“Welcome to a solar panels revolution.”
Energy prices look almost certain to soar again given the current world situation in the Middle East, so reducing dependence really must be a priority for any household to look at ways of reducing energy costs.The best domestic, micro generation systems are solar panels and heat pumps which have enjoyed a revolution in improved efficiency and demand over the last 5 years. A real turning point for renewable energy is the new government backed feed-in tariff scheme.
This guarantees that people who invest in renewable electricity technology (usually PV electric solar panels) will receive an index linked payments for 20 years. This payment is broken down into 15.44 pence per unit generated, even if you use the power yourself. An additional 3 pence will be added if your surplus is exported out to the National Grid.
Another option for homeowners is the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme which is applied to green heat technologies like heat pumps and solar heating panels which also pay you 18 pence per unit generated as heat for a guaranteed 20 years.
Now the new feeds in tariffs have been introduced, many experts generally agree they were a good deal for homeowners to invest in private green energy technologies..
The figures really do stack up with earning from your solar panels or heat pumps averaging around 8-10% tax free earnings. That’s way more than an ISA scheme. Factor into the equation the fact that the payback period is only 10 years, and that gives you 15 years of real free green energy.
The reason why the government is now supporting micro generation systems is down to real hard headed reality. The UK must meet stringent, low-carbon targets by 2020, and the increasing uncertainty with fossil fuels supplies means, we as a nation must reduce our dependency before energy prices reach intolerable levels.
Following Germany’s solar panels lead
Germany, with a similar climate in the UK, now leads the world in domestic solar panels uptake rates. Their feed-in tariff scheme began in 1995. It shows that you do not have to live in a sunny climate only for solar technology to be effective.
Other countries around the world are doing similar feed-in tariffs which means micro generation systems are here to stay.
Solar panels on your home
Feed in tariffs are available to private homeowners as well as charitable organisations and schools.
More green energy produced in the UK (89%) comes from photovoltaic or PV solar panels. The initial outlay of around £10,000-£25,000, which will depend on both your budget and roof space, and the larger the size of the system installed, the more income you generate.
To generate a useful amount of energy, you need at least 10-20 square metre plus of southern-facing roof or land space, not overshadowed by trees. You no longer need planning permission to install solar panels, but if you live in a listed building or a conservation area, it’s best to check with your local council.
Stuart Lovatt, founder of Heat my Home adds, “We recommend that people who are thinking of a solar panel installation, do so now because the feed-in tariff rate is higher to early adopters. Next year the rate of new entrants into the scheme will be lower than 15.44 pence per unit.
The feed-in tariffs have been a great boost for the micro generation industry and for the first time home owners can see a decent financial return.
"Feel the pride."
Solar Stu on
Founder of Heat My Home.