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.
- 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?
- Do I need to inform my electricity supplier when I get solar PV panels installed?
- For systems below 4kW peak power your installer will inform them once the installation is complete. In the unlikely event that your system is larger than 4kW you will require permission in advance from your network operator.
- Can I export the electricity I generate using a solar PV system?
- Yes, one of the benefits of the Feed-In Tariff scheme is that you can earn an extra 4.5p per kWh that is generated then exported. All unused electricity will automatically be exported unless you connect batteries to your system. Your electricity company can fit an export meter or they can pay you based on estimated export rates (usually 50%) - sometimes your electricity supplier can authorise installers to fit the export meter instead. Do not confuse the export meter with the gross generation meter, which is fitted as standard on all solar PV installations.
- Will solar PV give me electricity during mains power cuts?
- For the safety of electrical workmen, standard solar PV systems are shut off during power cuts. You can request a system that automatically disconnects your home from the grid during a power cut and provides power from the panels and a battery back up in your home during power cuts.
- Can I heat water with solar PV panels?
- Whilst PV panels do not directly heat water (this is what solar thermal panels do) they do produce electricity that can be used to do anything that you want to - even export it back to the grid for an extra payment. This electricity can be used to heat water if you have an immersion water heater.
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