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  • FIRST POST
    • RedMonty
    • By RedMonty 27th Mar 18, 11:38 AM
    • 71Posts
    • 18Thanks
    RedMonty
    Solar Together London (Mayor of London) group buy
    • #1
    • 27th Mar 18, 11:38 AM
    Solar Together London (Mayor of London) group buy 27th Mar 18 at 11:38 AM
    I've got a letter here from Mayor of London & Solar Together talking about registering for a London-wide group buying scheme for solar panels.

    Their website is www.solartogetherlondon.co.uk and claims around 2000 people have signed up for it so far. Also seems to be supported by my local council which has its own page: www.solartogetherlondon.co.uk/brent which redirects to a page on my council's website.

    What do people on MSE think of this?

    PS there's a timetable:
    Registration opens – 1 March 2018
    Auction takes place – 18 April 2018
    Personalised offers sent out – early May 2018
    Acceptance ends 15 June 2018
    Installations take place – June to December 2018
Page 1
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 27th Mar 18, 12:43 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 2,799 Thanks
    theboylard
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 18, 12:43 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 18, 12:43 PM
    Example system link: SolartogetherLondon

    That's a reasonable cost for a 4kWh system.

    The "Savings on Energy 50%" and £316 are massively over estimated. That's an old sales trick, only used by those "dodgy installers". Disappointed by the Mayors office for supporting such claims.

    Realistically, expect to see average savings of £120-£180 on usage.

    Oh, and if you can go bigger than 16 panels, then do so.
    Also just don't look at southern roofs - consider east & west too - an east/west roof split gives a much better generation curve than just one aspect.

    Be interesting to see any if quotes include such things as voltage optimsers - if you get quoted to include this then I'd run a mile, they've no place in the average home and could be considered a cash grab.

    I'm sure there's load more things to consider...
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 27th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    • 27,423 Posts
    • 13,434 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    Agree with the above:

    So a more realistic savings figure will be around £400 a year instead of £568 in the example - and that is on the assumption of generating the 3,960kWh pa which not all houses will achieve.

    Then you need to consider the loss of interest on the £4,630 if you pay cash. MSE quote an interest rate of 2.56% for long term savings so that is £118 pa. If you have to borrow the £4,630 that will cost a lot more.

    So instead of the quoted payback period of 8.2 years it will be more than double that; and that is without the high probability of expensive repairs in the 20 year period of getting the subsidies.
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 27th Mar 18, 2:43 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 2,799 Thanks
    theboylard
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 18, 2:43 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 18, 2:43 PM
    Now now, you and I both know that "expensive repairs" means that you may have to replace the inverter - some come with a 20 year warranty, some only 10 years - so you need to budget for that eventuality.

    The quoted payback is not more than double, even if you budget for an extended inverter warranty.
    Heck even if the inverter failed outside of warranty, for the average size inverter it's about £800 currently with prices only going down.

    The panels need no maintenance at all, the wiring should last as long as the house, so the sensible thing would be to take an extended warranty out on the inverter - direct with the manufatcurer (assuming you get a decent brand choice - SMA, SolarEdge, Fronius, Solax are the big names with good European support and the big comms company Huawei have entered the market with a similar offering to Solaredge) if they have european offices. If not, make sure the installer has insurance backed warranty on parts as well as the overall install.
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 27th Mar 18, 7:54 PM
    • 27,423 Posts
    • 13,434 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #5
    • 27th Mar 18, 7:54 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Mar 18, 7:54 PM
    Now now, you and I both know that "expensive repairs" means that you may have to replace the inverter - some come with a 20 year warranty, some only 10 years - so you need to budget for that eventuality.

    The quoted payback is not more than double, even if you budget for an extended inverter warranty.
    Heck even if the inverter failed outside of warranty, for the average size inverter it's about £800 currently with prices only going down.
    Originally posted by theboylard
    The quoted payback time is more than double.

    You have correctly identified that the in house savings are exaggerated; using your figures:

    The "Savings on Energy 50%" and £316 are massively over estimated. That's an old sales trick, only used by those "dodgy installers". Disappointed by the Mayors office for supporting such claims.

    Realistically, expect to see average savings of £120-£180 on usage.
    That brings the estimated savings/income of £568 down by £196 to £136 so £372 to £432 so I used £400 pa as a mid point.

    Even that £400 assumes a high generation of 3,960kWh pa and that electricity costs 16p/kWh which surely very few people pay.

    Then the payback time in the example conveniently ignores the loss of interest on the expenditure of £4,630 which is £118pa if invested in a long term savings account. It would cost even more if you borrowed the £4,630.

    So realistically the savings of such a solar PV system are likely to be under £300pa.

    You don't need a degree in maths to work out how long it will take to payback £4,630 with those sort of savings.

    An £800 repair would add over 2 years to the payback time.

    Admittedly the income will be inflation linked, but then the interest on £4,630 will by compounded.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 27th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
    • 12,421 Posts
    • 16,770 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
    Example system link: SolartogetherLondon

    That's a reasonable cost for a 4kWh system.

    The "Savings on Energy 50%" and £316 are massively over estimated. That's an old sales trick, only used by those "dodgy installers". Disappointed by the Mayors office for supporting such claims.

    Realistically, expect to see average savings of £120-£180 on usage.

    Oh, and if you can go bigger than 16 panels, then do so.
    Also just don't look at southern roofs - consider east & west too - an east/west roof split gives a much better generation curve than just one aspect.

    Be interesting to see any if quotes include such things as voltage optimsers - if you get quoted to include this then I'd run a mile, they've no place in the average home and could be considered a cash grab.

    I'm sure there's load more things to consider...
    Originally posted by theboylard
    It's Sadiq Khan - I'd be disappointed if he didn't support companies making certain types of claims to his city's residents...
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021

    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
    • RedMonty
    • By RedMonty 5th May 18, 11:34 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    RedMonty
    • #7
    • 5th May 18, 11:34 AM
    Phallus-up - payment demands sent out early & without consent!
    • #7
    • 5th May 18, 11:34 AM
    Oh dear, what a mess.

    13 April - Email sent out saying "Solar Together London Auction will take place Weds 18th April. Next step, an email will be sent out on 7th May, laying out a personalised offer for you, and and you have till 15th June to accept or reject the the offer. "

    5th May - I receive an email from Brent Council (london@solartogether..co.uk) saying "Thank you for accepting your personalised offer from Solar Together London. Please pay us £150 as your deposit by clicking the button below."

    WTF! I haven't even received a personalised offer yet! Someone's phallused up somewhere. To be fair, the 5th May email says 'If you haven't paid by 15th June, we will cancel your offer" and lays out several other 100% refund opportunities down the line.

    But I am concerned that some people may be confused into stumping up the deposit for an offer they haven't seen (or maybe thought their partner had agreed to).
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