Solar PV

Why choose solar?

Every day the sun pours more free energy onto the earth than we could ever use. Even cloudy days allow sufficient energy for us to collect and utilize to help heat our water and produce electricity to use in our homes. What's more, we can now be rewarded for doing this, since the introduction last April of payments for each unit of electric energy collected (Feed in Tariff), and from June next year on energy from other renewable sources (Renewable Heat Incentive).

Click on the following links to find out more about Solar PV or Solar Thermal and the benefits to your home.

Feed-in Tariff (Clean Energy Cashback) scheme for PhotoVoltaics

Introduced in April 2010 the FIT is available if your system is installed by an MCS registered contractor and will benefit you in 3 ways:

  • Generation tariff - a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. This rate will change each year for new entrants to the scheme but once you join you will continue on the same tariff for 25 years in the case of solar electricity (PV).
FIT Tariff for Solar PV
Tariff level for new installations in period (p/kWh in pence per unit)
Scale 2011 2012
<4kW (new build) 36.1 33.0
<4kW (retrofit) 41.3 37.8
>4 - 10kW 36.1 33.0
>10 - 100kW 31.4 28.7
>100 - 5MW 29.3 26.8
Off grid system 29.3 26.8
2011: 1/4/11 - 31/3/12
2012: 1/4/12 - 31/3/13
Tariff Lifetime: 25 years
  • Export tariff - you will receive a further 3p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, that is when it isn't used on site.
  • Energy bill savings - you will make savings on your electricity bills , because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don't have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.

More information is available from:
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy/Sell-your-own-energy/Feed-in-Tariff-scheme

Renewable Heat Incentive

The UK Government has now announced the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) from 2011/12 as part of their Comprehensive Spending Review.

The scheme is expected to be launched in June 2011. Further details along with tariff levels will be confirmed towards the end of 2010. It is anticipated that installations will have to be installed by MCS registered contractors to be eligible.

What is it?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is designed to provide financial support that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to switch from using fossil fuel for heating, to renewables such as wood fuel.

How the scheme works

If you replace your existing fossil fuel heating system (e.g. gas, oil or coal) with a renewable technology (e.g. wood fuel) you could get paid a set amount each year as an incentive for you to reduce your CO2 emissions and help prevent climate change.

The Government are not proposing to measure the heat generated from installations. Instead, an estimated figure will be used to work out payments.

The estimated figure represents the amount of heat energy needed to warm the home and/or hot water and will vary by house age and size, as well as by technology.

It has been proposed that payments would be made annually to householders.

Eligible technologies

  • Air, water and ground-source heat pumps
  • Solar thermal
  • Biomass Boilers
  • Renewable combined heat and power
  • Use of biogas and bioliquids
  • Injection of biomethane into the natural gas grid.

Click here for more Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) FAQs (PDF, 127K)

FAQs

Can anyone install PV panels?

To be eligible to receive the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) outlined above, not only must the PV system be installed by an accredited MCS installer (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) but the equipment itself must also be MCS approved.

Will I be eligible to receive the tariff if I move into a home that already has a solar PV system?

FIT eligibility remains with the house, even if the ownership of the home or the Solar PV panels changes. Therefore the technology must have been eligible before you move in, even if it is not registered yet.

What happens if I move out of a home with Solar PV panels?

You will no longer be able to receive the FIT of that property.

I rent my property. If my landlord installs an electricity generating technology, who would receive the FITs?

It will be up to landlords and tenants of domestic or commercial property to come to an arrangement about the receipt of payments and on-site electricity use benefits.

Will I need a special meter to be able to claim FITs?

Yes, it is supplied as part of the PV System. FITs payments are based on the meter readings. These meters measure generation of electricity for your usage and what you sell back to the grid.