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Solar panels have never been so attractive

Posted by Chris Rudge on 10 August 2009 at 10:50 am

With the feed-in tariff due to start in April 2010 (after a short consultation period to October) the benefits of installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on our houses before the end of the 2009 are probably better than we will ever have again.

Simply put, if you have a PV installation before the grant pot runs out, you will benefit from the Low Carbon grant of £2,000 to £2,500 now, then reap the benefits of next year's feed-in rates.

Having a PV system under 4kWp installed on an existing dwelling will attract a feed-in payback of 36p a kWh of electricity you generate. Whether you use your PV power or export it to the national grid as surplus, you will still get paid 36p for each unit.

The Feed In Tariff is only the Government subsidy. Your electricity company will probably top that up by 5p to 41p a unit (rates vary depending on whether they just pay for the electricity you export, or all the units that you generate).

To give a basic example of a standard 2.14kWp PV installation, your annual 'earnings' will be: 1800 units X 41p = £738 every year. Your hidden benefits will be a third or more of your electricity use will be free.

Photo by Coolstock

About the Author: Chris Rudge is a qualified electrician who specialises in renewable energy.

About the author: Chris Rudge is a qualified electrician who specialises in renewable energy.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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3 comments - read them below or add one


scott nangle energyComment left on: 23 August 2009 at 10:41 pm

2.1kw complete ready to install system


pv modules , inverter , roof mounting system

and all installation equipment

mcs and low carbon buildings for £2000/2500 grants


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Chris Rudge

Chris Rudge from Rudge EnergyComment left on: 16 August 2009 at 3:20 pm

Hi Paul

For a standard installation, using 'on roof' mounting without any awkward roof design, somewhere in the region of £11,000 for an installed and commisioned 2.16kWp system.

Assuming the roof is south facing and unshaded, a monocrystalline array will realistically generate over 2000 kWh per year,

The proposed PV

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paulmukComment left on: 15 August 2009 at 11:27 am

Hi Chris, 

How much would a typical 2.14kWp installation cost? It would be good to know the number of years it would take to pay back based on these new feed in tariffs.



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