The benefits of solar electricity

There are a number of benefits that come with installing a solar PV system, not least of which is being able to earn £560 a year through your bill savings and the Feed-In Tariff.

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  • Reduce your electricity bills: A typical home PV system can produce around 50 percent of the electricity used by an average household in a year. Because this is free to you, you can save around £140 a year on your bills, more as energy prices rise.
  • Cut your carbon footprint: Solar electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants. A typical home PV system could save around 1 tonne of CO2 per year – that’s around 25 tonnes over its lifetime.
  • Money for the electricity you generate: Under the FIT scheme you can be paid a Generation Tariff of 14.90p/kWh, which adds up to a payment of around £370 a year for the average household.
  • Sell electricity back to the Grid: If your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you can sell it back to the Grid and make 4.64p/kWh, paying the average home £50 a year. Find out more about the Feed-in-Tariff here.
  • A safe investment: The Government have guaranteed the Feed-In Tariff for 20 years and your tariff rate is fixed when you sign up. It is also index linked so that it retains its value

What to do next?

Calculate how much electricity you can generate!

FAQs

Am I eligible for the Feed In Tariff (FIT) scheme?
If you are a UK resident and use an MCS accredited installer to carry out the work, you will be eligible for Feed-In Tariff payments. The amount you are entitled to receive will depend on when the system is commissioned and installed. Currently the FIT pays up to 15.44p/kWh (for systems with less than 4kW peak power) for every kWh that the system is predicted to output. You will also be entitled to 4.5p/kWh for every unit of electricity you generate but don't use, as this can be exported back to the Grid. However, these rates will be reviewed in May 2013.
Do I need to inform building control that I intend to install a solar PV system?
Yes, you should speak to building control about your intentions, and they will advise you if you need to take any further action with them. All installers should advise you that you need to contact building control.
How much do the solar PV panels weigh?
Solar PV panels typically weigh about 13kg per m2.
Will solar PV panels affect my home's rateable value?
Council tax is based on the 1991 values and the government shelved plans to revalue all houses a few years ago, so currently, no. It is likely that there will be a revaluation in the not so distant future. When they do, the value of the solar panels will be included in the valuation, but the rating could also account for your home's the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which should reduce tax as you would have a lower EPC score.
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