People who have invested in solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels since April last year have benefitted from a generous feed-in tariff (FIT), but this month the government will announce a new, lower rate from April.
Anybody who has invested in solar PV receives a FIT of 43.3p for every kilowatt generated plus a small amount for every kilowatt exported to the national grid.
Additionally they will have saved on electricity consumed from the grid when the power generated from solar panels is used to run their electrical appliances.
This means PV households could be earning and saving up to £1,200 to £1,800 annually towards paying back the investment in the solar panel installation (between £10,000 and £15,000). The payback is between 8 to 10 years, but the crucial element of the FIT is that it is guaranteed for 25 years, so the panels will continue to payback long after the installation cost is covered. The FIT is also tax free and increases in line with the RPI.
The government originally set a review date of 2013, but with significant falls in the cost of solar PV systems, it has been brought forward. This means if householders plan to stay in their homes – assuming the roof faces south – and they want to make a major improvement which will earn money, there isn’t much time left to benefit from the present high level of FIT.
Which installer to choose is an important issue as there have been reports of dubious doorstep tactics.
Independent web site www.YouGen.co.uk explains more about solar PV, but Purton based firm Rain Wind and Sun are certainly good people to ask for a quote. Earlier this year they were runners up to Good Energy in the Wiltshire ‘Environmental Excellence in Business’ award.