Seeking to install solar panels on your listed property? Welcome to a potential minefield, fraught with regulations and beset by enough obstacles to put even the most experienced of developers off.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, even if the weather outside suggests otherwise. With a little touch of creativity, and a dash of Home Logic know-how, you can work your way around such predicaments and do your bit for the planet.
Please Sir, can I have some planning permission?
For most Listed buildings, there’s no way around it: you must apply for planning permission from your local authority and hope that you get it signed off, so you can turn said plans into action. Bear in mind that it’s a criminal offence to carry out work on a Listed Building without having prior consent. In the case of listed buildings and solar panels, forewarned is most forearmed.
Planning permission: the homeowner’s Holy Grail
If you finally mange to jump through all the hoops required to grant you planning permission, you’ll also need to consider the aesthetics of your property and how to ensure that the solar panels look as in-keeping as possible with your property as possible. You’ll also need to ensure that your property is structurally sound for installation; the panels will need to be installed in such a way that they can be remove with ease if they prove damaging to your home’s historic framework over time.
Be creative with your solar panel placement!
For most homes, installing Solar PV panels is a relatively straightforward process. Ideally, you’d have a South facing roof, no obstructions, skylights or the like. Yet if your property is Listed, you can quickly run into problems. Even if you get the go ahead from your Local Authority, there’s still the risk that you could upset your neighbours, with the most common complaint being that Solar PV panels detract from the traditional feel of the neighbourhood. But there is a solution. And it comes in the form of ground-mounted panels, which look the part, play the part and provide an ideal alternative to traditional Solar PV panels.
The benefits of ground-mounted panels
One of the key benefits of installing ground mounted panels in the case of a listed property is that they don’t interfere with the structure of your home. Generally speaking, the older the home, the greater the propensity towards risking structural damage if you were to install the panels on the property itself. Equally, if your roof is likely to require replacement in the near future, you don’t have to worry about taking down your panels from the roof; it’s much easier to make replacements to ground-mounted panels.
Optimum energy, maximum benefit
But it’s not just Listed buildings that benefit from ground-mounted panels. The average roof can comfortably fit 16 panels across its surface, but if your roof is much smaller and you have an ample amount of land that you wish to re-purpose, ground-mounted panels can prove to be an attractive proposition, enabling you to optimise your energy production to maximum benefit.