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Sunday, July 14, 2013
What are solar panels & Worth It ?
How does the solar subsidy work?
Solar panels save the typical home £90-£180/year in electricity. But the real boon's that the Government guaranteed for 25 years you'd get a high 'feed-in tariff', ie, be PAID to generate energy, even if you use it yourself, at over 3x what we pay. So on £10,000 panels, you could have earned £1,000+/year for 25 years.
But in Oct the Government announced the rate would soon be more than halved for new sign-ups.
The Government lost its appeal
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) planned to halve the feed-in tariff for anyone who installed and registered after 12 Dec 2011, even though the consultation on the plans ran until 23 Dec. The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that these ‘retrospective’ cuts were unlawful.
This meant homeowners who get panels up and running before 3 Mar could lock in the higher payments for 25 years.
You put solar panels on the roof to generate energy from the sun. There are two types of panel: solar photovoltaic (PV), which generate electricity and solar thermal, which heat water. This guide focuses on solar PV.
"Hang on, we don't live in California" may be your first thought. Yet solar panels don't need sunshine to work, just daylight, so you can still generate some electricity on gloomy days – important in a country with weather as dull as watching Steve Davis sleep.
PV roof tiles convert the light into electricity, which you can use to power your home during daylight hours. Any energy you don't use is pumped back to the grid. If you use more than the panels generate, the excess comes off the grid, exactly as it did before the panels were fitted.
In the winter, when solar power is less, you'll take more power from the grid. It's a good idea to set appliances to run while it's light outside, staggering them to max the savings. For tons more top tips from solar nerds, read the forum's Make the most of solar panels thread.
Are solar panels worth it? Many consumers are wondering whether or not the cost of a photovoltaic roof system is reasonable. Getting a simple yes or no doesn’t tell the whole story, as the answer depends on the buyer, upfront money and the proposed unit. There are many variables that decide the cost effectiveness of a PV array, but the buyer is in control of these, making a system within easy grasp of any budget.
The benefits of ownership are lower utility bills and energy self-reliance. Owning a PV array of any size will prove to be beneficial. A smaller unit may only lower utility bills a modest amount, but there is a great deal of freedom that comes with the unit. A larger setup can make the homeowner money every month if the system is tied into the power grid. The provider will pay the property owner for any excess energy supplied back to the company.
So, are solar panels worth it? One consideration when deciding the answer is the size of the photovoltaic system. The larger the initial setup, the higher the price. When the home’s needs are minimal, the size of the PV array is smaller, meaning less of an investment. The right PV system will be custom designed for the property, and this is important, as it will reduce waste and maximize efficiency.
Another consideration a consumer may face is the size of the budget. Fortunately, property owners can usually find a system that can fit into any sized budget. Even purchasing a single PV array when the cash flow allows gets the homeowner going down the right path. The entire system is buildable over time as money permits. Finding a reputable provider and installer is the best way to build a system because a single provider gives uniform service and streamlined business dealings.
The home’s location is not as important as it once was. These days, an installer can overcome virtually any obstacle when deciding the best place for a PV array. Are solar panels worth it? There is little doubt that a high quality photovoltaic system custom designed for a specific property is a worthwhile investment. Even if the consumer lives in the northern states, there are ways to guarantee a successful install, giving the buyer the advantages that come with ownership.
Each solar panel installation is as unique as the property it’s being attached to. A careful inspection by a trained professional is a must to get the ideal combination. The installer will answer questions and help the buyer decide, “Are solar panels worth it for me?” The initial investment is not prohibitively expensive. Tax rebates, credits and other incentives assist the homeowner in securing the unit without spending too much cash. There are programs offered by many financial institutes that help the purchaser receive loans with low interest rates and no money down.
What's in it for you?
Done, right solar panels save you cash. You save in two ways:
Electricity bill savings. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates a typical 2.9kWp system can knock £90 to £180 off a family's bills, depending on system size, electricity use, whether you're at home during the day and other factors.
While solar panels can produce 50% of a home's electricity, often much of this gets pumped back to the grid. If energy prices rise significantly over 25 years as they are predicted to, you'll save more.
Feed-in tariff payments. Back in 2010 the Government ditched grants for solar panels and replaced them with a scheme that pays for all the solar energy you produce, even if you use it yourself.