Solar phase II

We currently have a 4kw East/West installation (2kw each side) and we've just ordered a further 1.8kw (6 x 300w panels) for a shallow incline roof on a workshop building in the garden.

The main inverter is 3.8kw and the new inverter will be 1.5kw, so a combined 5.3 Kw system. As we're over the limit for our single phase supply we had to apply for a G83 application with the local DNO. That came back with approval and zero cost, which was great.

The new addition won't qualify for FITS or export payments, which seems a little unfair (especially the export) but as we currently use all of our generation I am not too worried. The cost including installation is £2500, which I thought was a great price. I can't wait for it to be fitted :)
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  • ASavvyBuyerASavvyBuyer Forumite
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    Alan_Brown wrote: »
    The new addition won't qualify for FITS or export payments, which seems a little unfair (especially the export) but as we currently use all of our generation I am not too worried. The cost including installation is £2500, which I thought was a great price. I can't wait for it to be fitted :)

    As it is a complete new system, using a seperate inverter, why won't it qualify for the current FIT & Export rates ? I understood that you don't get FIT & Export if you extend a system, but that you should if it is a new seperate system.
  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    That's an interesting question and one worth researching. When I put in system 2 we went for the completely separate option (panels, inverter, TGM) and got a second dose of under 4kWp FiT. However, all of the paperwork referred (I think) to the extension of generating capacity at an already registered property.

    Whatever the answer a quick skim of the easy-to-understand rules will tell you what it is:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    As it is a complete new system, using a seperate inverter, why won't it qualify for the current FIT & Export rates ? I understood that you don't get FIT & Export if you extend a system, but that you should if it is a new seperate system.

    Hiya. They class extending a system as any additional PV on the same MPAN. So once a FiT is registered against the property, even if one panel, any more is an extension.

    All of the rules regarding PV and FiTs are misleading. When I had an additional system installed the rules changed the day before about the EPC having to be obtained before the FiT application. You wouldn't think this would matter as the OFGEM rules state that an extension is treated as a totally separate install, but their rules also mean that an extension uses the date of the original FiT application (my two FiT's are the same number, one ends in -1 and the other in -2).

    It's almost as if the rules are rigged against PV.

    And yes, none of this makes sense, we want more low carbon generation, so why exclude extensions from FiT's, and why on earth exclude them from the existing export deal.

    This is one of the reasons why I always suggest going as big as possible on day one, not only are multiple installs more expensive than a single install, but the FiT rules are rigged against you changing your mind when you realise how great PV is.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • I've got agree with you Mart, it's almost as though the government (or rather their corporate paymasters) don't want ordinary people to generate their own power.

    However, with the fall in solar panel costs, it's not such a big deal to lose the FITs and not having the export payment just gives me an even greater incentive to use as much of my generation as possible.

    I was discussing batteries with the solar company, but just like when I originally installed 4kw instead of 5kw (I did get a quote for this workshop roof), funds are tight and I'm stretching our finances a little to just get the panels.

    Maybe this time next year I'll be able to get a battery fitted, though I'll be stung for 20% VAT instead of 5%. Just like I've been stung this time for a separate inverter and no FITS :(.
  • theboylardtheboylard Forumite
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    Not sure if I've misunderstood your post Alan:

    Surely if the new install is all on the same single invoice (and why wouldn't it be?), then you should only be paying 5% VAT.
    Yes to battery purchase if bought on its own, but have a word with NigeWick on here, he's got a good installer who understands the system and invoicing!!
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
  • theboylard wrote: »
    Not sure if I've misunderstood your post Alan:

    Surely if the new install is all on the same single invoice (and why wouldn't it be?), then you should only be paying 5% VAT.
    Yes to battery purchase if bought on its own, but have a word with NigeWick on here, he's got a good installer who understands the system and invoicing!!

    The solar panels, etc. will be priced at 5% VAT, but I can only buy the battery at 5% VAT if it's installed at the same time as solar panels (that's the rule). If I buy a battery at a later time, I will be charged full VAT.
    I can't afford to fit both at the same time unfortunately.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Alan_Brown wrote: »
    The solar panels, etc. will be priced at 5% VAT, but I can only buy the battery at 5% VAT if it's installed at the same time as solar panels (that's the rule). If I buy a battery at a later time, I will be charged full VAT.
    I can't afford to fit both at the same time unfortunately.

    Not suggesting anything dodgy, just wondering how 'tight' the rules are.

    So, could you deliberately leave one panel out, then at a later date, buy and have that panel installed, when you get a battery?

    Just had a thought, back in a mo!
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Not suggesting anything dodgy, just wondering how 'tight' the rules are.

    So, could you deliberately leave one panel out, then at a later date, buy and have that panel installed, when you get a battery?

    Just had a thought, back in a mo!

    LOL, maybe :)
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Just had a thought, back in a mo!

    I'm backkkkk

    Right here's an oldish article:

    Residential storage secures tax break when sold with solar panels
    The Solar Trade Association (STA) today (3 August 2017) announced that it has secured a 5% rate of VAT on battery storage instead of the standard 20% currently applied. However, in order for HMRC to allow the lower rate to apply the battery has to be sold and installed alongside solar, which already benefits from the lower rate.

    In a notification to the STA seen by Solar Power Portal, HMRC explained that the scope of the reduced rate set out in the VAT Act 1994 is “very tightly drawn” and that it could only be extended to storage if “there is a single indivisible supply of a battery for the storage of power generated from the solar panels”.

    “This is on the understanding the battery is linked to the solar panels and ancillary to the supply of the solar panels. We would expect the aim to be one of maximising use of on-site solar power consumption,” the note states.

    It adds that if batteries are sold separately and retrofitted to existing solar systems, this would be seen as a “standard rated supply” and therefore does not qualify for the tax break.

    So the question is, what's the definition of sold alongside solar? Is adding a panel enough, or does it have to be a full system, say panel, inverter and wiring?

    Just wondering out loud, but interesting.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • theboylardtheboylard Forumite
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    A poster on this forum is having a couple of cheap panels and cheapest inverter installed along with his shiny new Tesla PWII - I believe this will be cheaper than paying the dreaded on a standalone battery install.

    btw, it's not me!!!
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
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