“Feed-in tariffs make 2010 the best year for solar technology.”
Figures from the UK energy regulator Ofgem, show that 42MW of solar electric power was installed last year (2010) a huge increase on the 4MW levels seen in 2009.
PV (photovoltaic) solar panel installations, covering 16,000 properties, has ultimately been driven by feed-in tariffs (Fit scheme) that started on 1st April 2010.
An exponential number of homeowners, businesses and schools across the UK have been making the headlines this year because of their efforts to embark on installing solar panels. PV solar panels are a proven and widely used technology in Europe, the US and Asia.
Since the introduction of the feed-in tariff in April 2010, it has become a very attractive option for homes and commercial installations. The technology benefits from being simple, reliable and very long lasting (typically 30 years).
The feed-in tariff requires energy companies to pay independent generators using solar panels for the surplus electricity produced, which is then exported back to the National Grid.
At 15.44p per kWh, the rates paid to domestic scale producers are bought at 8 times the market value. The returns are so high that some companies are offering free installations of solar panels in return for using your roof space.
We do not recommend free solar panels offers
Free solar panel offers are not recommended because you will not benefit from the big financial return which will be taken by the company who installed them and you will not own the panels making your home harder to sell in the future.
Our Government wants to encourage private homeowners to start the ball rolling with the uptake of greener technology such as solar panels and heat pumps, and this is exactly what we are seeing, says Stuart Lovatt from Heat my Home.
The feed-in tariffs have been successful in lots of other countries including Germany and Spain and other European countries which have proven to be popular, and so encourages significant development of green energy. The major advantage of feed-in tariffs is to reward earlier up takers the most and later up takers the least reward, thus allowing the snowball effect to begin.
The feed-in tariffs were one of the last acts of the Labour government, but the coalition government elected in May has decided to maintain them, so there has never truly been a better time to install solar panels to your home.
Facts about solar panels in the United Kingdom
It is a common misconception that solar panels only work in the sun-this is not the case. Even on some cloudy days in the UK, solar energy still bombards your roof. Your solar panels will be working effectively in the depths of winter and even more so in the height of summer.
More financial benefits
It is widely known that, if you have a PV solar panel system installed, you will benefit from free electricity during the daylight hours. The savings you will make look set rise year on year as energy prices keep rising in the future.
Installing a solar panel system will make your property 33% more attractive to potential buyers (Energy Saving Trust, 2010) compared to the same house without solar technology, which is a substantial benefit.
An average of 10,000 increases in your properties price tag is also possible. Solar panels offer a higher rate of return compared with traditional investments, with a guaranteed rate that will increase with inflation, making it a fantastic financial opportunity.
"Feel the pride."
Stuart Lovatt on
Founder of Heat My Home.