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Anyone use Solar PV?

I've just been accepted for a free solar panel installation. Yes in the UK now you can have free solar panels installed! if you meet the criteria of min 12 panels, south facing roof and accept a contract for 20 years.

Seems like a good deal. I get free electricity and the install business gets money from the UK government for every unit generated over 20 years plus a feed in tarrif for all the excess fed back to the grid that I don't use.

Everyones a winner! Maybe even the planet?

Would have been better if I could have paid for the system myself and then made money on the government payments/unit but this way I don't have to maintain it as the installer covers that as technically they are renting my roof for their system which they will still own. After 20 years they walk away and leave it with me and not having a mortgage I don't have banks to interfere so apparently it can all progress fairly quickly.

Anyhow I'm happy. Think I might be able to squeeze a 4.5kw system onto my not huge roof but that's plenty big enough for me. My roof is 10 deg's from south and 30 deg incline and nothing shading it which puts it amongst the highest for efficiency for this type of system.

I can hardly believe it. Something for nothing? and more unbelievably I am the only person in this row of 6 houses that even entertained it when offered?

If it goes well then I expect others will follow. Electricity prices are only rising and rising and I may be able to cut 50% off my bill.

Comments

  • MouseMouse Member
    Congratulations! Good deal it seems.
  • in this situation, does the power not go to the grid, and you get discount off power before a certain time? (im sure i saw one like this, and you pay full price anyway after 6)
  • edited June 2013 PM
    I hope you don't need a new roof before 20 years. or are the panels the shingle?
    Now you can afford FOJ
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Mine are getting paid off with money that would otherwise would have gone towards the electric bill. Once paid off, that money is mine. With the government rebates it will only be four years or so.
  • edited June 2013 PM
    I hope you don't need a new roof before 20 years. or are the panels the shingle?
    Now you can afford FOJ
    Nope, still can't afford it unless SWS wants to barter for some free lecky but yes I hope it will help the finances in a small way in these austere times.

    @Juxtaposer. Looks like you are getting the best out of the deal. How do you find it in use. I don't know anyone who installed it but I expect it pretty much sits in the background and you have to plan around making the most of when it's generating. I'm really looking forward to it. Apparently it's a one day install for the complete thing and the installer insures the roof/system etc. After all it's in their interest to protect their investment so they wouldn't even install it if my roof wasn't up to it.
    in this situation, does the power not go to the grid, and you get discount off power before a certain time? (im sure i saw one like this, and you pay full price anyway after 6)
    No, when it's producing power I take what I can use directly from the panel invertor and peak times for power will be brighter days and near noon. The rest goes to the grid. The amazing thing is that even if I use the power free the government still pays something like £0.17p per unit for each unit I use and a further 4pence if the juice is fed into the grid and since the installer will get this money instead it makes it worth while to install a free system for me to use and for them to get the money.

    It seems the installer here will be using high quality 250w German made panels. I have yet to get this confirmed but this is what they are doing with other installs shown on their website.

    Funny thing is that it's not greatly advertised. I think they are really only seeking out those roofs like mine which can generate the most efficiently and therefore maximise the return for the investor. So all neighbours nearby who's roofs are east west oriented have no chance. Just wouldn't be viable.

    I suppose if I could have got a bank loan and paid for it myself then it would have been paid off somewhere in the first ten years and then I would have started to make money from it but I like this deal also were I don't have to bother with any of that. It's still a good gain and if I'm still around in 20 years then I can update it then.


  • Given the state of technology today geothermal energy could easily power the entire planet. Scientists estimate we could safely pull 2000ZJ out of the Earth every year indefinately. The world uses approximately 0.5ZJ a year, that means every year we could pull out enough geothermal energy to power the entire planet for 4000 years, so why the hell are we still making coal plants and nuclear power plants?
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    edited June 2013 PM
    So science is a pack of lies............... :-@
    Science is the ONLY thing we can trust, corporations and politicians are not to be trusted!
  • I'm connected to the grid and my meter runs backwards during times of peak production. In the end, any extra electricity is given away. I still get a connection bill for less than twenty dollars a month. A battery to store the power would be the thing to get me further ahead but those are awfully expensive. I think eventually an electric car will be the way to go being both a battery system and a means of transportation.
  • edited June 2013 PM
    I'm connected to the grid and my meter runs backwards during times of peak production. In the end, any extra electricity is given away. I still get a connection bill for less than twenty dollars a month. A battery to store the power would be the thing to get me further ahead but those are awfully expensive. I think eventually an electric car will be the way to go being both a battery system and a means of transportation.
    I'll have an electric motorcycle please. Wish they would include one in the deal. Maybe I should haggle. Even an electric bicycle could be good. They're getting quite popular now with the lithium batteries but makes them very heavy for normal cycling if the power runs out.

    But good point. I still have to pay for any electricity that I use which is not generated by the panels such as at night or early morning or winter but that's the penalty for getting the system free.

    I'm getting some sort of meter installed but I don't know what it does yet. I saw a system with a desk LCD clock type thing that displayed all the relevant power data probably just wifi connected to the inverter. Probably some app for smart phones that would do the same. It seems my inverter will have a sim card that will message the maintenance people in case of problems but will probably report to them also how much generation is happening and therefore how much they are earning. I would say I will be keeping my normal meter for what I use normally from the grid and they will install an additional meter that shows how much is fed back into the grid and I think the inverter will show the total generation but as I say will have to wait to speak to them again and get more details which might be another week or so. They are getting the contract ready at the moment.
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