I had a leaflet through the door offering a free solar installation, and then I was in Junction 1 on Friday and there was a place there that had a display up for eco products and they were offering free Solar Installations.
The idea is that they will install solar PV panels for free, up to £15,000 worth. An electricity pruduced and used by us is also free and anything that makes it back into the grid gets the pay-in tarrif and is taken by the installers. So basically we get free electricity as long as we are taking it from the panels rather than the grid.
It seems like a good idea, I have the surveyor coming out.
Has anyone seen this idea before? Any thoughts about it? Anything I need to know?
So I had the surveyor out yesterday to check out the house to make sure it was suitable, everything seems to be OK.
There was no pressure sales or anything, infact I got the distinct impression that the guy wasn't even trying to make a sale as he was rushing off to another appointment. He told me that he is really busy and that the company is signing up over 200 houses a week.
He left me with a lease agreement and said they would be in contact soon. I read the lease and didn't understand more than 10% of it, I'm going to guess that of the 200 sign ups per week that no more than 2 or 3 will read it all the way through (just weirdos like me and the legal profession), and i'll bet the legal profession people are the only ones who understand it, it's a pretty difficult piece of paper to read.
I think I will have to do some more research on it to find out if it is worthwhile or not.
A 2kw peak system will typically generate 2000kwh per year in our climate. a 4kw peak will do 4000kwh pa and so on.
if you paid for the install yourself you'd get 17.?? pence per kwh on the ROC, on anything generated, irrespective of whether you use it or export it.
plus a further 6p /kwh for anything you export, or, even better 17p /kwh saving if you use it yourself.
AFAIK, with the lease you just get to use as much of what you generate for free and the installer gets the rest, i.e., both the ROC and the 6p on anything you export. to make best use of such a deal, you either need to have a high base load (constant usage) in the house, or you need to be around the house most of the time to say, put the washing on when the sun is shining, otherwie it gets exported and you get no benefit. and of course if you want to sell your house in the next 20 years it may put some buyers off.
So, if you get a 2kw peak system installed, just because a a 2kw peak system generates 2000kw pa and you already use 4000kwh pa, doesn't necessarily mean it will cut your bills in half.
I'm not sure how the lease works exactly, I'm probably going to get a legal bod to look at it for me, so yes that might put people off if I sell (which I will be doing). However I don't think there is a lot of problems with the lease, basically we need to not turn it off for too long with out permission, for roof repairs etc).
The big benefit to this is that you don't need any money up front, I was going to put up panels this year, but I would only have been able to afford a small system. A second benefit is that everything gets done quickly and without fuss, including the paperwork etc, and I think they insure it as well.
OK, I understand that we only save the electricity cost that we use when the sun is shining, they are pretty up front at explaining that, they do say that the average family will save about 30% of their electricity cost and up to 40% if they are carefull. We are not average, or even close to it. We are at home all day, our business is home based, and we use a brave bit of electricity running compressors and printing machines and computers etc. There would be no problem running washing machines etc at appropriate times.
The other plan is that the money I had started to put aside for the PV panels I will now be able to put into my electric car project, when thats finished I will be able to charge that with the excess power too (at least partially). I was also thinking about putting in a battery powered low voltage lighting system, so free lights at night time?
I still haven't made up my mind, but the options are to have a full system installed pretty soon or a tiny system later in the year.
As for the ROC and export payments, I havn't figured that out totally but it looks like your system has to be designed and commissioned by an installation company, dosn't seem to have a diy option at all. This means that without a tame installer I couldn't access the ROC's and export payments, but any info would be gladly received.
you're right. needs a mcs certified pro to sign off the install in order to access the ROCs. friendly ones may let you do part of the work but still requires all new kit, all certified kit, and thisl makes it all very expensive.
Free System Pros Large free system As much free electric as I can take out of it Installed Quickly Possibly adds value to house System is maintained foc
Cons Someone else gets ROC and export payments Possible Legal issues with Lease Possible house sale issues
DIY system Pros As much free electric as I can take out of it Possibly adds value to house No issues with lease No issues with house sale
Cons Smaller, costlier system Installed slowly Have to go up ladders :-( No one gets Roc or export payments
It seems like a no brainer to me.
As for the ROC and Export payments, I don't see me getting a system installed where I can get them anyway, so why not let someone else have them, its not really about the money anyway so the more profit for these companies the more systems they will install. Who says capitalism is a bad thing :-)