Information on the technologies installed in your home to improve energy-efficiency.
View your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives a property an overall energy efficiency rating
- EPC currently range from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient
- EPCs expire after 10 years, however, we only renew EPCs at the beginning of new tenancies (we do not repeat EPC inspections on existing tenancies simply because they are more than 10 years old).
- Colchester Borough Homes use energy modelling software to assess the energy efficiency rating of the properties we manage. This software will take into account other factors such as works recently completed to your property which will change the energy efficiency, for this reason the rating we use may be different to the you will find lodged on the website link above. CBH will be looking to update a number of lodged EPCs over the coming years as major energy improvement works are carried out.
What are solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and how does the system work?
Solar photovoltaic panels capture daylight and the inverter converts that daylight into electricity for our residents to supplement the electricity they pay for in the conventional way. Any unused electricity the system generates simply feeds back into the grid. As the systems (except for those with a Moixa Maslow battery storage unit) do not store the electricity, it is effectively “use it or lose it” each day.
Approximately 50% of Colchester City Council’s housing stock benefits from solar PV. The panels on the roof are divided into arrays, between 8 (2kW) and 16 (4kW) panels per array, and one array to one property. These are connected to an inverter, either installed in the loft space or in a cupboard close to the property’s fuse board and sit alongside a generation meter. We ask that residents do not touch this equipment, as it remains the property of the PV installer.
How can solar photovoltaic (PV) panels help me save money?
Colchester Borough Homes suggests best practice to realise savings but cannot guarantee how much anyone may save as we each consume energy differently. It is strongly recommended that electrical usage is spread or staggered throughout the day, using one appliance at a time where practical.
Residents who have concerns regarding their electricity bills and who have looked at their usage should contact their supplier to ensure that they are on the correct tariff. All PV systems were registered at the time of installation, so all energy companies will hold records to show that the property benefits from PV so should be able to find the best plan for each person’s requirements or be able to discuss billing in greater detail.
I have noticed flashing lights on the inverter – is this normal and do I need to report it?
The frequency of the flashing relates to the amount of sunlight outside. It is entirely possible that it will flash a lot on a cloudless winter day but nowhere near as much the following day if it is raining or overcast. The systems send half-hourly signals to an online portal, meaning that those responsible for monitoring the system are aware of a fault almost immediately and will often contact residents directly to arrange an appointment to inspect the system, if necessary. There is no need to monitor the lights on the inverter or the smaller generation meter.
There appears to be a banging or rattling noise during high winds – is this normal?
Where it is felt that the noise has become a loud bang please contact Customer Services for the issue to be referred to the relevant investors’ maintenance contractor.
Who owns the system and does anybody else benefit financially from the installation?
Each solar installation on Colchester City Council’s homes are owned by one of four private investors, with a 20-year legal agreement in place between the Council and the investors to lease the roof space on which the panels sit (typically half of the roof). The investors are responsible for maintenance of their equipment and any queries should be directed to Colchester Borough Homes to then be forwarded on. The investors receive quarterly Feed-in Tariff payments from the government.