We are experts in home solar electricity installations, having been installing since 2010 and becoming one of the many businesses to be MCS accredited. Photovoltaic (known as PV) solar for your home is where the sun's energy is used to produce
electricity. There is another form of solar where the sun is used to heat hot water, if you are interested in this please read the section on solar thermal.
However, most people are currently interested in solar PV for the home because of a very generous subsidy called the Feed in Tariff. For a lot of households, this subsidy means that a solar pv installation is a good investment, in our view, this is the first thing they should do with any spare cash. In fact, in most cases it will pay to increase a mortgage to fund a home solar panel system or even take out a personal loan. (We're not financial advisors, so you should check with your own if you have any doubts).
This subsidy will not last forever. You will no doubt have noticed that our government is somewhat strapped for cash and looking around for appropriate victims. The Feed-in-Tariff only survived the October 2010 spending review because of the legislative difficulties in changing it. Please do not pass this opportunity up by delaying (irrespective of whether you use us or one of our competitors). The 7 common questions on investing in solar electricity for your home How much does a solar PV system cost? - Like all consumer items, prices for home solar panels vary depending on what you are buying. With solar pv systems, the factors are the rated output of the system, how your particular set-up varies from standard, how groovy the solar panels look on your house and, very importantly, the brand of the solar panel. This last one is important because it is the panel manufacturer that guarantees the thing will carry on working so if the manufacturer goes bust, you lose the guarantee. Systems are sized in something called Kilowatt Peak (kWp) which is a measure of the output of a system in standard laboratory conditions (i.e not your house) and the convention is to quote prices based on kWp o Our guide price for a 2 kWp system is around £4,000 or £6,500 for a 4kWp system (price is exclusive of VAT at 5%). Your site and personal requirements can affect this price considerably and things such as access, cable runs, availability of inverters and silicon on a global scale can affect price. Both these guide prices are for a system using Sharp PV panels - the world's leading panel designer and manufacturer of solar PV panels. Please note that these are guide prices and assume that there are no irregularities with your property. Please call us on 01597811468 and we will develop an accurate quote for your home solar panel system. Are all solar PV systems the same? - The short answer is no, but many installers try to claim they are. To prevent unscrupulous operators making exaggerated claims about how good their systems are, the government asks every MCS approved installer to quote using something called the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). The purpose of this is to give a householder a government-approved estimate of the amount of electricity your system will produce. Unfortunately the answer the process gives is the same for all systems of the same rated output, irrespective of the panel type or where you are located in the country. However MCS guidelines also allow the installer to use a more detailed alternative methodology, which is the approach that Freesource Energy use as a further sense check on estimated system performance. This takes into account the following: o Location / Panel Type / Precise Azimuth (Orientation from South) / Precise Roof inclination (Angle of slope of roof) / DC and AC cabling / Inverter selection and suitability / Shading How much money will I make from solar panels?Factors that affect how much money you will make include where you are in the country, slope and direction of roof, shading and your choice of solar panel. SAP is, in most parts of the country, a slight underestimate for the types of systems we install so a slightly conservative estimate is £200 per annum per kWp from the Feed-in-Tariff plus between £30 and £90 per kWp in savings on electricty (the lower figure if you kill your house during the day, the higher figure if you use all the electricity your system produces). So a 2kWp system costing £4,000 will make you between £350 and £518 a year. This is both index-linked and tax-free. Taking into account expected inflation, your profits over the life of the system wll be between £8,750 and £12,950 Should I go free solar panel installation or pay myself? - There lots of factors here, but with the kind of profits available we think you should pay yourself if any of the following conditions apply: You have the cash; You have a Self Invested Personal Pension that has enough cash or government bonds; You can raise it on your mortgage without a rearrangement fee (e.g. if you have an offset mortgage). You should talk to your financial advisor to confirm this however. If none of these apply we can install free solar panels. How long will it take to install home solar PV? In most houses installation takes a day and we will require access to erect scaffolding 2 days before the installation. How will I know its working? All our installations come with monitoring built in, so you can see the output from the system. Who should I use to install my solar panels?Rhayader Renewables Ltd. Installing since 2008 and with business across both the commercial and domestic sector we have many clients from whom we'll be happy to provide references. The Feed-in Tariff (FiT)
From April 1st 2010, the UK Feed-In Tariff comes into effect, making solar panel installation a very attractive investment indeed.
The FiT will apply across England, Scotland and Wales and is designed to incentivise solar panel installation, by offering what is referred to as "clean energy cashback". Put simply, it means that homes and businesses implementing small scale low carbon energy generation through solar PV panels (or other eligible means) will be paid for the energy they generate. This even applies if the households or businesses use all of the electricity they generate themselves! The rates have also been set so that those generating electricity through solar PV will be paid well above the rate at which utilities companies sell electricity, to account for the fact that solar generated power is more expensive to produce than fossil fuel generated power.
Feed-In Tariff Rates
How much you get paid will depend largely upon the type and size of the solar PV technology you use in your home. This table acts as a guide as to the pence per unit a new solar panel installation could earn.
Essentially, the price you will be paid per unit for energy you generate and then use yourself is up to 15.44p. For energy you generate and then export back to the grid (as opposed to using yourself) it goes up to 20.08 pence per unit. More information about the Feed-In Tariff rates can be found detailed in the table below.
Tariff levels, for technologies installed between 1st Feb 2013 and 1st July 2013 of most significance to householders.
Technology Scale Tariff Level (p/k Wh)* Tariff Lifetime (years) Solar Electricity (PV) ≤ 4 kW (retro fit) 15.44 20 Solar Electricity (PV) 4 kW-10Kw 13.03 20 Wind ≤ 1.5 kW 36.2 20 Wind > 1.5 - 15 kW 28.0 20 Micro CHP ≤ 2 kW 10.5 10 Hydroelectricity ≤ 15 kW 20.9 20 Definition of Terms Retrofit: Panels installed on a building that is already occupied. New Build: Installed on a new building before it is occupied for the first time. Feed-In Tariff Eligibility
Eligibility for the UK FiT depends upon the date of installation, size of the installation and the technology used.
Systems Installed Before April 2010
Even if your system was installed before April 2010, you may still be eligible for the Feed-In Tariff. Any systems installed between 15th July 2009 and 1st April 2010 will be eligible, provided they are registered with Renewable Obligation. Any systems that are registered will receive payments for this period (July 09 - April 2010) under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROCs) and will be automatically transferred over to the FiT as of April 2010 and the tariffs outline above will apply.
Systems Installed Before 15th July 2009
Any system installed before 15th July 2009 and registered for ROCs will still be eligible for FiTs. However, irrespective of the technology used, a lower rate of 9p/kWh will apply.
Systems Installed After April 2010
Systems installed between April 2010 and 31st March 2012 will be eligible for the rates as outlined above, providing they are registered by an accredited body. Once installation is complete, consumers should contact their supplier to begin receiving payments at the rates detailed above.
Systems installed after 31st March 2012
The FiTs will apply to all new eligible systems installed. However, the FiT rates will decrease for systems installed after April 2012, a further decrease for those installed after April 2013 with continued cuts each following year.
Why Will the Feed-In Tariff Decrease Each Year?
The idea behind cutting the tariffs from April 2013 is to encourage people to act now. By acting now you will get the best financial return on your solar PV installation. This is an incentive to get more people to make the solar choice before sooner rather than later, assisting in ensuring that the UK meets its carbon emissions reduction targets.
Want to know more about the UK Feed-In Tariff and how you could benefit? Contact Rhayader Renwables Ltd.
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