Rising rents mean times are tough for the tenant. And things can be made worse when massive energy bills are dropping on the mat, too. Our survey at the start of this year showed that private renters have a desire to get green measures in their homes – but are the least likely to be [...]
One glance at Ofgem’s latest Feed-in Tariff (FIT) statistics will tell you that as incentives go, FITs have had a significant impact in terms of getting solar energy established in a country where complaining about the weather is a national sport.
There have been heated debates, there have been tweaks, but you can’t deny the numbers: nearly 380,000 solar PV installations have been made under the FIT scheme since it began in April 2010. It’s pretty safe to say that people are more convinced than ever that you can get energy from the sun even when it’s cloudy.
This is not just individual households taking the plunge – in fact many of the installations are from councils, social landlords and businesses that see great benefit in both the incentive and economies of scale in terms of buying in the panels in the first place.
Solar enjoys something of a triple advantage: long-term savings on electricity bills, the FIT, plus the obvious environmental benefits through carbon savings.
A positive sight in the last couple of years is the vehicles of solar tradespeople – more commonplace on British streets than ever before.
But back to those long-term savings for a moment: one thing that installers should not be getting in the habit of doing is making huge claims about the scale of savings to be expected after solar PV is put in. This applies whether that be in person-to-person dialogue or marketing materials; whether that be to Joe Bloggs at Number 9 or a big local authority or housing association.
Of course, it is possible to make significant electricity bill savings, as some of the case studies on our website illustrate well. It would be pretty pointless investing, or getting solar as part of a Green Deal package if they did not deliver in this way.
A 3.5kWp solar PV system can generate around 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. If it’s eligible for FITs it could generate savings and income of around £645 a year. And while FITs are less than half the rate they were three years ago, the costs of solar PV systems themselves has come down by a similar amount.
We always recommend getting three different quotes if you’re thinking of getting solar PV, and this not only means you’ll get the best value, but you’ll also be able to sort the realists from any romancers out there.
We’ve said it before and we’ll happily say it again – establishing trust in the ‘green’ industries has to be the first priority for sustainable ideas to get embedded in the way we do things. Accurate information, delivered frankly, is needed on both sides of green deals of all kinds.
Thankfully, poor experiences with PV panels are the exception rather than the rule. Pardon the pun, but in the UK’s small renewables market, solar is very much still the star attraction.