About Solar Power
How Do Solar Panels Work?
PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground. The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
How Many Panels Are You Allowed?
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). A domestic property is allowed a maximum of a 4kw producing system, under the Feed In Tariff scheme.
Why Are Solar Panels So Awsome?
Sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced. The UK government?s Feed-in Tariffs pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it. If your system is producing more electricity than you need, you can sell the surplus back to the grid. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.
How Long Do The Panels Last?
The panels should last 25 years or more, but the inverter is likely to need replacing some time during this period, at a current cost of about £800.
About The Money
What Is The Feed In Tarriff?
Feed-in Tariffs were introduced on 1 April 2010 and replaced UK government grants as the main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies. Most domestic technologies qualify for the scheme, including Solar Panels.
How Much Is The Feed In Tariff For Solar?
Once you are receiving Feed-in Tariffs, the rate you get will increase in line with inflation in accordance with the Retail Price Index (RPI). For the full list of tariff rates visit Ofgem.
How Much Does The Install Cost?
That depends upon the route you choose to take. There are fully funded options, involving the Green Deal Scheme. There are of course self-funded options available also. In order to make an informed decision, it is necessary to receive a consultation from a qualified surveyor. In truth both routes hold inherent advantages and disadvantages, and each property is different.
Is The Solar Install Really Free?
Yes. Due to the subsidy offered by the Government (F.I.T), the cost of the Solar is fully returned across time. If one chooses the fully funded route, then the company that install the Solar receive these payments, and thus profit from the scheme. If the Solar is self-funded then the individual receives the payments and profits from the scheme.
About The Process
What Happens In The First Instance?
We shall arrange for a suitably qualified individual to attend your property at zero cost to yourself. The surveyor is fully accredited and has a comprehensive grasp of the Installation options. He/She shall assess the property and your energy usage fully, with particular focus to your electricity consumption. The surveyor shall then assess your eligibility for Green Deal funding, and fully explain your personal options to you. You shall not be asked for any money or commitment, and it may be understood as FREE advice at this stage, in relation to your Solar options. You shall be informed and understand the situation, in order to make a decision that suits you and you alone.
What Happens When You Have Decided?
This all depends upon your decision.
Fully Funded Installation:
1. An application shall be required to part-fund the installation via Green Deal funding. (1-2 Months)
2. An additional Green deal assessment shall be undertaken to accompany the application. (1-2 Months)
3. An additional appointment with the authorized Green deal provider will be required. (2-3 Months)
4. An additional technical survey will be performed prior to installation. (3-4 Months)
5. Your installation will go ahead and you will sign to forfeit the F.I.T payments. (4-6 Months)
Self Funded Installation:
1. The surveyor shall perform a free Energy Performance Certificate. (1 Day)
2. The surveyor shall arrange for the installation and you sign agreement with deposit. (2 Days)
3. Your Solar system is installed and signed off as an active system, and the balance is paid. (7-10 Days)
4. You begin to receive the F.I.T payments, export tariff and utilise the generated electricity for 20 years. (7-10 Days)
Getting More Advice
Where Can You Get More Energy Advice?
The DECC website is a great source of information.