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To good to be true solar claims?

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nodge68nodge68 Forumite
4 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi. I've just had a sales rep from a solar energy installer visit, and talk me through what they'll install and how much it'll cost me, which was £11,500!!. 

This system will have a total 4.8kW of panels, 2.4kW SE facing, 2.4kW SW facing. 
A smart battery (I forget the make) of around 5kWh storage capacity.
An inverter, and some form of smart gateway.

The salesman was showing me how much energy this system would save me, and quoted a figure of a £37,000 return in it's lifetime!!

This to me seems like a hard sell, and I would be surprised to see a return on my investment of £11,500 in the lifetime of the system. 

Apparently the battery allows the company (I don't think I should name them) to trade electricity, buying cheap and selling high in times of excess and shortfalls. 
Has anyone got any real experience with this sort of thing, and are the rewards as high as this salesman is saying. 


Now I'm not hugely up on domestic size solar storage and energy trading stuff. But there's an old saying. "If something seems to good to be true, it usually is too good to be true".

I'm guessing I have answered my own question. 

Just for reference. I worked for a small  engineering company in the electronics industry, re-manufacturing electronic equipment, as well as manufacturing one off custom electronic and mechanical components for use in that industry. So I have a good understanding of electronics, as well as good machinical and machining skills. 

Solar power is one of my many hobbies, and I use it on small scale (400Wh of panels, with 1.5kWh of storage) to power my my workshop, charge our smart devices, light up the garden and so on.

I know how much it costs for small scale solar, and I know how much energy I get from my panels. 

Any views are welcome. 

Replies

  • TalldaveTalldave Forumite
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    You have answered your own question.  More importantly, why allow them to "trade" electricity using your panels & battery? Buy the parts yourself and spend 50-70% less.
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    If you've already got some idea of how much power you'll get, how much you can store and how much you can use yourself you can do some pretty simple sums to work out how much you can save (*ignore the trading bit as that becomes a maybe and cant be relied on for the lifetime of the system)

    There are online websites which can give you a reasonable idea of your yield (per month) but with a system like yours I guess it's not going to be much over 4000kwh per year (most of which is in the summer) - I'm not sure but I think you are limited to a 4kwhp so 4.8 might break the rules.

    Even when the FIT was in force at it's maximum payments it would still have taken near enough ten years to break even so IMO it does sound far to good to be true

    * even when I got my heatpump there was the promise of gold - an RHI of 12p/kwh for 20 years (approx £21k). In the end (it took three years in coming) it became an RHI of 7p/kwh for just seven years which gave me £5k back., Don't rely on what you "might" get. I did all my calcs on not getting RHI because there was so much dithering going on so the £5k became a bonus rather than a need.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • davidbrockisdavidbrockis Forumite
    1 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    We're enjoying the benefits of solar panel with a meter that currently goes backwards at the rate of 9.4p/kw and 16.4p/kw (day and night rate). Ttouble is our provider, 8 legged sea creature, wants us to install SMETS2 and pay us 5.5p/kw flat rate.
    Has anyone got a better export deal than this please?
    Ps Are batteries a good idea.
    Thanks
    David

  • PetriixPetriix Forumite
    261 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    A 4.8kWp array should cost around (or ideally under) £5k. It would maybe generate 5000kWh per year at best of which you might use 40% (saving you £250 off your electricity bill) with 60% exported (earning you £165 on the SEG scheme). That's a 12 year payback, which is OK.

    A battery would allow you to use more - maybe 80% - so it would save you another £140 per year. With a 10 year useable life, the battery would only save you £1400 in total so (ignoring the magic 'trading' scheme) its almost certainly not worth the money.
  • PetriixPetriix Forumite
    261 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Oh, and there's too few 'o's in your 'to'.
  • nodge68nodge68 Forumite
    4 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Talldave said:
    You have answered your own question.  More importantly, why allow them to "trade" electricity using your panels & battery? Buy the parts yourself and spend 50-70% less.
    Agreed. 
    Thanks for the response. 
  • nodge68nodge68 Forumite
    4 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    If you've already got some idea of how much power you'll get, how much you can store and how much you can use yourself you can do some pretty simple sums to work out how much you can save (*ignore the trading bit as that becomes a maybe and cant be relied on for the lifetime of the system)

    There are online websites which can give you a reasonable idea of your yield (per month) but with a system like yours I guess it's not going to be much over 4000kwh per year (most of which is in the summer) - I'm not sure but I think you are limited to a 4kwhp so 4.8 might break the rules.

    Even when the FIT was in force at it's maximum payments it would still have taken near enough ten years to break even so IMO it does sound far to good to be true

    * even when I got my heatpump there was the promise of gold - an RHI of 12p/kwh for 20 years (approx £21k). In the end (it took three years in coming) it became an RHI of 7p/kwh for just seven years which gave me £5k back., Don't rely on what you "might" get. I did all my calcs on not getting RHI because there was so much dithering going on so the £5k became a bonus rather than a need.
    Thank you. I know I get approximately 400kWh of energy from my small 500W solar array. So I do know what to expect from a larger system. 

    Thanks for taking the time to answer. 


  • nodge68nodge68 Forumite
    4 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Petriix said:
    A 4.8kWp array should cost around (or ideally under) £5k. It would maybe generate 5000kWh per year at best of which you might use 40% (saving you £250 off your electricity bill) with 60% exported (earning you £165 on the SEG scheme). That's a 12 year payback, which is OK.

    A battery would allow you to use more - maybe 80% - so it would save you another £140 per year. With a 10 year useable life, the battery would only save you £1400 in total so (ignoring the magic 'trading' scheme) its almost certainly not worth the money.
    Thank you. It was the trading scheme I was most interested in, or at least if it was worth the extra cost, verses the income it's going to provide. 

    Thanks for your response. 
  • edited 27 June at 6:59AM
    gzoomgzoom Forumite
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    edited 27 June at 6:59AM
    See my post on this :smile:

    Not sure the finances work but a solar PV setup with battery storage will significantly reduce your grid electricity usage.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6161854/solar-pv-and-home-battery-crazy-electricity-bill/p1?new=1
  • maximoose94maximoose94 Forumite
    36 posts
    10 Posts
    I'm quite interested in getting a solar setup, is it recommended to do that now rather than wait as the feed in tariff is likely to drop further?

    There is no feed in tariff. It ceased as of April. You can have SEG export. Most are around 5.5p/kwh.
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