What is a photovoltaic panel installer?
A photovoltaic panel installer is an approved professional who can help you with your solar panel installation project in Belgium. This consists of guiding you, from the first phase of your project, in the choice of your panels, the brand and the type of photovoltaic panels. The chosen professional can also offer you panels adapted to your annual energy consumption needs and to the roof of your home as well as its inclination. The photovoltaic panel installer is also present to ensure the installation of the equipment and the cleaning which is recommended every 2 to 5 years, depending on the slope of your roof and the panels chosen.
Before installing photovoltaic panels and therefore opting for solar energy production to power your home, a few checks are necessary. First, make sure you have a roof that faces south or east, and that you have the necessary surface area. These two indications will determine whether or not your photovoltaic panel installation project can be effectively implemented. Also make sure that the roof is connected to your electrical system. Also apply for planning permission if this is required, especially in Brussels.
Many professionals specialised in the installation of photovoltaic panels are operational in Belgium. However, it is advisable to call on specialists, particularly those based near your home, in order to limit transport costs and make some savings. Make several comparisons and quotes, in order to define the professional who corresponds to all your needs.
Once the installation project is technically launched, the installer will take care of the installation of the support structure, the fixing of the panels and the connection with the electrical system. Before your photovoltaic panels are put into service, a compliance inspection is necessary: the installation must meet the standards of the RGIE, which is the General Regulations for Electrical Installations. Once the inspection has been completed, the inspector will give you a report. From then on, you can use your photovoltaic panels and enjoy them to the full.
Why install photovoltaic panels?
Installing photovoltaic panels in Belgium can raise a number of concerns due to the initial investment cost and a profitability that is not necessarily guaranteed in the long term. However, this investment cost can be compensated by aid, particularly in Brussels thanks to the green certificate system. Nevertheless, in Wallonia, no regional premium dedicated to the installation of photovoltaic panels is offered. As for Flanders, the replacement of reverse meters by smart meters and the introduction of a new tariff system as of January 1, 2021 have allowed the launch of a new premium, set at a maximum of 40% of the price of the photovoltaic installation. This premium can therefore amount to up to €1,500.
On the other hand, you can ask your bank for a green loan, which consists of financing the purchase and installation of photovoltaic panels with an interest rate of up to 2%. You can also opt for a regional or municipal loan, which offers a loan with an interest rate of 2%. In the case of Wallonia, for example, the Rénoprêt can offer an interest rate of 0% for middle-income households. The same principle applies in Flanders, where the interest rate can be brought down to 0% and can be as high as €15,000 for low-income households. Ask your local authorities for more information: local grants and subsidies for the installation of solar panels may be available.
In addition to the aid offered by your region or your city, the benefits of installing photovoltaic panels are mainly ecological and financial. Photovoltaic panels bring a certain well-being and require little regular maintenance only, you can, as soon as your photovoltaic panels are put into service, produce solar energy dedicated to covering the energy needs of your home. As the sun is an inexhaustible source of energy, you only need a few hours of sunlight per day to produce enough sustainable energy for a house. Little CO2 is emitted during this production, which considerably reduces your energy footprint.
From a financial point of view, investing in photovoltaic panels represents, in the long term, often interesting savings. For example, with an annual energy consumption of 5,500 kWh, the savings can amount to an average of €2,500 per year, with a payback period of 5 to 6 years.
What are the different types of solar panels?
Different types of solar panels exist on the market. In the case of photovoltaic panels, they allow you to produce electricity using solar energy. Thanks to a connection via your electrical system, the installation of photovoltaic panels makes it possible, for example, to depend on the traditional electrical network only partially. In fact, you produce your own electrical energy. You can also opt for thermal solar panels, especially for the production of domestic hot water.
Black monocrystalline solar panels, which are essentially composed of a silicon crystal, are designed so that all the crystals are oriented in a single direction for production. These panels are best suited for homes with direct sunlight, where production is more advantageous. For south-facing roofs, this can be a good solution for a photovoltaic panel installation. Blue polycrystalline solar panels capture more indirect light. They are ideal for large roofs, and offer a much higher yield than monocrystalline solar panels. Amorphous solar panels are less well known but offer a good yield and are a good value for money solution. However, their energy yield and power are much less efficient than monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. Amorphous panels have a shorter lifespan compared to the two main types, i.e. about ten years with maximum energy yield.
For more performance, consider high performance monocrystalline solar panels. These are the latest technology and were introduced to the solar panel market a few years ago. They offer a higher yield than conventional solar panels, up to 20% more. On the other hand, their price is higher.
These panels can be installed on your roof, but also on the ground if the orientation of the roof is not a good asset. However, you will need planning permission from your local authority for ground-level construction.
What are the average prices of a photovoltaic panel installer?
It all depends on your photovoltaic panel project, but also on the brand and type of panels chosen. On average, you should expect to pay between €4,000 and €9,000 for the installation of photovoltaic panels on your roof. The number of panels installed will vary depending on your annual energy consumption, the surface area and the orientation of your roof.
Additional options for the photovoltaic panels and the location can increase the price of the quote. In the case of polycrystalline solar panels, they are slightly cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels. The panels can also be combined with the style of your home, whether contemporary or rustic. The choice of colours is therefore essential. However, you should know that this comes at an additional cost, i.e. an increase of 10 to 20% of the initial price of the solar panels. In addition, these solar panels, although more aesthetic, offer a less efficient energy yield, up to a 30% reduction.
A comparison of different quotes from a number of approved professionals in Belgium can help you establish an accurate budget, depending on your annual energy consumption.
Are photovoltaic panels profitable in Belgium?
In the long term, the profitability of photovoltaic panels in Belgium is very interesting. First of all, because of their lifespan, which is between 25 and 35 years. After only a few years of use, i.e. between 5 and 10 years, you can make your photovoltaic panels profitable and be repaid in full for the initial investment, thanks to the annual savings made.
To calculate the profitability, you need to know the annual energy consumption (in kWh) of your home. In the case of an energy consumption of 3,500 kWh, the savings will be less considerable and lower than for a high consumption, especially at the level of 7,500 kWh. It is also advisable to take into account the year of construction of your house, especially if it is less than 10 years old. This means that the cost of savings is lower than if the house was built before 2011.
The regional location is also important, and depending on the regional location, the subsidies and premiums are not the same, as well as the savings over a whole year. For an annual energy consumption of 5,500 kWh, the annual savings amount to an average of €2,000 for Brussels and its region, €1,500 for Flanders and €2,350 for Wallonia.
In general, photovoltaic panels in Belgium are profitable in the medium to long term, and can be supported by regional or municipal aid. The approved professional chosen to install your photovoltaic panels can also advise you on the various existing grants and loans.
Photovoltaic Panel Installers dans une autre région