SAVE NOT SELL: a new age for domestic solar dawns.
On February 8th, the UK government cut the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rate by approximately 65% for all future owners of solar PV systems.
This means that if you installed solar PV panels on your property tomorrow (an average, 3.5kW system generating 1800kW per year, for example), you would receive 4.39p/kWh1 back in FiT payments, which doesn’t seem much in return for your initial investment.
But think of it another way: how much could you save on your annual energy bills by generating and using your own renewable energy, rather than selling imported energy back to the national grid?
A new age is beginning for the domestic solar industry; one which asks the homeowner to SAVE and not sell the energy generated by their solar PV system.
This SAVED renewable energy can then be ‘self-consumed’ to power the property where it was generated, reducing the homeowner’s need to buy power from the national grid. In turn this SAVES money on energy bills and SAVES the environment from further environmental damage.
The key to saving is control.
Saving not selling, or exporting, this micro-generated energy requires the homeowner to have greater control over how they use this power within their property, which has been made possible thanks to recent advancements in eco technology.
One such solar smart device is the immerSUN, an automatic power controller which directs any excess solar generated electricity to a property’s storage heater, underfloor heating system or immersion heater rather than it being exported back to the grid. This enables you to use your own energy and make substantial savings on your energy bill.
Whether you’re already using solar panels, or you’re looking to install this year, you should consider your energy habits carefully: aim to save surplus energy, rather than exporting it, and practice ‘self-consumption’.
The numbers: for both existing and prospective solar PV owners, saving adds up.
With the cost of solar panels reportedly dropping by 10% each year, the price of generating your own energy is only set to become cheaper.2 In terms of installation cost, there’s never been a better time to install solar panels and this method of renewable energy generation will only become more accessible to UK homeowners.
If you’re one of the 400,000 homeowners who already have solar panels installed on your property, you’re helping to reach the target of a world that is 20% powered by solar energy in 2027. You will continue to receive the FiT rate that you have received from the start, but you could be saving more money than you’re earning on your FiT export payments.
Here’s how ‘self-consumption’ adds up:
Let’s say that on July 1st 2015, House A and House B both generated 16.4 kWh of electricity using their 4kW solar PV systems.
However, House B also had an immerSUN device installed, enabling it to ‘self-consume’ 14kWh, or 85% of the renewable energy generated by its solar PV system.
Over a year, this would add up to the substantial saving of £475.
This is illustrated below:
Infographic comparing House A: no solar or immerSUN, with House B: solar + immerSUN
If you’re already using solar PV panels on your property - thank you! You’re one of the 400,000 UK homes who have taken a measure to reduce demand on the Grid and the impact of generating non-renewable, or ‘dirty’, on the environment.
But you could be doing even more to help your pocket and the environment: instead of exporting generated energy back to the National Grid to receive payment, why not use it at your property and reduce your energy bill?
Cut out the middle man: use the energy generated at YOUR home, to power YOUR home
In addition to the savings on energy bills and the protection of the environment, there’s an additional reason to generate and consume energy at home: an uncertain grid infrastructure.
Experts are suggesting that the national grids that were built to carry consistent levels of generations will increasingly struggle with the variability of renewable energy, such as solar and wind.
While the grids are adapting, this adjustment is costly and the risk of blackouts is not unheard of.
By generating AND using renewable energy at your home, you reduce the strain on the national grid and ensure self-sufficiency.
3. Calculations made using data recorded from July 1st 2015: July 2015 rate http://www.nottenergy.com/energy_cost_comparison/energy_comparison_data/july_2015/