FITs and Solar PV technology
Solar panels seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment. This is due to the governments FIT, (Feed in Tariff) scheme which pays people for producing the electricity on their roof. PV, (Photo-Voltaic), solar panels work by converting light into electricity, so are not dependent on warmth as they work very well on cold days, but they perform best when the sky is bright, and should ideally be fitted south facing so they can catch as much direct sun light as possible. Of course, they don’t produce anything at all when it is dark
The way the FIT scheme works means that there are 3 separate financial returns from solar panels. The generation tariff is the payment made for ALL the electricity produced by the panels, irrespective of what happens to the electricity. Though this payment comes from the utility companies, it is guaranteed by the Government and rises with inflation every year. The Export tariff is paid for the electricity that is not used in the home, which then gets sent back into the grid for redistribution. It varies massively, depending on the size of system installed, but it is typical that 50% of what is produced will be exported. The third element of return comes in the form of the free electricity that will be coming from the panels, meaning that the homeowner doesn’t have to buy as much electricity from their energy supplier. There are a lot of different factors that govern how much a system will produce, and the financial returns. There has been evidence of some companies making very wild claims, so by contacting Nationwide Energy Surveys, we can help you through all the different options, and give you impartial advice. It is clear though, that the FIT scheme can be financially rewarding with a payback period of about 9 years on average, meaning the remainder of the 25 year period is nearly all profit.
An option other than buying is to rent your roof to a supplier. The advantage of this is that there are no upfront costs, in fact with the right company, there shouldn't be ANY costs, but of course, you don’t receive the tariff payments, instead they would go to the supplier. You would however, get the free electricity. Again, there is a myriad of companies offering this service so it is important that you shop around, check all the paperwork, and ideally base your decision on word of mouth.
One company offering this service is A Shade Greener, and we are proud to say that we work alongside them on some projects. They have a very good reputation, and are one of the country's leading suppliers of FREE solar panels. If you would like to know more about them, visit their website here.