A Berkhamsted man has started a free independent not-for-profit community website for householders who have installed solar power panels on their roof.
Simon Spurling, of Upper Hall Park, has launched www.onyourroof.com to help people find out how well their solar panels are doing compared to the local average.
Mr Spurling said: “To get the most out of it they would give the site their solar power meter readings and it will give them a picture of how well their panels are doing compared to the local average.
“At the very least they can read about other users experiences of how to get the most out of their panels and what to do if they need help with an issue.”
Mr Spurling said there are already nearly half a million houses with panels in the UK and by 2020 there will be double that number or more.
Solar power panels need to operate well for 25 years and he believes his website will have a big role to play in creating more energy efficiency in the home.
Mr Spurling added: “People who have become ‘microgenerators’ by installing solar panels will often become much more energy aware and creative about making the most of their solar power. I want to raise awareness about this and also give those who have panels the motivation to visit the site and see for themselves.”
Recent media coverage of rising gas and electricity prices makes the issue of energy sources and saving power all the more topical.
Mr Spurling said: “People who have solar panels will already have saved electricity by generating their own power and this website is about sharing their best ideas on using solar power to save even more electricity from the grid and make sure their panels are generating the maximum they can.”
According to Mr Spurling the onyourroof.com website will help user identify when their solar power panels have problems due to dirt, shading from overgrown trees, a gradual decline in panel efficiency, issues with the DC to AC inverter equipment.
It will, he added, help users do something about these problems, including finding good contractors for cleaning panels as recommended by other users. It could also help users with issues they have with panels and electrical equipment and to make the most of their panels.