Is it still worth getting solar?

Hi there, I'm new to all this forum stuff so if I do anything wrong please say. I'm stuck on the fence as to whether get solar panels installed on my house. I've seen the style's where they kind of embed them into the tiles (less intrusive) but I'd love some guidance on funding/incentives that are still running and info on whether it still makes financial sense to get solar panels. If anyone has recently had solar installed and would like to share their experience/info and the company they used that would be great.
Thanks in advance!
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  • HexaneHexane Forumite
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    My understanding is that the funding/incentives still running are - none! But that some sort of government decision is due such that new installations can still hopefully at least get paid for the export of surplus power. The payments solely for generation (known as "Feed in tariff" or FiT) no longer apply to new installations at all.

    This means that it can still make financial sense to get solar panels (once the export payments decision is made), but it is no longer a way to make huge amounts of money and it is very much a long term investment. For the same reasons, it is not worth funding a new (domestic) solar panel investment with any sort of interest-bearing loan.

    The FAQ has lots more information https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3872445 but note the parts about FiT can be disregarded as mentioned above.

    Large suppliers including "Project Solar" are worth avoiding, there is a lengthy discussion about them elsewhere on this forum. I used a small installer who visited with a team of three which I believe was probably their entire staff. Worth mentioning what part of the country you're in if you want recommendations on suppliers. Larger suppliers often take a "one size fits all" approach that can sometimes mislead you about what is possible or about what is most advisable for your case.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
  • edited 21 June 2019 at 1:41AM
    markinmarkin Forumite
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    edited 21 June 2019 at 1:41AM
    Without knowing what they will offer you for the power you send them, could be 1p?... if you get a 4kwh system for £5100 and manage to use 50% of the power it will take 18 years to break even, at 15p per kwh saved.


    Based on 3800kwh a year.


    Fitting a hot water diverter may help get you to 60% usage and save some money of your gas bill.
     
  • JKenHJKenH Forumite
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    markin wrote: »
    Without knowing what they will offer you for the power you send them, could be 1p?... if you get a 4kwh system for £5100 and manage to use 50% of the power it will take 18 years to break even, at 15p per kwh saved.


    Based on 3800kwh a year.


    Fitting a hot water diverter may help get you to 60% usage and save some money of your gas bill.
    My IBoost (hot water diverter) has saved 69.5 kwh of the total 188.5 kwh generated by the panels over the last 7 days.

    We are at home all day, don’t have gas so cook by electric and have 2 ASHPs. We can produce and use 20kwh per day in spring and autumn. It is the electricity savings rather vthan FiT that make the panels worthwhile for us.
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps, Nissan Leaf and Kia Picanto)
  • mmmmikeymmmmikey Forumite
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    JKenH wrote: »
    My IBoost (hot water diverter) has saved 69.5 kwh of the total 188.5 kwh generated by the panels over the last 7 days.

    We are at home all day, don’t have gas so cook by electric and have 2 ASHPs. We can produce and use 20kwh per day in spring and autumn. It is the electricity savings rather vthan FiT that make the panels worthwhile for us.


    Similar-ish thinking here is leading me to consider buying additional PV panels. Another consideration is that as time of use tarriffs start to become more widely available and progressively more attractive, there's a good chance that your panels will be generating energy at a time when the cost of buying it is relatively expensive so this could end up saving you more than you first think. In my case, on an E7 tarriff, each kWh that I generate rather than buy during the day saves 20p.
  • markinmarkin Forumite
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    JKenH wrote: »
    My IBoost (hot water diverter) has saved 69.5 kwh of the total 188.5 kwh generated by the panels over the last 7 days.

    We are at home all day, don’t have gas so cook by electric and have 2 ASHPs. We can produce and use 20kwh per day in spring and autumn. It is the electricity savings rather vthan FiT that make the panels worthwhile for us.


    So 10kwh a day, possibly 50p a day in gas, at this time of year, say 200 good solar days, £100 a year? 3 year payback for the iboost? £100x18 years £1800

    You can probably do the math better using your last years diverted kwh.

    We would need to know if the op is on all electric or is at home all day, number of people in the house, location, scotland or in the south? Or if he even has a water tank, they could be on a combi.

    If you fitted it today what would your solar and iboost payback time be? Thats what the op wants to know, And id like to know also.

    Adding the iboost data takes the payback to around 14 years.
     
  • HexaneHexane Forumite
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    markin wrote: »
    Adding the iboost data takes the payback to around 14 years.
    I would be very cautious about basing a payback time figure to such a large extent on predicted iboost savings, even if the person considering the installation already has a hot water tank with an immersion heater.

    First, there have been rumours about deemed export being compulsorily ended - this would mean that instead of power used by iboost being effectively "free", it could be less worthwhile financially than heating the water with gas instead.

    Second, the effectiveness of an iBoost or similar depends on the layout of the tank. Mine has a single immersion heater that heats the top of the tank only, with the gas boiler heating from the bottom. This works fine in high summer because I can just switch the gas boiler off and depend on the solar diversion (often over 5kWh per day), but for the rest of the year the solar diversion can only make a very limited contribution (sometimes less than 2kWh per day) because it needs help from the gas boiler and therefore the water gets heated from the bottom of the tank before the solar diversion gets chance to make much difference.

    There was also a third reason but I've forgotten what it is.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    Hexane wrote: »
    First, there have been rumours about deemed export being compulsorily ended - this would mean that instead of power used by iboost being effectively "free", it could be less worthwhile financially than heating the water with gas instead.

    True, but as I currently pay (with VAT) 21.82p per electricity and 6.257 per kwh for gas on my zero standing charge tariff, my savings would still be substantial.

    Very few people have my consumption patterns, even mine would change needing a tariff review if someone moved in with me, or if I got a BEV.

    That doesn't help the original poster, but it does illustrate how many variables there are. OP is probably running scared at the hare they've set running! :-)
    There was also a third reason but I've forgotten what it is.
    Commendable honesty! I get like that reading some posts on these threads too, by the time I've got to the end.:D
  • mmmmikeymmmmikey Forumite
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    Hexane wrote: »
    First, there have been rumours about deemed export being compulsorily ended - this would mean that instead of power used by iboost being effectively "free", it could be less worthwhile financially than heating the water with gas instead.


    Picking up on this and silverwhistle's subsequent comment, I currently pay less per kWh for overnight electricty on E7 than I receive per kWh for exports, so would immediately benefit if I was on metered rather than deemed export and my Solic200 immersion controller would become redundant. So as silverwhistle points out, this is horses for courses depending entriely on your own usage pattern, and with changing metering arrangements and tariffs it seems to me that the days are rapidly going where it makes sense to base the sums on today's average price. Interesting times ahead....
  • Thanks for your help everyone. Although a tad confusing on prices and time to break even I think it might be worth me hanging fire for a while at least until the government can make their mind up. If I were to go ahead in the coming months I think I may use a company like project solar as I don't have any small, reliable solar companies nearby who I would trust. At least with a larger company, you get more guarantee's and feel a bit more comfortable parting with larger sums than the usual one-man band cowboy. Project solar seems to have decent reviews on their Trustpilot profile which puts my mind at rest.
  • HexaneHexane Forumite
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    ... I think I may use a company like project solar as I don't have any small, reliable solar companies nearby who I would trust. At least with a larger company, you get more guarantee's and feel a bit more comfortable parting with larger sums than the usual one-man band cowboy. Project solar seems to have decent reviews on their Trustpilot profile which puts my mind at rest.
    Don't trust the guarantees and don't trust Trustpilot. There's a whole lot of talk about 99 year warranties and loan insurance and such, basically they are meaningless. Even very small installers should be able to include, at little or no extra cost, an insurance-backed warranty (mine did) which covers the very likely outcome of the installer being out of business before the practical end of life of the installation. Large companies are just as likely to disappear as small ones - big names really have no guarantee of carrying on trading for 25 years and upwards. And anyone who has been fooled into paying £8000 and upwards for an installation only worth half that, will certainly believe they have got a good deal and service, otherwise they would never have handed over such a huge amount of money - thus the Trustpilot rating.

    Some recent threads about Project Solar and their value for money or otherwise:
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5257124
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5953765
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5921820
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5925262
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5923050
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5919271

    My experience is, the bigger the company, the more likely they are to make misleading claims about payback times and profits. Particular ones I've seen are firstly the standard trick of suggesting that you will use 50% of the generated power even if you don't have multiple people at home during daytime every day and without any form of storage, secondly the standard tricking of suggesting that electricity prices will grow at crazy compounded rates for the next 20 years such that by 2039 you will be spending 80% of your income on your electric bill, and thirdly woolly wording around "guaranteed savings" which actually means "guaranteed generation" and really means no such thing.

    Rule of thumb is £1000 per kWp installed, so if they are offering 12 x 330W panels then you should be paying around £4000 for absolutely everything including fitting and accessories and extras (no battery).

    Either way, when you do get a quote please post it here for people's feedback - as you can see from the threads linked above, a lot of quotes are not at all reasonable.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
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