Solar PV benefits Welsh installers and homeowners

Welsh homeowner installs solar

When MCS certified, Chris Allen Heating Limited, diversified into installing renewable power and heating systems, the company soon found solar PV was their most popular offering with a ready and waiting consumer base.

Chris Allen and his colleagues transitioned into small-scale renewables after more than 35 years of experience in installing traditional heating and electrical technologies. With experience in fitting air source heat pumps already, Chris and the team chose to become MCS certified for solar PV technologies too. Having successfully secured MCS certification, they completed 74 solar PV installations in 2021 alone.

Chris described the company’s move towards renewable technology and MCS certification as a natural transition to ensure its continued viability – especially as homeowners recognise the role heat pumps and solar PV will play in the UK’s journey to net zero.

Following the publication of the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, Chris reported more and more enquiries from homeowners. As renewable technology became a viable and affordable solution for everyone, a new demographic of consumers expressed interest in renewables, rather than just affluent households

One impact on consumer awareness was Warm Homes Arbed, a scheme launched by the Welsh Government and Arbed am Byth to provide funding for energy efficiency improvements.

Chris believes solar PV is their most popular technology due to the instant impact:


 “Not only can the customers see the savings very quickly to their electric bill, but once installed, there are very few, if any, changes to how the customer uses the existing systems in their homes.”


He expects renewable installations will continue to increase year-on-year and believes it is inevitable that fossil fuels will be slowly phased out as they become less

affordable. He also sees MCS certification as the way forward for his company, opening doors for future opportunities.

On becoming certified, Chris said: “To us it makes total sense becoming MCS certified; they have kept us at the forefront of our industry. Being certified allows us to keep our engineers highly trained, while bringing apprentices into the workforce and letting us do our bit towards helping the environment and meeting government goals on carbon.”

One customer who benefitted from solar PV, Chris’s expertise, and the savings of the Arbed am Byth scheme is Sian. Her system was installed in July 2021 and immediately started paying dividends.

Sian, a primary school teacher, lives in Anglesey in North Wales. She grew up in the same village where she now lives and has been in her current four-bedroom home with her three children for the past 16 years.

In 2021, she noticed that several her neighbours had solar PV installed and, in speaking with them, came to learn about the Welsh Government’s  scheme to improve energy efficiency in Welsh homes.

Despite her parents having solar PV for about 10 years, Sian admitted to not knowing too much about the technology. But given her concerns around climate change and the desire to reduce her carbon footprint, and the potential savings on her energy bill, she contacted Arbed to arrange for a surveyor to visit and advise her of her options.

Sian qualified to have the panels fitted free of charge and was introduced to Chris Allen Heating. Her only concern at the time was whether fitting the panels would damage her roof – which the surveyors assured her they wouldn’t. Their assurance, coupled with the 12-year product warranty they offered, convinced her to go ahead.

Chris and his team provided instructions on how to make the most of the panels by doing as many of their electricity-hungry activities, such as clothes washing, during the day when the panels were generating at their peak.

Sian also had a solar diverter fitted that takes surplus solar energy from the panels to heat her hot water when required; it also sends any remaining surplus back to the grid for which she receives payment from her energy supplier through the Government-backed Smart Export Guarantee.


“I’m much more aware of using electricity now. I can get up and put the washing machine on first thing in the morning, and with my smart meter I can see that it’s costing me nothing.”


Sian estimates that she is saving around £100 a month on her electricity bills since having the panels installed – and one month during the summer her electricity supplier ended up owing her money due to how much she had exported back to the grid.

The Arbed scheme was “an absolute lifesaver” for her and her family as they benefit from generating truly home-grown energy to help power their home.

View the rise in low carbon technology across Wales and other parts of the UK by visiting the MCS Data Dashboard –  providing insights into small-scale renewables in near-real-time.


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