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Solar Panel advice

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Admiral Huddy, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Admiral Huddy

    Don

    Joined: Feb 17, 2003

    Posts: 29,186

    Location: Chelmsford & Broadgate

    I'm sure this has been asked before.. Has anyone here had solar panels installed?

    I've had a few companies come round to give me a few quotes.. Cheapest I've had is £7,000. Seems a bit steep to me given it will take approx. 10 years to break even and we're being encouraged to go the renewables route.
     
  2. ron3003

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 25, 2006

    Posts: 1,463

    Location: Skegness

    There's no more Feed in Tariff, the scheme is ended. Smart export Guarantee is the new scheme that is supposed to replace the FITs but nobody knows what the rate will be (export only, no further payments for generation).
    The old FITs scheme paid around 1.5p per kwh exported so I expect to see something around there when it launches. You don't say what size install but anything that'd fit on a house roof would be unlikely to export anywhere approaching £100pa. You'll never achieve a return on your investment. The industry has in effect been killed off.
     
  3. sja360

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2003

    Posts: 3,738

    Location: Dundee

    That said people were making money off the feed in tariff, if your looking to drop your electricity bill down by installing 1-2kw worth it may still be worth it. I think there's a lot of information regarding bringing in batteries to charge during the day and discharge power during the night so there shouldn't be any real electricity cost from the grid.

    I'll admit it is a shame on the government killing this off. I'd personally would have liked to see panels fitted to all housing but not everyone would be happy with the look or whatever.
     
  4. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 7,180

    Location: Fareham

    Yep I'd love to get solar panels but not if they cost thousands and don't generate any returns worth speaking of.

    I'm keen on getting aircon installed, so in the hot weather the solar panels could help to pay for the aircon, but just doesn't seem to be worth it until they make the tariffs more meaningful.
     
  5. balls

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 20, 2007

    Posts: 1,177

    Location: Bath, Somerset

    Definitely worth getting a few quotes, we had massive variance from £500 - £9000 for roughly the same setup

    I've got 4.4kwp installed on our house roof, albeit before the FIT cut off.

    With the house being used a lot during the day, My partner and kids are at home, a lot of whats generated throughout the day is use, and the excess is heating the hot water via a Solar Iboost. Used only a few 100 KWh of electricity since April, and only 12 KWh of gas when we had a few bad weather days in a row.

    I'm very tempted to get battery storage also, however I realise they'd only really be worth it if/when I get an electric car.
     
  6. TheOracle

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 30, 2005

    Posts: 11,011

    Don't Tesla make a battery which sits on the side of your house? I've thought about solar feeding a battery, but in our house we haven't anywhere for it to go.
     
  7. weescott

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 25, 2004

    Posts: 9,391

    Location: Heckling for change

    The government recently upped the VAT of solar and battery products from 5% to 20%. So 7k doesn't sound too bad. A typical 4kwp system should start from around £6k depending on where you live.

    Solar is only worth it financially if you can use it for high day time utilization. If you have a Zappi/iboost and an EV then you could be looking at a 10 year payback. Battery storage is rarely worth it. I worked out a Tesla Powerwall 2 would have a 20 year payback for me. I imagine if you have ASHP/underfloor heating it could be worth it.

    Cheaper than the Tesla Powerwall 2 per KW is https://sonnenbatterie.co.uk/
     
  8. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,303

    I'm soon to be in a similar position, where I wfh most of the week, I feel I could largely benefit from solar panels.

    But if it's a push to break even in 10 years and by then the inverter would likely need replacing and if you had battery storage costs the break even would likely be around 15 years.

    I'm fine with the lack of the generous FIT that previously existed, I just think it's a shame that there's a move to push towards green energy, yet for most people it would be unfeasible to have solar.

    I'm really hoping that over the next 5 years the costs of the panels plummet. If you can get a 4kWh system down to around £2-3k, then demand will shoot right up for them.
     
  9. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 6,363

    Location: Bromsgrove

    And people said I was mad for buying our system at 15p/kwh :D
     
  10. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 7,180

    Location: Fareham

    Yes it's like they don't want people using green energy, very strange and makes me wonder what the agenda is.
     
  11. weescott

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 25, 2004

    Posts: 9,391

    Location: Heckling for change

    Battery prices should hopefully drop by then. I'm waiting for CATL to enter the Home battery market. That would be a game changer.

    Still worth it for us at 4p/kwh

    Partly the EUs fault for us having to up VAT I think. That doesn't explain the end to FITs though. The explanation I have had is the prices have come down enough Solar no longer needs subsidies. Which I haven't seen.
     
  12. Doobedoo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 24, 2016

    Posts: 1,826

    Location: South West

    We have solar panels and are just about to have a 8kw power vault battery fitted as part of a trial which gives us over a £1000 of the cost of the battery.

    I’ve calculated I can pay the battery off with fit payments alone and should be almost independent of the grid for large parts of the year.
     
  13. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,303

    Yeah the logic is not quite there is it.

    Frankly the more solar installs the less dependent we become on non-green sources. Does it really matter if we're paying a nuclear power plant for each kWh we generate or someone with solar who has a surplus. I can only go on the assumption that it must still be significantly cheaper to pay nuclear power for each kWh.
     
  14. weescott

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 25, 2004

    Posts: 9,391

    Location: Heckling for change

    That's great. Not using anything from the grid is tempting. I tried to justify a powerwall 2 by going on charging an EV overnight for the full 13.5kwh for the 16kwh needed for the EV for a daily commute.

    Man maths sort of justifies it.

    I don't know if Nuclear power is cheaper. Certainly not in the long run.
     
  15. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 7,180

    Location: Fareham

    Agreed, I'd see it as a more reasonable investment if it basically negated energy costs each month, but at current install costs + no FIT + having to use the power in the daytime (when i'm at work), I struggle to justify even considering it until a more attractive proposition comes along.

    Shame really, as it's got to be one of the greenest ways to make energy, perhaps only let down by the initial cost of the panels themselves on the environment.
     
  16. TNA

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 13, 2008

    Posts: 10,604

    Location: London

    Yeah, agreed. I would do it, but it is not attractive enough now. Maybe in 5 years or so prices will come down and efficiency will go up. They should bring FIT back and return vat back to 5%. With the transition to EVs they will need to do something.

    Maybe in 5-10 years time solar tiles will actually be a common thing here in the UK also. That would look much better than having solar panels.
     
  17. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,270

    FYI- New nuclear power is the most expensive form of generation, by a long way as well. That’s just the generation, it doesn’t include the thousands of years of waste storage needed.

    Wind and solar is actually the cheapest, it’s just intermittent. Given that this government pretty much shut down the onshore wind industry and now domestic solar. You have to wonder what their motivations are and how they are ever going to meet their own emissions targets and environmental plans.
     
  18. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,303

    See that's madness.

    When (rather than if) we become fully reliant on nuclear power and that drives up everyones electricity costs due to the pricing of nuclear power, that will just force more people to adopt solar power, and thus significantly decreasing demand on nuclear.

    As i say, i'm hoping that within 5 years solar panels become much cheaper to make and potentially more efficient, would also be a bonus if inverters also came down in price and longevity increased significantly.
     
  19. Doobedoo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 24, 2016

    Posts: 1,826

    Location: South West

    That’s one of the reasons I’m investing in a battery now even though they are not quite economically viable for most, electricity prices are only really going to go one way I should be able to protect myself from future price rises.

    With the Powervault battery it comes with its own built in inverter so you don’t actually need one which is ideal if your not receiving fit payments, the battery comes with a 10 year warranty also so that’s added piece of mind.
     
  20. Journey

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 5,998

    Location: West Midlands

    Kill two birds with one stone, grab a cheap Nissan Leaf and set up V2H, even if you don't drive it the battery is cheaper than an install of the same capacity of home lithium storage.

    http://setec-power.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=15&id=25