best placed to support you with any equipment or monitoring issues that you have that are directly related to the app. However, if it is an installation issue, we will of course be the best people to contact.

Do let us know if you need any further assistance with your solar system.

Phone: 01458 834936

Email: info@sunlit-solar.co.uk

Website: www.sunlit-solar.co.uk

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