community action to reduce energy use
Since the announcement from Homesun (and others), that they plan to install free solar PV panels to 100,000 homes, we have received many enquiries as to whether it’s a good idea, or “where’s the catch?”…. Well, to answer those questions, we’ve put together a brief quide/our opinions on the scheme::
1). Is there a catch?- No And Yes! On a basic level, there is no catch. Homesun (and others) will install solar PV panels, at (usually, and I’ll come to that) no cost to you the consumer. However, in return, they will receive the Feed in Tariff payments (perhaps the biggest financial reason to do so?), whilst you make the savings on your electricity bill by using any electricity generated. Our investigations have, so far, not been able to work out who gets the “export” fees?
To put this into a financial context, and using a, typical, 4kwp system (the maximum size system to obtain the higher rate of the FIT, and the typical size these guys are looking to install):
1). The annual generation would, typically, be around 3400kwh/annum (dependent upon are). The FIT payment for this would be £1465/annum, guaranteed for 25 years, and index linked. It’s also tax free for domestic clients— This is the return the installer (Homesun for example) would get.
2). The annual savings (based upon 50% onsite usage(the deemed figure by the Government, unless a separate export meter is fitted) @ 11p/kwh) would be around £187/annum, guaranteed for the life of the system, and linked to the price of fuel inflation— This is the saving you, the home owner would make.
3). The “export” fees (currently set at 3p/kwh (based upon the other 50%)) would be around £51/annum, index linked, guaranteed for 25 years, and index linked. As I said, it is unclear whether the home owner will get this,or the installer?
Even if the home owner were to get the “export” fee as well, the total first year saving would be around £238…. Not bad for no investment? But…. These companies are claiming that you will save upto 40% of you annual bill? Bearing in mind that the “average” annual electricity bill is £1000/annum, it doesn’t add up?
None the less, this still is “something for nothing?”, so shouldn’t be discounted?
My next observation is that (Homesun anyway?), state that homes with less optimal positions (ie not due south facing) then there is an additional fee of £500, plus a £5 per month maintenance fee? Whilst I can understand the £500 fee (since their returns would be less), I can’t see why they would charge a £5 maintenance fee? Regardless of roof orientation, the maintenance of the system would be the same?
1). If you do install solar, it may limit your options (or indeed anyone that subsequently buys your house) to extend upwards?
2). Will it add value?? At this point it’s difficult to say? Today, I’d say no, but who knows what the future holds? My guess would be that it may make the property more saleable at the very least?
So, is it a good scheme???? Well, for some it is… If you have a due south facing roof (preferably in the South of England), of around 30m2 (this of course limits the available homes?) , and you don’t, necessarily, have the money to pay for an installation yourself.. Then go for it!
However, if you do have the money sitting in the bank (bear in mind that £15k would give you a return, currently, of around £225/annum pre tax) then I would suggest you do it yourself???
If you would like to discuss the scheme further, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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