Well after much debate (including on here!) we've decided to go ahead with installing solar panels.
We have joined with others in the Reading Energy Pioneers to make it more economical and as importantly to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of those who have had the installation done in the past. The quote we got was already competitive and we will be receiving a further discount depending on the number of people who go forward. Apparently there are over 20 of us currently planning to go ahead! (They are accepting people on this roud still, but you will have to go with the supplier we've chosen, just click here for details)
We've submitted a request for a lawful development certificate, I gather it's not normally needed as it's a permitted development (unless you were in a listed building or something) but since I am a councillor I wanted to be sure - it would be a bit embarrassing to say the least to get into trouble with the planners!*
I will update this blog as we go to let you know our experience, including recording the financial return in the first month or so.
Incidentally I am still waiting for the council to actually go ahead with taking advantage of the feed in tariff scheme, as I was promised by the former lead councillor and was agreed at a full council meeting, following the motion I proposed!
* I'd still advise you to call the planning department to get proper confirmation of this, my blog doesn't give legal/planning advice!