Talk to me about solar panels

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
Has anyone had solar panels installed?
looking for recommendations of companies to use.
Not the ones where you get the panels for free and they keep the money from the electricity sold back to the grid.
The tariff is apparantly going down in January so we are keen to buy as soon as possible.
 

John Marwood

I ♥ cryptic crosswords
Has anyone had solar panels installed?
looking for recommendations of companies to use.
Not the ones where you get the panels for free and they keep the money from the electricity sold back to the grid.
The tariff is apparantly going down in January so we are keen to buy as soon as possible.

Whilst the cost of panels has reduced considerably the tarrif has been reducing more significantly since its introduction

I looked into it earlier this year and I wouldn't get a projected return until year 21-22

Which is a long time away
 
Last edited:

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
The only way to get an early-ish return from them really is if you can use the bulk of the power at peak times yourself thus reducing what you use through your meter (off the grid). For example if you're at home in the day and can do a load of washing and drying during the sunniest part of the afternoon then you'll instantly save money at the full rate of what you'd normally pay through your meter. If you're at work when the electricity is being produced then it's being sold back to the grid at a much lower rate.

At least this is my understanding of it. I could be wrong.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I looked into this last year, and even though my pond would use a fair bit of the electricity generated in the day it still wasn't worth the hassle. I'd look at energy consumption rather than generation, for example are all of your light bulbs the most cost effective possible? What about the other devices used daily, your TV or washing machine?
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
I looked into this last year, and even though my pond would use a fair bit of the electricity generated in the day it still wasn't worth the hassle. I'd look at energy consumption rather than generation, for example are all of your light bulbs the most cost effective possible? What about the other devices used daily, your TV or washing machine?

All of our light bulbs are low energy or LED.
I only use the washing machine on my day off so that is during the day. We don't watch a lot of TV but I'm pretty sure the energy rating for it is A.
Our EPC rating is D which is fine for Solar panels.
Our roof faces south which is also apparantly optimum.

Whilst the cost of panels has reduced considerably the tarrif has been reducing more significantly since its introduction

I looked into it earlier this year and I wouldn't get a projected return until year 21-22

Which is a long time away

The tariff has been going down, it reduced slightly in October and is projected to reduce again considerably in January but it's fixed for 20 years at whatever it is when you sign up which is why we are looking at doing it now or not at all.
How come it didn't project a return until year 21-22? We're looking at about year 7ish - we can fit quite a few panels on the roof though and are paying cash so no interest payments.
 

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
I'm still with tek... it's better when the power is used yourself than selling it to the grid. Washing machines are one of the biggest power users - bear in mind that most of them have delayed start timers, therefore allowing you to program it to start washing late morning / early afternoon and really take advantage of that peak sun. If for example you do 3 loads on your day off, the chances are that you're still going to be buying quite a bit of that energy off the grid. It would be more economical to have your washer come on at peak sun during 3 different days therefore using more of the power your panels produce yourself rather than the grid buying it back off you at a reduced rate.

I've even read stories whereby people have installed special switches that only start the washing machine if the power being produced is likely to be adequate. Personally I think there are more cons than pros. If I could have them for free and make use of the power during the day then I'd do it - but I don't think it's something I'd invest in. Another consideration is that they can affect the sale-ability of your property I'm told - although that's maybe only if you have free ones installed I'm not sure.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
If you follow that link and look at the energy and power section you'll see some days peak at so little you couldn't run a microwave, the 18th of this month it only hit 0.3 kw at its best! In comparison on the 2nd it peaked close to 3kw, not bad at all for a 4k system. In fact 3kw is the best I've seen it hit, that was August 12th, yet by the 14th it was down to 0.35 again.
 

John Marwood

I ♥ cryptic crosswords
All of our light bulbs are low energy or LED.
I only use the washing machine on my day off so that is during the day. We don't watch a lot of TV but I'm pretty sure the energy rating for it is A.
Our EPC rating is D which is fine for Solar panels.
Our roof faces south which is also apparantly optimum.



The tariff has been going down, it reduced slightly in October and is projected to reduce again considerably in January but it's fixed for 20 years at whatever it is when you sign up which is why we are looking at doing it now or not at all.
How come it didn't project a return until year 21-22? We're looking at about year 7ish - we can fit quite a few panels on the roof though and are paying cash so no interest payments.

I was shown some software by a surveyor associate who made the calculations on a worse case scenario basis.

If you buy panels now I would advise caution on the product given there is a run on them.

Understanding the difference between power and energy is always useful and also the rate of delivery of energy

Energy companies will still insist on making the same profits each year and will have an influence on Government policy

Also i would advise you check the efficiency of your boiler
 
Last edited:

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
It's 12.47 p/KWH at present

So its pretty much you get a free unit back for each one you produce but don't use? I guess it depends on your usage then, looking at that 4k system it varies between averaging 3kw/day in the winter to 15 kw/day at the height of summer, giving you a 'saving' of between 37.5p and £1.87 per day.
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
I'm still with tek... it's better when the power is used yourself than selling it to the grid. Washing machines are one of the biggest power users - bear in mind that most of them have delayed start timers, therefore allowing you to program it to start washing late morning / early afternoon and really take advantage of that peak sun. If for example you do 3 loads on your day off, the chances are that you're still going to be buying quite a bit of that energy off the grid. It would be more economical to have your washer come on at peak sun during 3 different days therefore using more of the power your panels produce yourself rather than the grid buying it back off you at a reduced rate.

I've even read stories whereby people have installed special switches that only start the washing machine if the power being produced is likely to be adequate. Personally I think there are more cons than pros. If I could have them for free and make use of the power during the day then I'd do it - but I don't think it's something I'd invest in. Another consideration is that they can affect the sale-ability of your property I'm told - although that's maybe only if you have free ones installed I'm not sure.

I'm not worried about any of that, as I say I only use the washing machine at times that are considered peak for daylight. I don't do many loads anyway as there are only the two of us.
I can see why it might not be cost effective for a family doing loads of washing, kids on gadgets and watching TV etc but given that we don't use a great deal of electricity in the grand scheme of things the tariff will probably make a difference to us. If I've read it correctly you get paid at 12.47 for the electicity you generate and an export tariff estimated at 50% of the electricity you generate. Our actual bill will also be less. So as far as I can tell if it works out at the same or less it's worth while.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I'm not worried about any of that, as I say I only use the washing machine at times that are considered peak for daylight. I don't do many loads anyway as there are only the two of us.
I can see why it might not be cost effective for a family doing loads of washing, kids on gadgets and watching TV etc but given that we don't use a great deal of electricity in the grand scheme of things the tariff will probably make a difference to us. If I've read it correctly you get paid at 12.47 for the electicity you generate and an export tariff estimated at 50% of the electricity you generate. Our actual bill will also be less. So as far as I can tell if it works out at the same or less it's worth while.

Ah, you're paid for what you generate not just what you push back, forgot that bit!
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
Ah, you're paid for what you generate not just what you push back, forgot that bit!

Correct. so given all the info I have just mentioned about how and when we use electricity and why the tariff is important to us as we don't actually use a lot anyway. Do you think its a good idea (for us, not in general) or not?
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
Assuming a 4k system like the one in the link, he generates about 3500 kw per year. By my estimates that would give you a feed in tariff return of about £450 per year. As for savings, if we assume worst case scenario and you don't use any of it, you still get 50% of the price of it for feeding it back in yes? If so that is another £225 per annum, or £675 per year that these panels generate. Not sure what they cost to install nowadays but think the cheapest I could get a 4kw system for was about 8k? If so its about 12 years to pay it back and after that anything generated is a profit.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
Assuming a 4k system like the one in the link, he generates about 3500 kw per year. By my estimates that would give you a feed in tariff return of about £450 per year. As for savings, if we assume worst case scenario and you don't use any of it, you still get 50% of the price of it for feeding it back in yes? If so that is another £225 per annum, or £675 per year that these panels generate. Not sure what they cost to install nowadays but think the cheapest I could get a 4kw system for was about 8k? If so its about 12 years to pay it back and after that anything generated is a profit.
..or kWh...?
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
Assuming a 4k system like the one in the link, he generates about 3500 kw per year. By my estimates that would give you a feed in tariff return of about £450 per year. As for savings, if we assume worst case scenario and you don't use any of it, you still get 50% of the price of it for feeding it back in yes? If so that is another £225 per annum, or £675 per year that these panels generate. Not sure what they cost to install nowadays but think the cheapest I could get a 4kw system for was about 8k? If so its about 12 years to pay it back and after that anything generated is a profit.

The system we are looking at is a 4KW and is about 6k, guess it depends how many panels you have.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
I'm being chided by these people - https://www.solar-market.co.uk/waiting-could-cost-8213?gclid=COmhg9TS9MgCFeoJwwod9YMDgQ - about possibly missing the deadline.

I suspect, from counting the digits on their hands, that they might originally be from Norfolk.

banner-waitingcost-8213.jpg
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
Top