Solar PV

Why install Solar PV?

  • Solar PV generates FREE electricity
  • FIT (Feed-in-Tariff) payment for everything you generate, even when you use the electricity yourself
  • Additional payment for electricity you don’t use….the export tariff
  • FIT lasts for 20 years
  • Income Tax Free
  • FIT payment increases in line with inflation (RPI)
  • Quarterly payment for metered generation
  • Maintenance free

Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Scheme

Solar PV Installation

Solar PV Panels – 4kW

Solar PV for electricity generation is an excellent investment due to the support given by the Government under the FIT (feed-in-tariff) Scheme. Although the tariff is periodically reviewed for new customers, once you are signed up you will remain on the higher tariff for the 20 years. Payment is based on your meter reading, and increases with inflation. The tariff review does result in a small but regular decrease in the payments received on new systems, so the earlier you have a system fitted, the more you earn. The FIT payment is Income Tax Free, Index Linked.

Although a south facing roof is optimum, east or west facing systems offer a good rate of return.

For any electricity you generate, you will receive the full tariff even if you use the electricity yourself. Any electricity you use from the panels will be FREE.

An additional payment, called the export tariff, will be made based on the electricity not used and exported to the grid. Until smart meters are fitted, the assumption is that half the electricity you generate is exported.

Excess electricity generated can be used to heat your hot water cylinder, and systems are available to control this automatically.

Electricity price rises are inevitable. The number of power stations that are time served and being taken off line; along with the increasing cost of imported coal, are all contributing to household electricity bill rises – well above inflation, and energy price rises are higher than pay and pension increases.

What do I need and how does it work?

The heart of a Solar PV system is the PV panel which is made up of a number of individual solar cells, typically 60 for a modern panel. Panels are grouped together in strings to meet the space and power requirements. Each panel, under ideal conditions, can produce between 250 to 330watts depending on type; so between 12 and 16 panels are required for a domestic installation of 4kW.

Smaller systems are possible where the size of roof is an issue, with a 5 panel system representing a practical minimum. It is possible to have a system with just one panel, but hardly worthwhile.

The panel absorbs light and uses the energy to generate DC electricity, like a battery. An inverter is needed to convert the DC to AC electricity, synchronised with the mains supply at your property. The inverter has a number of other functions in addition to the simple task of converting DC to AC.

MPPT, a system that ensures that the panels are operated at their optimum efficiency under different sunlight and temperature conditions.

Auto shut-down, in the event of a power cut, to protect those working on the mains system.

Inverters may also include Bluetooth or Wifi access for monitoring. The Inverter is connected to a Total Generation Meter that is used to measure the electricity generated and is the meter that you will use to supply readings to your electricity supplier for payment.

The power from the Inverter is connected via the generation meter directly to your consumer unit. This enables you to use the power your system makes without it passing through the main electricity meter, so you are not charged for it. As all the electricity you generate passes through your generation meter, you will be paid for everything your Solar PV system produces.

There will probably be some days when you generate more electricity than you are using. This excess will fed backwards through your meter into the grid for others to use. Most house electricity meters cannot measure this back flow, so the government has estimated that 50% of all you generate ends up back in the grid and pay you an extra payment called the Export Tariff.

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