With solar technologies brought into the public and media spotlight recently, many questions are asked about this green and energy saving technology.
1. One such issue, is pricey, and if installations are likely to be reduced over the coming years.
This view is supported by other technologies, which have come down in price, as uptake is increased, however, unlike going into Curry’s and buying a boxed new TV, solar panels have more complicated issues which prevent this easy type of purchase enjoyed by other technologies.
Firstly these systems are not plugged in and play. If you are installing a solar heating panels or PV solar panels, then it needs to be plumbed in or wired in by properly qualified specialist installers, which are very expensive to employ. Another issue is the constant rising costs in general.
Stuart Lovatt from Heat my Home, says: I have been in the solar industry for many years now, and the thing which I have, heard time and time again are people expecting solar panels and installation costs to come down. In those same years, the overall industry prices have a year on year risen because of manufacturing, global energy issues and now VAT increases.
I expect the same will continue to happen over the coming years, so my expert opinion is, there is never going to be a better or cheaper time to install solar panels especially domestic sized, than now.
2. Incentives for installing have changed recently to reward the early pioneers of domestic PV electricity, solar panels the most
The newly released government backed feed-in tariffs (FITS) (Clean Energy Cash Back Scheme) gives a great return on your solar installation investment. If you install PV solar panels to your home, then you will be given 15.44 pence per kWh for the energy you produce, and this is if you use yourself or not. This incentive is guaranteed for 20 years, so on a long-term investment opportunity, it gives better returns than the money staying in a bank account.
However, this is only a 3 year window of opportunity, with the 15.44p being reduced to 35p per KWP after 2013 and so on. The reason for this is the tariff is digressive and is only supposed to reward the early adopters with the most. Very late adopters probably will not receive anything but cheaper bills only.
3. New incentives for solar heating on the cards for early adopters of this type of technology too.
Just like the feed-in tariff scheme for solar electric, solar heating systems will have their own feed-in tariff incentive scheme coming next year and still applicable to installations done this year. The new Renewable Heat Incentive will give a fixed amount of 18p per kW of heat produced by your system for a guaranteed timescale of 20 years. Again this is a time sensitive reward scheme, so if you decide to install within the next 3 years, then you will get more benefit from your neighbour installing in 5 years time (which they will).
4. Do not be caught out by the coming energy crunch.
If the recent budget by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the threat of strikes, are not reminiscent of the 1970s problems, then the energy shortages predicted in the UK, will certainly take you back. The constant escalating energy prices are predicted to rise further, with unstable sources, the recent oil disaster, our own dwindling North Sea reserves with a much needed upgrade to National grid/power stations, which will ultimately be paid for through the nation’s energy bills.
5. Avoid the solar rush
If the up and coming energy crunch does occur in the same way the banking crisis hit, then you can be sure that everyone else will want an installation at exactly the same time as you.
The infrastructure within the UK solar industry is not in place to handle so many requests for installations at the same time. Therefore, it is advised people start preparing now. After all Richards Branson, recently commented on the energy crunch have made a lot of people sit and take notes. If anyone would know, it will be him.
A recent example of this is, the recent global demand in PV solar panels has caused integral parts such as photovoltaic panels and inverters to become short and supply and thus push up prices, as we are seeing at the moment. Manufacturers simply cannot make them fast enough.
Which cleverly loops me back to reason #1.
"Feel the pride."
Solar Stu on
Founder of Heat My Home.