Are you are considering fitting P.V. solar panels to your property and are unsure of the viability?
If so and you want some unbiased information with absolute proof, then read on.
Let me make it clear that this report is entirely independent and I have no connection to the suppliers and am not being paid for this report -
We have 16 x 250w panels fitted to our new property , which is just about the maximum possible for the average property. These were fitted by Cleaner Air Solutions (late December 2014) at a cost of approx. £4,500. Cleaner Air Solutions were extremely helpful in all aspects and I can thoroughly recommend them.
In the UK there are big subsidies in this industry in order to make them viable. From the consumers point of view any power produced by the system is free to use, and any unused power is transmitted back to the National grid. After registering with a ‘feed in tariff provider’ the consumer is then paid every three months for everything that the panels generate -
Obviously certain properties will not be suitable due to the size, angle and direction of the roof which is something that you’ll need to look into.
We are in the North of England (Sheffield), so although the sun shines fairly frequently it’s not exactly the Costa Del Sol. But be assured that P.V. Panels work to a certain extent even on dull days, this I can honestly assure you with the information and receipts that I have.
Before we go further let me make it clear that there are two types of domestic solar panels -
A few years ago we lived in Cyprus where just about all of the properties have the water panels on the roofs along with hot water tanks. These provide fairly efficient hot water most of the year IN CYPRUS when the sun is blowing your brains out. But in the UK this maybe a completely different story.
But here we are talking about the P.V. Photovoltaic panels which generate electricity. These are also used extensively in Cyprus, but mainly by properties which are not connected to the grid and consequently they have to store their energy in batteries for night time use. The downside to those systems is that the batteries are stupidly expensive, but so is connecting to the grid in rural properties. So it can still often be worth the initial outlay (in Cyprus).
But here in the UK, you won’t need the expensive batteries as you’ll be connected to the grid for night time usage.
Does this mean that the grid is never used in the day time?
It depends on the time of day and how much electricity you use. If it’s a dull day and you turn the kettle on, the chances are it will use everything that the panels generate and some from the grid. You can easily tell which is which as a red light shows on the unused meter.
But for most of the daytime it’s a ‘money box on the roof’!
And of course in the UK the daylight hours vary summer and winter, so the system is bound to be much better in the summer. But we started with this at the very worst time (mid winter) and I can tell that even then they were working.
Ok, cut to the chase how much do they yield?
Well as I’ve said this a completely independent assessment and based on our own experience in Sheffield with 16 X 250w panels facing more our less South. And having had these for nearly 3 years I can now give a fairly accurate assessment.
Basically due to the free daytime usage our annual joint gas and electric bill (combined) is about £600 and we receive about £600 back from the feed in tariff, making our net costs more or less nil. So for us yes they are worth it!
BUT, the government subsidy changes ever y few months and tends to go down (although guaranteed for 20 years when you get it). So you won’t get quite as good a deal as us if starting now. And also remember that the deal also differs according to the property’s EPC, with ours being a new build the EPC figures were as good as it gets (A all the way).
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and remember I am not trying to sell you anything -
In my opinion PV panels are the way forward for everyone who has a South facing roof. And as more people use them, the price will of course come down.
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