Anyone got solar panels on their roof?
Is it worth it?
Are your electricity bills nearly zero?
Are the panels paying themselves back in the timeframe you were lead to expect?
Would you recommend their installation to others?
Thanks, just thinking about it so when I’m old, I don’t freeze to death due to fuel prices being unaffordable.Posted 4 years agoglobaltiMember
I installed solar tubes for pre-heating our water. It was a great little project, which I really enjoyed. I have no idea how much it’s saving us in gas bills but right now the panel is pre-heating the cold water entering our house from 10 degrees to around 48 degrees, it will be 60 by end of June. Total cost was around £700.
Read about it here:Posted 4 years agoianfitzMember
We have 15 panels (3.75kw) facing due south. Since 31st September they generated just over 1400 kw. We gave gadget that uses any solar electricity to power the emersion heater. This means we hardly ever have the gas water heating on now.
Couldn’t tell you how much our elec bills have reduced with out looking through them. Planing on this once there been on for a full year.
Factor in how much of the solar generated power you will use. We are in in the day time so use as much as we can. Washing machine dishwasher and oven are all used in daylight hours as much as is feasible.
This obviously means we are not buying the power in the first place.
Also you get paid for every kw generated – what ever its used for plus paid export tariff for 50% of what is generated.
And of course if you use what is generated then you save by not buying it in the first place.Posted 4 years agoBlobOnAStickSubscriber
I was speaking to a chap who had way more cells than were allowed on the electric tariff deal (he was no longer a ‘small generator’) but he didn’t care because he had bought 2 electric cars (one for him, one for his wife) which he charged from the cells.
He reckoned that each unit of electricity was worth about £1 in round terms when used in this way.Posted 4 years ago
I worry the technology will be redundant in 2 years, not 25 as you tend to cost them over
Anything other than worry as a source? I’ve seen 25 year old panels still generating electricity. Given current panels use the same basic tech, and the sun is still shining, and electricity is still electricity, what exactly are you worried about?Posted 4 years agoSmudger666Subscriber
each unit of electricity was worth about £1 in round terms when used in this way.
Unlikely – even if he is on the first tier of fits at 45p/unit and he uses every last drop of power to offset other electricity purchases (I.e. not the immersion heater thing which in the post above is displacing gas at 4.5p) he will be making/saving the equivalent of 60p unit. If he has more than 4kw, then he will be on a max of 32 or 38 p, less if he installed recently.
Solar panels still make sense if you have the right roof with no shade and don’t pay over the top for the system AND you can afford to lose access to the cash for the time it takes to pay them back. Typical payback for a domestic system vary between 6-10 years depending on how much of the power you can use at the time it is being made.
Anyone who thinks domestic electricity bills aren’t going to rise above inflation is kidding themselves IMO, same with oil/gas. I was talking to the MD of a large oil drilling company last week and he reckons the cost of drilling west of Shetland is up to 6 times that in the North Sea.
As for The technology involved becoming obsolete, it’s a fair point but we don’t know what is around the corner so you have to make your own mind up. Typical crystalline silicon panel efficiencies are 14-16% with the next level being 18% for hybrid panels but they aren’t cost effective at uk tariff/production levels. After that you get into gallium arsenide (space station type panels) that are 100s of times more expensive and unlikely to be cost effective anytime soon at 25% efficient.
Inverters are 96% efficient so even a halving of the losses won’t mean a huge leap forward in yield.
My advice, as an installer of renewables inc PV is to go for it, but I’m biased!
HthPosted 4 years ago
My roof faces East-West. If I put panels on both sides I’d do alright….!
Actually – if I had solar hot water that might work well – the panels are cheap enough I could afford two, the rest of the gubbins would be the same and I’d just have some valves switch over at lunchtime.Posted 4 years agoigmSubscriber
As always, if you guys really have 4kW and not the 3.68kW that is the legal limit (check it – ESQCR as amended) then I trust you have the maintenance procedures and agreements in place as the law would require. I trust also that you applied for connection under G59, not G83, although some DNOs will agree to your G59 connection as if it were G83 provided it is not far over 3.68kW.
Yes, it’s just technicalities which probably won’t matter – unless something goes wrong.Posted 4 years agofootflapsSubscriber
As always, if you guys really have 4kW and not the 3.68kW that is the legal limit
The actual legal limit is 16A per phase, rather than 3.68kW which is making an assumption about the voltage. You could install 4 KW of solar panels and put a 16A current limiter in and be fully compliant.Posted 4 years ago
Over 5 years of solar thermal. It thermosyphons so is completely maintenance free apart from cleaning the glass now and then and topping up the fluid once a year. 5 months free hot water and it works as a pre-heater the rest of the year. 2 weeks of 100% solar hot water so far this year. About half of the initial cost saved.
3 1/2 years of PV. Over half of the initial investment recovered. One new inverter under guarantee and a complete roof sealing kit replaced under guarantee. Edit to add figures since 1/9/2009: Production 11836kWh, consumption 7149kWh. We’re not on gas but burn about 2.5m3 of wood a year.
Be careful about the company you choose (because you may need them to come back and replace the sealing kit), the inverter you choose(because good companies have long guarantees and do exchange ones after that) and the panels you choose (because some of the cheap ones catch fire and burn your house down while the firemen spectate as they can’t use water).Posted 4 years ago
You’re right, Stever. For the majority of British households solar panels are window dressing. There’s not much point producing 2500kWh mainly in the Summer if your winter gas consumption is 15000kWh.
Insulation will do more for the planet pound for pound than solar panels in most homes. Roof, wall and under-floor insulation along with triple-glazed windows with shutters means we’ve only had to light the wood burner twice in the last two rather chilly weeks.Posted 4 years agomillzyMember
i work for a PV company as a salesman/surveyor (an honest one)((yes they do exist))
i have recently been visiting customers that we installed PV for a year or so ago and they are ALL getting more money from the feed in tariff than we predicted, we are however based in Cornwall.. so get a fair bit more sunlight than Sheffield (which is where the SAPS calculation is based from)
panels have recently gone up due to i new chinese export tax, but we can still get ours day to a 6 year payback time (which in reality will be lower) they are still fair cheaper than they were a year ago but the tariff is lower!
Still worth the money in my opinion, much better than having 7-9k sat in the bank in my opinion! after you’ve paid the system off, the calculations show that you will make between £20-26k from the FIT!Posted 4 years ago
Insulation will do more for the planet pound for pound than solar panels in most homes.
Bit of a red herring that as there’s nothing stopping you doing both, is there? As you know.
the calculations show that you will make between £20-26k from the FIT!
As long as no-one scraps it.Posted 4 years ago
I live in an old French house. Mine fit fairly well most of the way round but there are 2-3mm gaps in places. I measured the temperature between the windows and the shutters with double glazing and it was roughly halfway between the inside and outside temperature. With state-of-the-art triple glazing it’s still 5°C warmer in the gap than outside on a frosty night.Posted 4 years ago
Cost £6k installed and including VAT.
16 Conenergy noir 250w panels
Inverter is a red colour , begins with F, Fronian?
SE facing roof.
Buying it with shares I got from a share save scheme.
The shares have done OK, but won’t ever meet the rate of return of a solar panel set.Posted 4 years agoigmSubscriber
Footflaps – you are correct that it is 16A per phase – however that’s at nominal voltage (not my assumption that one, but I’d have to re-read the standards to check which is the relevant one).
So16A x 230V = 3.68kW
And for the exemption under ESQCR, that’s your lot.
As for the current limiter, DNOs vary as to whether they regard this as acceptable. My view when I was the man making the calls on behalf of our two licensed areas was that it was the panel rating minus any parasitic load presented by the inverter. As an alternative I would have accepted panel rating times the inverter efficiency.
There are good reasons for that email me if you wish to discuss.
That said subject to a quick look we were happy to accept G59s up to 4kW as if they were G83 and I believe my successor has taken a slightly more relaxed view (but that last point isn’t gospel).Posted 4 years agopaul_mSubscriber
We had them installed in December, and are pleased so far. Even if i discount the electricity I don’t have to buy during the day, then they are paying back around 7% so far, and will pay off in 13/14 years, and I am expecting that to improve over the summer/longer days.
We have also started to do more washing etc during the day to use the electricity we generate, but it will take a year or so before we can tell how much our usage has gone down by.
Like someone said above, if you can spare the cash for 10-15 years then do it, but they are a very log term investment – If they didn’t make money then their wouldn’t be companies that will put them on your roof for free.Posted 4 years ago100mphplusMember
I’ve had panels on my roof for 2 years now and if you have the money sat in the bank it’s a no brainer to get panels installed!! You are guaranteed a yearly tax free payback up to 10% on your ‘investment’ compared to 0.something % in the bank and in fact your money is getting less worth everyday inflation is above interest rates!
From FIT I have received back nearly £2k in payments so far, we put washing machines et al on timers and our Elec bill has reduced significantly too. We are currently on track to pay off the panel cost in 8 years and then have a 17 year tax free income from then on.
Currently you only get paid the tariff for 50% of what you generate, I predict that figure will increase personally when the Elec Co’s fit smart meters that measure accurately what we are generating, then our returns will be even higher.
The Co we got our panels from are currently developing battery systems that charge up during the day and can be discharged at night to power lighting and TV’s etc, thus reducing elec consumption even more.
If you do come to sell your house, we have been told that they add at least £10k to the value of the property.
It really is one of those ‘Too good to be true’ things that actually is good.Posted 4 years ago
Bit of a red herring that as there’s nothing stopping you doing both, is there?
Most people won’t though. Most people slap the panels on and could do far more with their money if they chose ‘fabric first’. UK housing stock is incredibly badly constructed and people get used to crap houses and accept really low standards as the norm.Posted 4 years agoDenis99Subscriber
I’ve read this topic with some interest.
I have got the cash sat in a bank account not earning much interest – may as well get a better return on the money.
Can those that have had it fitted successfully give me some companies that they would recommend? It would help me sort out a shortlist of quotes.
reply on here or pm me please.
email address is in my profile – much appreciated.Posted 4 years ago
As a whole, UK housing stock leaks air and has terrible insulation, which means they are bad to heat / cool. In terms of looking at what the occupant wants and needs from a house, the construction is poor, and permission is based more upon aesthetics than building performance, which perpetuates the problem.
There is no one type of UK house….
OK – most everything in at least the last 50 years isn’t that well built. The older stuff just suffers because of changes in thinking and lifestyles. If you think a building is well built just because it hasn’t fallen down, we’re talking about different things.Posted 4 years agoklumpyMember
I have got the cash sat in a bank account not earning much interest – may as well get a better return on the money.
As long as you’re happy that the money is coming from selling electricity to the national grid that it can’t use, for three times the going rate, and that cost goes straight onto everybody’s electricity bills.
And as rising energy costs hit the poorest the hardest this is basically a direct wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy – inflating your bank account at the cost of society’s most vulnerable having to go without heat and light.
As long as you’re ok with that, go for it.Posted 4 years agoDenis99Subscriber
I’m not a wealthy person, I’ve worked all my life since 16.
At long last I have some money to invest in lowering my energy costs when I retire (hopefully in a few years time).
I learnt a long time ago that the world isn’t entirely fair – but I have worked hard and made some sacrifices over 45 years of working.
I can’t help the fact that some people might be disadvantaged, by being someone who will pay more for my energy, when I will only have my pension to live on.
I don’t want to see anyone struggle, but unfortunately I’ve had to in the past.
Paying more for my energy won’t directly affect anyone,but me.
Anyone give me some recommendations?Posted 4 years agopjm84Member
I think you’re getting confused.
The electricity goes back into the “grid”. As far as I’m aware it will be drawn from the nearest source. So if I’m not drawing on the electricity I’m producing it will go to someone next in line on the mains. Unfortunately he or she has to pay for it.
The real winners in this are the suppliers. In effect we finance (PFI) their requirements to provide / meet renewable energy targets. They benefit by paying me 3p for 1kwh and sell it on at 14p or so. The FITs tariff is paid by everyone who pays for electricity plus the suppliers can pass on costs for administrating the scheme (Must be some big bonuses within those costs)
So in simple terms they are meeting their green targets for little or no capital outlay plus they also earn revenue on administrating the scheme.
Nice business model wish I could have something similar.Posted 4 years ago
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