Cut solar panel costs down by half with a DIY installation
“Anyone who has dealt with electricians or plumbers will know that costs can be very high when employing these tradesmen.”Those who may have qualifications and experience in plumbing or electrical practices are literally half way there to being able to install their own solar panels.
The costs of both types of solar heating panels, i.e. Evacuated tubes and (Photovoltaic) PV solar panels, can be greatly reduced by installing them yourself. Be warned though that you will not be able to claim the feed-in tariffs which are currently available.
However, the savings made on the installation charges will far outweigh the benefits of the tariff scheme, which was only introduced to counter the high cost of installations.
The original idea of the Government’s feed-in tariff scheme was to compensate the adopters of this technology by purchasing the electricity produced by the panels whether it was used by the householder or surplus to requirements.
As the popularity of the scheme grew, the government incentive to kick-start this solar revolution had to be reduced over the last 12 months.
The tariffs, which now stand at 15.44 pence per kWh for electric and 17 pence per kWh for heating, will still give the adopters a bank- beating 6-9% return on their investment and this doesn’t include any future savings on bills.
Someone who has installed their system themselves will not receive this tariff, but the savings on the installation costs will far exceed the rate of return on investment over the systems 25-30 year lifespan.
Forecasting the energy weather
Predicting the weather is an important aspect for solar installers when working on roofs.
With solid scaffolding and the correct roofing equipment/expertise, most installers can and do work in most weather conditions. I doff my cap to these hard-working individuals.
However, because trying to predict global oil and energy prices is similar to trying to predict the weather and climate, the future will always be uncertain. That’s why a solar installation is going to become an increasing necessity for us. Like a rain jacket, you know you are not going to use it every day, but you’d rather have it than not have it, once the outlook looks gloomy.
The fantastic thing about solar panels and the reason I have spent the last seven years singing their praises is because of their usefulness and technological longevity.
No one can predict the prices of basic energy in five years, let alone ten or even twenty years, but whatever the future outlook, with a self-installed system, you can rest assured that your energy costs will be comparable to those in the 1980s and will be weatherproofed for the longer term.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt October 1, 2012
Founder of Heat My Home.