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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 20th Apr 10, 11:10 AM
    • 1,874Posts
    • 6,140Thanks
    MSE Archna
    The Great 'Get Paid To Generate Energy' Hunt
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 10, 11:10 AM
    The Great 'Get Paid To Generate Energy' Hunt 20th Apr 10 at 11:10 AM
    On 1 April new feed-in tariffs were introduced. These tariffs are payments to normal households for generating their own renewable electricity.

    The new tariffs are being massively subsidised by the Government, meaning it's now a more feasible way to cut your energy bill and make cash.

    So we thought we'd tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on how best to maximise this. Whether it's deciding if wind turbines or solar panels are best or general tips and tricks on buying an accredited system we want to know if the scheme will work for you and how you're making it work.

    • Which is the best system to go for and how did you decide? Eg solar, wind turbine, hydroepectricity etc...
    • What size system is best?
    • What should you watch for when buying your system, eg warranty, degradation rates of panels..
    • At the moment, the big suppliers offer the same export and generation rates (though competition may change this when the scheme is more established), but what extras do you get from your supplier? Eg did you get a free export meter?
    • What if you have an old system - what's the best way to upgrade it so you can get the higher feed in rates?
    For more details of how the feed in tariffs work read more about the Clean Energy Cashback Scheme on EnergySavingTrust.

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 20-04-2010 at 9:21 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 1
  • shaven-monkey
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 10, 11:37 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 10, 11:37 AM
    I looked into a variety of alt energy a year or so back.
    Wind generation is pretty much pointless in an urban or suburban area unless you're in a tower block and can put the turbine on the roof or your property is on the crest of a hill with no nearby trees.

    Solar PV is probably the best bet for generating but there are new technologies in the pipeline for cheaper mass production flexible solar panels which should hit the market within a few years. That said, as long as you've got the south facing roof space for a panel or two and the capital to invest, it may be worthwhile to fit now.

    Hydro power is expensive, the equipment isn't too bad but you need permission to divert water.
    Taken from http://www.sustainablestuff.co.uk/GenerateYourOwnHydroEnergy.html
    You will have to obtain an extraction licence from the Environment Agency ( ext,www.sepa.org.uk:Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland) to divert water from a water course (even if the water is returned) and this will specify how much water may be diverted and when.

    The Environment Agency are responsible for all water courses in England and Wales and will take into account the environmental impact particularly in times of low rainfall on fisheries. However they usually look favourably on renewable energy projects.

    As well as this you will probably also require planning permission to erect a building to house the turbine especially if the project is in a National Park, AONB or Conservation Area.
    Last edited by shaven-monkey; 20-04-2010 at 11:40 AM.
    "Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves." - Norm Franz
    • NeverInDebt
    • By NeverInDebt 20th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    • 2,585 Posts
    • 3,059 Thanks
    NeverInDebt
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    correction "The new tariffs are being massively subsidised by the Government"

    The new tariffs are subsided by energy customers in there bills

    The more affluent are more likely to burn more carbon and also likely to be the ones who can afford to buy solar panels
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 20th Apr 10, 1:31 PM
    • 27,549 Posts
    • 13,518 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 10, 1:31 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 10, 1:31 PM
    Firstly for most people Wind generation is not a viable proposition. Also some people seem to confuse Solar thermal with Solar PV.

    Solar thermal only produces hot water and is a joke in money saving terms - spend £thousands to save £tens. It also has a well deserved reputation for being sold by corrupt firms/salesmen as many 'Watchdog' type programmes have exposed and perusal of Trading Standards office reports will confirm.

    Solar PV is electricity generation and benefits from the recently introduced Feed in Tariffs(FIT); however as stated above they are hardly paid for by the Government. A levy on all our bills will pay for FITs. If, say, £10 billion is eventually paid out annually in subsidies, we pay!

    The pros and cons of PV electricity generation with the (FIT) are discussed in this thread:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=2244389

    A couple of points.

    1. Beware of salesmen talking in terms of 8% return on your investment. The logic behind 'investment' returns is discussed in the above thread. However the important principle is that putting, say £10k in a savings account and getting x% compounded interest, with your interest and capital always available, is very different to buying a system for £10k which gives you an income of y%.

    2. It is not possible to 'upgrade' an old system to get the new higher FITs.

    3. Whilst the FITs have made PV far more attractive, it is still a very long term investment and even the most enthusiastic solar advocate will not expect to show a 'profit' in less than 10 years.

    4. As we have no choice but to use an accredited installer if we want to get FITs, it would be desirable to have Ofgem exercise some regulation over these firms regarding prices and system guarantees(whilst panels have a very long warranty - the system is normally only 2 years)
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 23-04-2010 at 12:50 PM.
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 20th Apr 10, 8:33 PM
    • 20,015 Posts
    • 15,146 Thanks
    Lokolo
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 10, 8:33 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 10, 8:33 PM
    Solar PV is probably the best bet for generating but there are new technologies in the pipeline for cheaper mass production flexible solar panels which should hit the market within a few years. That said, as long as you've got the south facing roof space for a panel or two and the capital to invest, it may be worthwhile to fit now.
    Originally posted by shaven-monkey
    Have you got a link to that? I'd be quite interested to read!
  • shaven-monkey
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 10, 1:21 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 10, 1:21 AM
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727064058.htm

    http://www.pvpower.com/flexiblephotovoltaic.html

    products being sold at the moment
    http://products.bigfrogmountain.com/shop/home.php?cat=357

    They're a relatively new technology so prices are high and capacities are low as folk try to work out how to squeeze maximum dollar from them. As production methods improve the prices will drop, hopefully.
    "Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves." - Norm Franz
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 21st Apr 10, 6:10 AM
    • 6,795 Posts
    • 19,680 Thanks
    Doc N
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 10, 6:10 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 10, 6:10 AM
    I have a £17,500 quotation for a 4 kWp solar PV system with 22 Mitsubishi panels. That's from a small local company with a proven track record.

    A quote from e.on has yet to arrive, almost a month after contacting them, and I'm still waiting for Tesco even to manage to send out a surveyor, nearly three weeks after contacting them.

    Tesco and e.on have proved so inefficient in the quotation process that I'm very unlikely to use them unless they come up with dramatically lower figures than £17,500 (which I doubt).

    What sort of quotations are other people getting for 4 kWp systems (the efffective maximum, given the Feed in Tariff limits)?
  • Bungle1976
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 10, 8:52 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 10, 8:52 AM
    Solar thermal only produces hot water and is a joke in money saving terms - spend £thousands to save £tens. It also has a well deserved reputation for being sold by corrupt firms/salesmen as many 'Watchdog' type programmes have exposed and perusal of Trading Standards office reports will confirm.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    I started looking into solar thermal a couple of years ago, I found that there are a LOT of cowboys out there (one of the salesmen openly told me that he used to sell double glazing). I contacted all the people who put leaflets through my letterbox and a number of on-line companies. Virtually none of them would give me an estimate over the phone even though I knew exactly what I needed and was happy that when they sent out their "surveyor" (or high pressure salesman as they actually are) that the price may change if I had missed something. When these people turned up I was getting quotes of between £8k and £10k which is frankly outrageous and would support Cardew's statement above.

    However, after I had pretty much given up realising that the payback was far too long, a couple of smaller firms responded to me. The quotes were somewhat more reasonable (and they were happy to estimate over the phone). They were estimating payback in about 10 years and the figures they were quoting supported that (the payback with the earlier quotes would have been 20 years at best).

    I did end up getting a system fitted, and I have to say that from April to September last year I only turned the hot water on three times (on those occaisions I had people staying who were doing voluntary work on canals so the shower was being used a lot). Other than that the solar did all my hot water. Obviously there are swings and roundabouts (cloudy/wet summers won;t be as good as sunny ones obviously!) but I reckon if anything 10 years will be PESSIMISTIC with what I have, the calculations I did after 12 months show I will get payback after about 8 years

    I did have a couple of other considerations, for around the same cost I could have swapped my hideously inefficient back boiler for a modern condensing one. But British Gas reckoned the payback for that would have been 14 years based on my useage (not including the much higher maintenance costs for a condensing boiler, there isn't much to fail on my old Baxi Bermuda!).

    So I would say solar thermal is not neccersarily a joke, depending on your circumstances and the company you use to do the work, it can be a sensible thing to do (it certainly was in my case). If you have the time, skills and confidence to do it yourself (time was the issue for me) then payback will be even quicker, even though you won't get the grant for using an accredited supplier.

    I am about to start doing the maths on solar electric and possibly swapping the back boiler under the boiler scrappage scheme to an air source heat pump. This may sound like I am a long haired hippy "greenie", I am not especially (though obviously green issues are a consideration). I am an engineer, I do the sums and if it adds up to being a good use of my money I do it.

    P.S. Just realised this is somewhat off topic for feed in tariffs, sorry
    Last edited by Bungle1976; 21-04-2010 at 8:53 AM. Reason: Added PS
  • jondaro
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 10, 9:11 AM
    For PV to be a success we need......
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 10, 9:11 AM


    A couple of points.

    3. Whilst the FITs have made PV far more attractive, it is still a very long term investment and even the most enthusiastic solar advocate will not expect to show a 'profit' in less than 10 years. Totally agree at the moment, but the 'return' is based on capital, i.e what it produces as income versus what it costs to install & run; herein lies the big issue; Because the 'return' is pretty simple to calculate based on average income from generating, the known FIT values etc, it is simple for providers of the panels & installation packages to set prices which offer this supposed 8-10% return, and in the current financial climate they are possibly attractive to some, however this is in fact a complete rip-off as the industry is operating a cartel; see below re installers; If you source the components seperately, the combined cost is for a 2.2KpW system between 30-50% lower than buying in a package BUT try finding an MSC installer to meet the FIT compliance requirement and it is a 100% brickwall of no-one willing to step outside the complete package only cartel. Totally agree some form of robust ombudsman is required to ensure this gets sorted, otherwise the required uptake will never even begin.

    4. As we have no choice but to use an accredited installer if we want to get FITs, it would be desirable to have Ofgem exercise some regulation over these firms regarding prices and system guarantees(whilst panels have a very long warranty - the system is normally only 2 years)
    Originally posted by Cardew


    Second point around the capital cost is, where are the much trumpeted low/nil interest capital loans? Currently the biggest single blocker to uptake is the prohibitive initial capital outlay, irrespective of the actual return available; This is where the real uptake will come from, by being clever in offering complete financed packages, at realistic capital costs only then will the massive uptake begin; What will follow could then be the much desired tens/hundreds of thousands of jobs directly linked to renewables. Crikey if we can bail out the banks as we have, just think what £50-100 million to provide subsidised loans would generate!!!
    If Government or the traditional finance sector aren't interested, come on you green entrepreneurs & philanthrapists!



    Big fan of renewables but thwarted beyond belief!

    Jondaro
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 21st Apr 10, 9:21 AM
    • 27,549 Posts
    • 13,518 Thanks
    Cardew
    I started looking into solar thermal a couple of years ago, I found that there are a LOT of cowboys out there (one of the salesmen openly told me that he used to sell double glazing). I contacted all the people who put leaflets through my letterbox and a number of on-line companies. Virtually none of them would give me an estimate over the phone even though I knew exactly what I needed and was happy that when they sent out their "surveyor" (or high pressure salesman as they actually are) that the price may change if I had missed something. When these people turned up I was getting quotes of between £8k and £10k which is frankly outrageous and would support Cardew's statement above.

    However, after I had pretty much given up realising that the payback was far too long, a couple of smaller firms responded to me. The quotes were somewhat more reasonable (and they were happy to estimate over the phone). They were estimating payback in about 10 years and the figures they were quoting supported that (the payback with the earlier quotes would have been 20 years at best).

    I did end up getting a system fitted, and I have to say that from April to September last year I only turned the hot water on three times (on those occaisions I had people staying who were doing voluntary work on canals so the shower was being used a lot). Other than that the solar did all my hot water. Obviously there are swings and roundabouts (cloudy/wet summers won;t be as good as sunny ones obviously!) but I reckon if anything 10 years will be PESSIMISTIC with what I have, the calculations I did after 12 months show I will get payback after about 8 years

    I did have a couple of other considerations, for around the same cost I could have swapped my hideously inefficient back boiler for a modern condensing one. But British Gas reckoned the payback for that would have been 14 years based on my useage (not including the much higher maintenance costs for a condensing boiler, there isn't much to fail on my old Baxi Bermuda!).

    So I would say solar thermal is not neccersarily a joke, depending on your circumstances and the company you use to do the work, it can be a sensible thing to do (it certainly was in my case). If you have the time, skills and confidence to do it yourself (time was the issue for me) then payback will be even quicker, even though you won't get the grant for using an accredited supplier.
    Originally posted by Bungle1976
    There are other threads on this subject but I really can't let that go unchallenged.

    The Government commissioned tests on 8 solar thermal systems(link in other thread) carried out in southern England, and the average annual output was 1,000kWh.

    Ring some of the more responsible firms and ask the question and they will also grudgingly admit the 1,000kWh is about par.(most of this in summer)

    Now 1,000kWh per year will save you between £25 and £50 a year if you have gas and depending on the efficiency of your boiler.

    Even with the most expensive method of heating water i.e. daytime electricity you will save £100 a year.

    Now you haven't said how much your installation cost but £2000 to £3000 is about par for good firms.

    So on what basis can you calculate the sort of payback times in your post?

    Bear in mind that £2000 to £ 3000 invested in a long term bank account will produce £80 to £120 per year.

    So please let us see the calculations you made.
  • m-s-m
    Solar PV
    Just a couple of points about solar PV:

    The thin-film panels are cheaper but reliability is an unknown at the moment. They generally aren't suitable for household roofs as they have lower efficiency than silicon panels (typically 6% vs. ~15%), so need more space.

    Good quality silicon-based panels should come with a 20-25 year warranty.

    When doing the calculations (I have a spreadsheet but it doesn't look like I can post attachments) remember that you will need at least one new inverter during the life of the system, costing roughly £1000 (depending on system size etc). IIRC the current market leaders are SMA and Fronius, both of which should come with a decent warranty. However, the life of the inverter is still only likely to be around 10 years.

    That said, it is possible to get a decent return on the technology, assuming you have a south-facing roof with no shading. There are a number of on-line calculators that will calculate output based on location and roof angle, however a typical load factor for silicon panels is 10%, so you'd expect 876kWh/year per kW of PV installed.
  • housesitter
    Lip service to green issues.

    I'd love to be able to DIY a system and if needs must, have the hook up done by a qualified electrician (ie: someone who has paid for Part P ticket). But this scheme doesn't support that.
    There is also no support for generation from waste products. ie: waste wood, oil, etc.

    It's a nice idea, but they are not really serious about home generation, just trying to look like they are saving the environment (by using resources to build solar panels and turbines).

    Recycled waste, recycled equipment.
    I guess off grid is the way to go then.
    • karengi
    • By karengi 21st Apr 10, 10:28 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    karengi
    I would like to know why wind generation is not viable for most people and in what type of environment is wind generation viable? Does anyone have any knowledge on this?
    Karen

    New Comper
    First win - A creme egg beachball!
  • BrightEnergy
    "3. Whilst the FITs have made PV far more attractive, it is still a very long term investment and even the most enthusiastic solar advocate will not expect to show a 'profit' in less than 10 years. Totally agree at the moment, but the 'return' is based on capital, i.e what it produces as income versus what it costs to install & run; herein lies the big issue; Because the 'return' is pretty simple to calculate based on average income from generating, the known FIT values etc, it is simple for providers of the panels & installation packages to set prices which offer this supposed 8-10% return, and in the current financial climate they are possibly attractive to some, however this is in fact a complete rip-off as the industry is operating a cartel; see below re installers; If you source the components seperately, the combined cost is for a 2.2KpW system between 30-50% lower than buying in a package BUT try finding an MSC installer to meet the FIT compliance requirement and it is a 100% brickwall of no-one willing to step outside the complete package only cartel. Totally agree some form of robust ombudsman is required to ensure this gets sorted, otherwise the required uptake will never even begin."

    The above point mentions it is "simple to calculate based on average income from generating", which is true - if you know the size the system being installed you can predict how much electricity you'd generate and therefore the income. However, in addition to this obvious 'income' you have the financial savings in fuel costs that you are no longer paying out, i.e. you don't need to purchase as much electricity from the grid. This is not so easy to predict, and is often forgotten about in calculations on payback periods. It is assumed, and probable, that fuel costs will continue to rise significantly, and with PV system lifetimes of 25+ years, a payback period of 10 years is quite feasible. In fact that payback period could be revised (to be shorter) in a few years time when fuel prices have gone up even more!

    In defence of the secondary point regarding cartels and packages - as a small business solar installer I'd like to point out that if we are to guarantee a system installed by us we really like to know where the components come from! We have been asked to install a variety of components supplied by potential customers, but if we are not sure of the condition and/or authenticity of the product, then we are jeopardising the entire installation by installing that piece. This is usually not worth the financial risk to either the customer or the installer, not to mention possible safety aspects. We only accept this type of proposal where we feel there is no risk to either party. It is also worth remembering that installers have access to trade prices and may well find components at cheaper prices anyway.

    As a final note, do your research - it is a big investment for a home owner so make sure you are happy with the installer you choose. A good solar installer worth his salt will not pressure you, will not be just a salesman, and will be willing to answer all your questions and give you advice.
    Saving money and energy seem to be the only things on my mind these days!
    ...installing solar energy!
  • BrightEnergy
    FIT - Renewable Heat Incentive
    I started looking into solar thermal a couple of years ago, I found that there are a LOT of cowboys out there (one of the salesmen openly told me that he used to sell double glazing).
    Originally posted by Bungle1976
    Yes, unfortunately this is true. Though one of the big culprits for this (I won't mention names) went under in the past few months so one big bad cowboy out of the picture!! Cowboys give the good installers a bad name!

    I contacted all the people who put leaflets through my letterbox and a number of on-line companies. Virtually none of them would give me an estimate over the phone even though I knew exactly what I needed and was happy that when they sent out their "surveyor" (or high pressure salesman as they actually are) that the price may change if I had missed something.
    Originally posted by Bungle1976
    Again quite typical of the hard sell. In defence of decent solar installers, though, it can be quite hard to give a price over the phone. What we can do though is give you a ballpark figure for a typical installation based on your description of your requirements, with the caveat that if you were seriously interested a formal quote would need a site survey to be done - by a techie not a sales guy!

    When these people turned up I was getting quotes of between £8k and £10k which is frankly outrageous and would support Cardew's statement above.
    Originally posted by Bungle1976
    I've heard even worse! A good price guide, assuming a typical 3 bed house, 4 people, usually it is between £3000 and £6000. The range is due to the technology (flat plates are cheaper but less efficient than evacuated tube collectors which are better suited to the UK), how complex the install is, do you need a new cylinder, are you south facing, etc.

    If you have the time, skills and confidence to do it yourself (time was the issue for me) then payback will be even quicker, even though you won't get the grant for using an accredited supplier.
    Originally posted by Bungle1976
    True to some extent, provided building regs and notifications are followed appropriately. And true that you wouldn't get the grant this way. But the big disadvantage installing yourself is still waiting to show itself - there is a new FIT coming in next year for solar thermal! It is called the Renewable Heat Incentive, and to qualify for it, you will need a solar installation to have been installed by an MCS accredited installer!

    ...so, we got back to the topic of feed-in-tariffs in the end!
    Saving money and energy seem to be the only things on my mind these days!
    ...installing solar energy!
  • BrightEnergy
    I would like to know why wind generation is not viable for most people and in what type of environment is wind generation viable? Does anyone have any knowledge on this?
    Originally posted by karengi
    As an example, B&Q used to sell small wind turbines for use on your house. They then withdrew them after they realised that these small turbines, for use on small domestic urban properties, weren't working well. In some cases they were costing energy to run them!

    One reason is that wind turbines operate in an optimum range - if the wind isn't strong enough they can't generate electricity (obvious). Less obvious is that if the wind is to strong, the power conversion within the turbine cannot handle it, and subsequently it can't generate electricity! Because in urban areas there are lots of objects around, the wind speed isn't consistent, so it is very difficult to get a turbine to work well.

    Another reason is that wind speeds low to the ground (where these little turbines are placed) are slower as well as erratic. The larger turbines that you see dotted around (both the massive power company ones, and the medium ones that you see placed on farms, etc.) take advantage of wind flow higher up (greater than 10m from the ground) where the wind speed is greater and more consistent. Hence, larger tubines work well.

    It's pretty difficult to get these larger turbines on your house (planning permission, conservations areas, etc., noise issues from turbine rotation), so are only a viable option if you live in a rural area with lots of landspace, or possibly for use within industrial units where residents are unlikely to complain.
    Saving money and energy seem to be the only things on my mind these days!
    ...installing solar energy!
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 21st Apr 10, 11:53 AM
    • 27,549 Posts
    • 13,518 Thanks
    Cardew
    I've heard even worse! A good price guide, assuming a typical 3 bed house, 4 people, usually it is between £3000 and £6000. The range is due to the technology (flat plates are cheaper but less efficient than evacuated tube collectors which are better suited to the UK), how complex the install is, do you need a new cylinder, are you south facing, etc.
    Originally posted by BrightEnergy
    As someone with a vested interest(presumably) in installing Solar Thermal, and promoting your firm on this site(I expect your posts will be deleted or modified) what annual output would you predict from a system costing £3,000 to £6000. - 1,000kWh??
    • gingerscot
    • By gingerscot 21st Apr 10, 12:14 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    gingerscot
    /quote
    I'd love to be able to DIY a system and if needs must, have the hook up done by a qualified electrician (ie: someone who has paid for Part P ticket). But this scheme doesn't support that.
    quote



    Can anyone expand/confirm this?

    background (not necessary reading for the question): I am reasonably competent in the concept/electrics as I have an all be it small system with a 80W solar panel, controller, battery combining to power some homemade led lights and a pond pump. I will happily admit that we will never make the money back on an off-grid system like this but it was fun setting it up and as a project plus I like the stats I get, the ability if the power goes out to have some light and obviously the environmental credentials. Since its all DC, its reality save to muck around with and importantly we don't need to fill in a form hah.

    Know we know the potential we want a larger grid-connected system. The issue is that we want to buy the panels, inverter and set them up on the garage ourselves as its much cheaper. Can we still get this FIT if we only get a certified electrician to come around and add the breakers/generator meter/final connections and check for safety? Or do we HAVE to get the panels bought and installed for a registered company who charge over the odds. ex I got a 80W panel from China for £160 which costs £300 in the uk and its the same manufacturer.
  • Vagabond84
    Hi, I'm new to here but have been getting Martins email for a good while now. I felt I best post on this subject as I have a degree in renewable energy and I work in PV as a design/project engineer albeit for a company which specialises in large scale PV not domestic so I won't be trying to sell you anything, but might be able to help someone out.

    In respect to the best technology to install it totally depends on your location, If you're pretty rural go for wind as it will pay back a lot quicker. All roof mounted turbines are not going to be very effective and could affect the structure of the house when it is spinning. So pole mounted is the way to go, but really you need to be in a fairly open area.

    PV will take longer to payback but has a lot less issues when it comes to planning permission. In most cases permitted development rights exist meaning the local council cannot stop you installing.

    When looking at PV, the efficiency varies greatly from panel to panel so it is best going with an installer who is not operating using a single product as you will not get the best solution, also get a number of quotes and finally ensure that the product AND the installer are both MCS accredited otherwise you are not entitled to anything.

    The PV panels which I deal with are not like the ones which are commonly seen as we focus commercially, so we use thin flexible panels and a new CIGS panel neither of which are suitable for domestic. In order to generate the most amount of energy on a domestic property I recommend Sanyo hybrid panels which will give the most amount of kWh (what you get paid for) per kWp installed. Although they are a more expensive upfront option the economics really stack up.

    The other option is of course to wait for the renewable heat incentive to come into play next year. Depends what you want to do, personally I'd prefer to generate electricity than heat, as I can use that all year round.

    Finding the initial capital to pay for a renewable technology is the hardest part, and unfortunately I have no news on any grants that may exist.

    One interesting point is that some financial companies are looking to begin renting roof space in order to install PV. The idea is that you will get free electricity and they will claim the FIT incentive. Whether this comes about however is another matter. If you are interested just keep an ear out.

    Finally if anyone would like help deciphering any of the techie bits and pieces then give me a shout and I'll help you out. I'm interested in the energy saving so anyone I can help get moving onto installing anything is a bonus for us all.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 23-04-2010 at 12:55 PM.
  • Vagabond84
    /quote
    I'd love to be able to DIY a system and if needs must, have the hook up done by a qualified electrician (ie: someone who has paid for Part P ticket). But this scheme doesn't support that.
    quote



    Can anyone expand/confirm this?

    background (not necessary reading for the question): I am reasonably competent in the concept/electrics as I have an all be it small system with a 80W solar panel, controller, battery combining to power some homemade led lights and a pond pump. I will happily admit that we will never make the money back on an off-grid system like this but it was fun setting it up and as a project plus I like the stats I get, the ability if the power goes out to have some light and obviously the environmental credentials. Since its all DC, its reality save to muck around with and importantly we don't need to fill in a form hah.

    Know we know the potential we want a larger grid-connected system. The issue is that we want to buy the panels, inverter and set them up on the garage ourselves as its much cheaper. Can we still get this FIT if we only get a certified electrician to come around and add the breakers/generator meter/final connections and check for safety? Or do we HAVE to get the panels bought and installed for a registered company who charge over the odds. ex I got a 80W panel from China for £160 which costs £300 in the uk and its the same manufacturer.
    Originally posted by gingerscot
    Hi,

    Both the panels and the installer have to be MCS certified in order to get the tariffs. So even a qualified electrician won't be enough.

    However if you buy the panels yourself and they are accredited and then manage to find someone to install them who is accredited you may save a few quid that way.

    Do be careful when looking at accredited panels though and ensure they definitely are on the central register, which can be found here microgenerationcertification.org

    Sorry can't link to it as I'm new
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