Looking after your solar panels
Three questions everyone asks
1. Are my solar panels generating as much energy as they should?
If we’ve installed your solar panels recently, you’ll see how much energy you’re generating on our app. But other, older systems don’t give you that instant feedback, which means you’ll have to keep an eye on your generation meter instead – it should be by your fuse board.
Exactly how much electricity your solar panels generate depends on how many panels you have, the direction they’re facing and whether they’re shaded by trees or buildings.
If you can find your MCS certificate (the company that installed your solar system should have given it to you) you’ll see an estimated annual generation figure. If your yearly generation figure falls a long way below that, you might have a problem somewhere in your system.
Insider tip: Check your generation meter readings every quarter, and especially in the spring. If there’s a problem, you’ll want to know about it before the sunny summer months, as that’s when you’ll generate most energy.
2. How do I clean my solar panels?
You shouldn’t need to. They’re designed to be self-cleaning. And anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something you might not need.
If your solar panels really need cleaning, you’ll probably be able to see what’s causing the problem – like (sorry about this) lots of bird droppings or fallen leaves – which could make the panels less efficient. If so, there are some specialist cleaners that can help. If you get in touch with them directly, they’ll quote for the cost of cleaning your solar panels.
Insider tip: don’t pay for yearly services or quarterly cleaning you don’t need. All solar panel models – even the earliest ones – were designed to be self-cleaning.
3. Can I use solar energy at night?
Yes, but only if your system has a battery. Batteries store up the energy you generate during the day, meaning you can keep using it at night (and keep more of that energy for yourself rather than sending it back to the grid).
People often ask us how to look after their batteries. Like the rest of our solar systems, your batteries more or less look after themselves. Of course, they also come with the latest warranties and guarantees if anything does go wrong. Our solar panels (and the people installing them) are certified by MCS, which means they always work to the industry standard.
Insider tip 2: If you don’t have a battery yet, save money by setting a timer to use your washing machine and dishwasher during the day. Then they can use the free electricity your solar panels are generating.
If it’s not a power problem, you might need a new inverter
Get in touch
If you still have concerns, you can email the E.ON Care Solar team and they’ll be in touch.
Frequently asked questions
What happens if I want to move home?
If you are receiving Feed-In Tariff payments, you will be registered as the asset owner with your chosen FiT Administrator. When moving home, you can either have an agreement with the new owner so that you continue to be the asset owner (and receive the FiT payments) or you will need to contact your FiT Administrator to arrange a transfer of ownership.
Will my electricity meter work differently?
Your electricity meter will continue to record the electricity you use, but it may tick over at a slower rate when your panels are generating electricity, it may even stop for a short space of time if you're generating more than you're using.
What is a Rent-a-Roof Scheme?
This is when a company installs the system for free (or nominal fee) but retain ownership of the asset so that they can claim Feed in Tariff payments to recoup the cost of installation. The home owner will have signed a lease with the company running the scheme, which effectively rents the roof to them for a period of up to 25 years. Land Registry have a copy of the lease, as it is attached to the property.
What is an MCS Certificate?
MCS stands for 'Micro Generation Certification Scheme', it’s a certificate to confirm that your installation has been enrolled within the Micro Generation Certification Scheme and has been installed by an accredited MCS certified installer. The MCS is the independent Government backed scheme that certifies micro generation products such as solar photovoltaic panels
What is Smart Export Guarantee?
As an energy supplier we can offer our solar panel customers an exclusive Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff that pays you for any excess energy you export back to the grid.
You can find out more on our SEG page.
What is a Feed-In-Tariff?
The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, was introduced by the Government in April 2010 and finished in March 2019. It was designed to help generate more renewable energy across the UK. Under the FiT scheme, the owner of an approved solar power system will get paid for all the electricity the solar panels produce. The is managed on behalf of OFGEM by a designated FiT Administrator.