Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work - they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household and business appliances and lighting.
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Your roof should ideally face due south at a pitched angle of around 30° from the horizontal to give the best overall annual performance. Installations at any pitch and facing anywhere to the south of due east and due west are feasible, although output and income will be reduced. Installation is not recommended on roofs facing north.
In England, Wales and Scotland, you don't need planning permission for most home solar electricity systems, as long as they're below a certain size - but you should check with your local planning officer, especially if your home is a listed building, or in a conservation area or World Heritage Site - we can only give general guidance here. You'll find full details on the government's legislation site, England - General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).
You'll find out everything you need to know about Feed In Tariffs on our dedicated Feed In Tariffs Page.