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Monday, November 14, 2011

Solar power in the UK

There are different reasons why someone may want to install solar power generation (both thermal and photo-voltaic) on their houses:

  • either you are a "green" kind of person, and you are OK with spending more money than you will ever earn from your panels, as long as you're helping the environment, 
  • OR you decide to INVEST your money, and you try to find some win-win solution for you and the environment.
This second option is actually the only one that can give birth to a sound "green economy", and this is way most of EU countries are subsidizing new solar energy installations.

The UK government is strongly subsidizing solar energy (both thermal and photo-voltaic) since last year, as you can read on this Telegraph's article. On top of that, Renewable Heat Incentives have been introduced this year, as you can read on this Government notice.

This means that, in many cases, the new installation of solar thermal panels or photo-voltaic panels can be considered an extremely interesting option for residential consumers. It is a good investment for your money, and besides that you have a series of benefits:

  • for solar thermal
    • you'll be able to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive from its launch in 2011
    • you can produce up to 1/3 of your hot water
    • you can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 530kg
    • you can reduce heating bills by up to £65 p/a
  • for photo-voltaic panels
    • you'll sell electricity back to the grid via the Feed-In Tariff
    • you reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1 tonne
    • you reduce energy bills by up to £200 p/a
    • you have up to 10% tax-free return-on-investment.
Each house is of course different, and you should definitely get some professional advice before investing your money. As a first step, we suggest you calculate approximate potential profit with the Solar Guide Solar PV Feed-In Tariff Calculator. Notice that you will need to enter some details to have a reliable estimate, even if the default settings will work for most of the cases.

The same website will also provide you with a list of professionals in the field of solar installations .
Important: only MCS certified companies are permitted to quote for Solar PV enquiries to ensure you can access Government’s benefit. All companies listed on are certified.