20 Jun 2016

Are PV Panels on my Roof still worth It?

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2 things happened to Feed In Tariffs (FIT) in early 2016 which have made the Homeowner rather sceptical about installing ( Photvoltaic) PV Panels:

DCLG changed the eligibility for top level of payment rules( Higher FIT tariff) making it harder to attain the EPC rating of 55% D Rating to qualify. Before this ruling, the PV that you were thinking of fitting could earn up to 16 points towards the required 55 points in order to earn the top rate of FIT for 20 years. In order to do so now, the property has to attain the full 55 points WITHOUT the PV points . This can make it much harder for Rural  Off -Grid properties, hence forcing the homeowner to have to carry out other efficiency improvements to reach the Grade.

The Rate of FIT ( money you are paid for generating from your PV) was significantly reduced from about 14p per kw to 4.39p per kw. So is it worth the homeowner installing PV now? The answer is ‘Yes’ it can still be a good investment BUT only if the circumstances are right…..

You have the money to pay rather than have to borrow ( a 4kw system will cost around £5200)

You have a good South facing roof unhindered by shading from trees and buildings

You use electricity during the daytime and have a hotwater cylinder

You believe in the ideal of generating your own electricity, and reducing your demand from the electricity company.

If this is so, the calculation from  a 4kw(16 panel standard system is 20years @ circa 4000kw pa 0@ 4.39p= £3440; add to this 2000 x 20years x 4.9p export=£1960, and , because you are generating 4000kwp, you are not paying 14p average that you would be charged. So thats another potential 20 x 4000 x 14p =£11,200. This adds up to a potential £16,600 against an outlay of £5500 estimate. And it could be a lot better than that if electricity prices rise over 20 years (and they will).

Please note this is an opinion and rough estimate only.




About the Author

Vince set up Cornwall Home Energy Surveys in 2008 after 22 years as a Lecturer/ Head at Plymouth then Cornwall Colleges, followed by a 5 year stint with Cornwall Tourist Board. Based in St Agnes, Vince is ideally placed to carry out Energy Assessments in the Truro, Falmouth, Camborne and Newquay areas. Living in Cornwall, with a great family and an interesting job; life doesn't get much better.

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