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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 13th November 2014
sapper sapper is offline
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Solar Panels

I am interested in having Solar Panels fitted to our bungalow. Had a rep from http://www.myplanetuk.com and it all seems good so far. The idea being that the finance cost of the panels is met by the payment from power company, plus a reduction in power consumption.
Anyone had solar panels fitted, especially by this company?
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Old 13th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

Watch the episode of Watchdog that was on BBC1 tonight on I-player before you go down that route.
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Old 13th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

Thanks Phil, I will.
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

My brother's inlaws had some fitted. Just before the government halved the tarrif. Currently they look to break even in around year six of having had them fitted, impressive stuff, then its just cash in after that
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

I got mine fitted before they dropped the tarifs and it seems very good, a no brainer in fact but since the tarif dropped to new subscribers it will take a lot longer to break even. I would say if you are going to remain in the property for 10 years or more it should be worth doing.
I believe the cost of fitting is lower now, mine cost 8 grand 3 years since.
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

What's the life expectancy of PVs? That's the question I would ask. And I don't mean a salesman's answer, I mean one based on science, engineering and a bit of probabilistic maths thrown in. Is the life based on 80% efficiency or less? When you have the facts you can work out the break even point in ownership.
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

When I came back from my last visit to the UK I had a very short night, because I needed to sign a contract with the bank only a few hours later. The reason was of course the planed installation of a solar contraption on our roof tops. This was completed - just in time I might add - in late June 2010. We just made the dead line, but it took until 10-2010 before the whole field was fully operational. Here is how this looks like as of today:

In blue, as weekly average to keep the jitter down, the generated power and in yellowish the daily amount that we've consumed ourselfs. The difference of course is what we get paid for. So far so good. I mean, we are running according to plan and had no malfunction so far. It will need six more years like this though, before all costs are back in and we are safe ...

We were told that we had to calculate with failing parts. I don't know the English name, but that contraption which is needed to convert from DC to AC - maybe it's just called "converter"?! Anyhow - they might fail somewhere in the future and need to be repaired quickly or you will loose out on generated power. They are pricy stuff and I certainly hope ours last for ever. Depending on the size of what you've planed, there might be a point from where it is an economical no go. If the cash is of no concern I say do it anyways.
Making good use the suns available energy is my main motive in all this. It just makes sense. If I can get some money out of it - I'll appreciate it. Somewhere in my gallery there should be a pic of the solar plant itself. I might bring it up later.

I hope this helps a little bit,
Falk
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

Inverter - that's the monkey.
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Old 14th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

Dave,

As an economist I am massively in favourite of microgeneration. Also, you're paying for other people's solar (and wind farms, free insulation and winter fuel allowance for those expats on Costa Del Sol) in your energy bills so why not take the benefit.

This looks like you own the panels rather than renting your space so you get to keep both the generation tariff and the feed in tariff, right?

Assuming it is then I would be asking myself some questions:

What finance % rate am I paying on this deal vs. a personal loan/mortgage extension?
Does my roof hit the southerly sweet spot at the right angles?
How much can generation capacity can I get - go for the maximum 4KWh as you might as well
Will they move on price towards the end of a sales quarter?

A couple of things we do know:
You live on the east side of the country in Essex (Sunny Southend etc!) and it is likely that the calculation they give you for electricity generated will be a UK average so incorporates the likes of Wales and the West of Scotland which are cloudy.

In general, salesmen actually don't push the generation volume too much as they don't want to be held accountable if you don't make the money they originally indicated. This is very much true and, having seen the trouble a Big 6 has reconciling its FIT accounts, I know it happens a lot.

What I am saying here is that you will definitely over-generate geographically and may generate more than the salesman says, which will boost the financials.

If the panels go wrong after a few years, I would take that up with the installer or, assuming the cost of the panels falls in line with the drop in tariff as it has done in the past, just buy new ones - your 2014/5 FIT should cover the cost of 2020 panels quite nicely...

Nick
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

It is a valid point as to the cloud cover in the east versers the west. I live at around 600ft above sea level facingroughly south eastish. On some days this summer I have generated a max of 28 units hover in winter it could be none or perhaps 2. My consumtion is around 5-8 units a day. Over the year I win.
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

Do you have to declare "Income from Solar Panels" on your Tax Return and pay tax on it ?
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

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Do you have to declare "Income from Solar Panels" on your Tax Return and pay tax on it ?
No, the income is tax free.
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

I have had a look at solar panels and the various claims and came to the conclusion that the payback is more like 15 years with current generation tariffs. I then asked myself if I had the capital to spend on solar panels what else could I do with it and would I enjoy that better. I have not got solar panels.

I was told by an ex neighbour who had a friend who installed these panels that the tariffs were significantly higher when solar panels first came out but then so was the cost of the solar panels. Then he reckoned that the system paid for itself in 7 years. Now the solar panels are cheaper and so is the tariff. I would think that the answer to your question lies in how many panels can you have on your bungalow and what is the cost to install. I would take the salesman's estimate of payback and double it and then base my decision on that.

One of my neighbours has these panels installed and every year when it snows I watch the snow melting and then freezing and wait for the lot to slide off straight though his glass conservatory, It has not happened yet but I wonder if it does happen if that wipes out the profit he has built up.
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by birdboy View Post
I have had a look at solar panels and the various claims and came to the conclusion that the payback is more like 15 years with current generation tariffs. I then asked myself if I had the capital to spend on solar panels what else could I do with it and would I enjoy that better. I have not got solar panels.

I was told by an ex neighbour who had a friend who installed these panels that the tariffs were significantly higher when solar panels first came out but then so was the cost of the solar panels. Then he reckoned that the system paid for itself in 7 years. Now the solar panels are cheaper and so is the tariff. I would think that the answer to your question lies in how many panels can you have on your bungalow and what is the cost to install. I would take the salesman's estimate of payback and double it and then base my decision on that.

One of my neighbours has these panels installed and every year when it snows I watch the snow melting and then freezing and wait for the lot to slide off straight though his glass conservatory, It has not happened yet but I wonder if it does happen if that wipes out the profit he has built up.

Wot about if your roof can take the weight/loading ? and what about winds/storms damage ?
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Old 15th November 2014
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Re: Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
Wot about if your roof can take the weight/loading ? and what about winds/storms damage ?
Good point. My house is Victorian and probably originally had a slate roof. It now has concrete tiles, which are heavier. I wouldn't like to further add significantly to the roof loading.

Jim
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