Stuart Nicholson, roof systems director from Marley, is advising builders not to miss out on solar PV installations.
At the moment, only around 10 per cent of new houses in England include solar photovoltaic panels on the roof. Fast forward to 2025 and we predict that as many as 80 per cent of new builds will feature solar PV as standard.
That’s because the Government’s 2025 Future Homes Standard will require all new homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating, and be zero carbon ready by 2025. To ensure the industry is prepared for this, new homes will be expected to produce 31 per cent lower carbon emissions from 2022, as part of changes to Part L of the Building Regulations.
This improvement in energy efficiency cannot be made by simple enhancements to the building fabric. At this stage, solar PV on the roof – with an efficient gas boiler – appears to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to meet the new Part L targets, and that means the potential for builders to add value to projects with solar is huge, whether it be an extension, a roofing replacement or a new build.
Solar PV represents such an important part of the future roofing market, that we have recently acquired Viridian Solar, the manufacturers of the PV panels in our Marley SolarTile. The acquisition allows us to offer a fully integrated, easy to install, solar PV roof system solution from a single source.
Integrated PV systems are designed so they can be installed by any roofer because they simply replace a section of tiles or slates, acting as a seamless part of the roof design. They are easy to install with a simple push together design and electrical connection can be done once the roofer has finished fitting the panels, so it doesn’t hold up the job. It is fully compatible with our full roof system and is covered by the 15-year system warranty.
So, what can builders and roofers do now to prepare for the increased demand for solar PV?
1 – Become MCS certified or form a solar partnership
MCS covers installations of products used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources, including solar. So, while you don’t have to be certified to install Marley SolarTile, it is required that the whole project is overseen and signed off by an MCS certified installer.
Therefore, you can either form a partnership with a certified electrical contractor or become MCS certified yourself. To apply, you will need to get the appropriate training for solar PV connection and apply to a certification body to arrange assessment. More information can be found at https://mcscertified.com/installers-manufacturers/becoming-certified/
2 – Take advantage of free training and resources
We will be running free training courses throughout 2021, with face-to-face training programs taking place when national lockdown restrictions and social distancing guidelines are eased. There are also easy to follow demonstration videos and estimating tools on our website.
3 – Familiarise yourself with the solar PV systems
Look for a reliable and high-quality roof-integrated solar PV system, as these are easier to install and provide better aesthetics than ‘on-roof’ traditional panels. With an integrated system, both tiles and PV are installed together, so there is no modification to the roof tiles, securing the warranty.
Our integrated SolarTile is compatible with all our clay and concrete tiles and slates, so solar PV can easily be incorporated into any roof design. It has an integrated tray, so no counter battens are required, making it easier to install, with higher wind and fire resistance than separate tray systems.
For advice on getting started with solar, you can speak to your local Marley roofing specialist or visit www.marley.co.uk/solarinstall