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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2019
    Dear all,

    I’m nearly finishing my renovation in Brighton on the south cost. I’ve just received a quote for a new Solar PV array on my East/West roof. As I’m new to Solar I’d appreciate it if those that know more could comment if there’s any small print or things omitted which I should know about..


    “ Hi Tom,

    It was good to meet you this morning and see your building project.

    As discussed I have put together a quote for a 4.575 kW system, comprising of 15 x 305 Watt black optimised panels.

    You have a substantial amount of roof space on both east and west, so we can look at options regarding how to split the system and how many to put on each side once we have an exact orientation. If as suggested, one side is a few degrees more towards the south then we would recommend the bulk of the panels going on that roof.

    Quote as follows:

    Quotation for a 4.575 kW PV system.

    15 x Jinko 305 W Maxim smart optimised all black panels.

    1 x Solis 3.6 4G Dual MPPT single phase inverter.

    Renusol stainless steel roof anchors with lead flashing.

    Renusol Aluminium roof rails.

    Renusol Universal all black mid/end clips.

    2 x AC isolators.

    2 x DC isolators

    1 x generation meter.

    Approx 60 M of 4mm double insulated exterior grade DC cable.

    All extra sundries for a complete PV system.

    Labour and materials. £5,820.00 Inc VAT @ 20%

    This quote includes a 10 year workmanship warranty held with QANW. It also includes the MCS and all electrical certification to be eligible for the SEG or any other tariff schemes that might be put in place in the new year.

    The panels and inverter have their own warranties. You should be able to find all the materials listed on line should you wish to research further.

    The quote is reliant on the 4mm T & E AC cable having been run between the consumer unit and the position of the inverter.

    You will need to have an EPC (energy performance certificate) with a D grade or above to be able to get the full tariff payments. You may have one of these from when you purchased your property, but if not you will probably have to wait a bit until the bulk of your building work is done. We wouldn't submit your system to the MCS until you had that in place as you would loose out. Its not a problem and we would just register once you have had that done. They usually cost around £55.

    I haven't quoted for a water heating device, but its definitely worth getting one once everything is in place. Even if you do get the 13 Amp stove range cooker the hot water device will still be effective, and great through the summer months. Again this is something to be researched. We often use the Solic 200 which is great and very reasonably priced, but I think that your water tank might be too far away for that model. Its quite likely you may have to get a wireless one so perhaps Iboost, Eddi or something similar. They are all retro fitable so you can take your time over choosing that one.

    If you wish to pursue this quote we will put together a formal copy and get the ball rolling on an install date.

    Please don't hesitate to contact us with any queries you may have...”


    For those that live in the North of Scotland or the West or Wales bare in mind I live in the South East and everything costs more here.

    Many thanks, I’m trying to make a decision so I can utilise the scaffolding whilst it’s still here..
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2019
    For what it is worth, I have surge/spike protectors installed on both the AC and DC side of the inverter
    AC side: SY2-D, DC side SPDPV600 or SPDPV1000
    They probably were never needed, and I have no commercial interest, and although I have heard Brighton weather is quite nice there might be the odd thunderstorm at the coast?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2019
    You should be able to find a quote nearer or under 5k
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2019
    Wondering why the invertor is only rated to 3.6kW. Would one closer to the 4kW limit (not needing a DNO) be better?

    I often use the Solic 200, as it's very simple, cheaper than most, british made allegedly. Not sure why the location of the hot cyl/immersions is relevant? The Solic would be located next to the Dist Board, with it's cable clamps, and breaks into the power feeds to the immersions. Phone the chap at the supplier (earthwise), and he'll confirm any issues. Spoke with them previously, and were very helpful.

    £5800 incl VAT (for 4.6kWp) seems pretty good to me, but certainly get another quote as a check. You want someone to take care on your roof, and how they fix the panels, so cheapest may not be best. Local guys may be more reliant on maintaining their reputation?
    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2019 edited
    Greenpaddy ,
    DNO limit for easy install paperwork is 3.68kW (230Vacx26A) hence why UK inverters are round 3.6

    Quotes not unreasonable , kits is Chinese and the cheaper end of possible options but no reason its not reliable.
    Solis are nice simple inverters

    if theyre not supplying scaffold Id agree with Tony, there's potential to get it a bit cheaper

    did hear something re kit/labour balance with regard to 5 or 20% vat rating on renewables I need to look up as i wasnt aware of it and some other may be also
    see https://www.gshp.org.uk/Reduced_Rate_Vat.html

    Reduced rate VAT – 5% – applies on installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps
    The reduced rate will remain fully available (except on wind and water turbines) after 1 October 2019 for supplies of services of installing "energy saving materials" in residential accommodation where the supply is made to a qualifying person (a person who is aged 60 or over or is in receipt of certain benefits), a relevant housing association or where the residential accommodation is a building or part of a building used solely for a relevant residential purpose.

    Otherwise, the reduced rate will be available (except on wind and water turbines) provided that the value of the "energy saving materials" does not exceed 60% of the total value of the supply of installing the "energy saving materials". If the value of the "energy saving materials" exceeds 60%, then only the labour cost element will qualify for the reduced rate (with the supply of the materials being standard rated).

    Installation of any of the following energy saving materials in residential accommodation qualifies (subject to the paragraphs above) for the lower rate of VAT:

    controls for central heating and hot water systems
    draught insulation (eg around windows and doors)
    insulation on walls, floors, ceilings, lofts, etc
    solar panels
    ground-source heat pumps (including ancillary supply like ground works)
    air-source heat pumps
    wind turbines – this will not apply to wind turbines supplied after 1 October 2019
    water turbines – this will not apply to water turbines supplied after 1 October 2019
    micro combined heat and power units
    wood-fuelled boilers
    The lower rate of VAT applies if the energy saving materials are installed and the work is done on residential accommodation.

    The lower rate applies on any necessary extra work that needs to be done as part of the installation. For the installation of a ground source heat pump system this includes the heat pump, the ground loop, system controls and any other installation ancillary to the supply. Because a ground source heat pump installation generally provides heat at a lower temperature than a fossil fuel boiler there may be a need to increase the number or size of the radiators as part of the ancillary work or to install underfloor heating. See Heat Emitter Guide.


    the reduced rate does not apply if you buy materials directly: it only applies if you buy an installation (which includes the supply of materials)
    the reduced rate only applies for an installation of these items (including ancillary items) to residential accommodation
    if the installation is part of a wider supply, such as a new extension, then the reduced rate does not apply. This means that the reduced rate will only apply if the installation of energy saving materials is the dominant part of the supply.
    if the installation is in a new building then the supply is zero-rated for VAT.
    This pages summarises advice given in HMRC VAT Notice 708/6 Energy-saving materials.
    • CommentAuthorLeahy
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2019
    Here are the retail prices:
    Jinko panel: https://zerohomebills.com/product/jinko-solar-305w-optimized-solar-panel-jkms305m-60b-mx/
    Solis inverter: https://zerohomebills.com/product/solis-1p3-6k-4g-single-phase-dual-mppt-3-6kw-solar-inverter/
    The cables and clamps are really cheap but you can find those ones as well on this website. The greater part of the price is the labour cost so you have to decide whether that cost is worth it for you but this seems to me a fair price.
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2020
    Probably a bit late, but you could try getting a roofer to fit some panels from Bimble Solar in Lewes - they have good value new and used panels, and do a discount for cash on collection (for the panels they hold in their own warehouse). Then find a local sparky who doesn't mind connecting them up.

    They'll do 15x 310watt JA Solar panels for £1800 inc VAT.

    They often have cheaper offers than that on used or cancelled orders etc. e.g. 270 watt all-black panels for £83+VAT.

    BTW, if you haven't already been along - you could try the local AECB meeting - every second Tues of the month near Brighton station.
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