SolarPV installations gain in profitability

Published:  03 December, 2012

SolarPV, renewable energy, Feed in Tariff
Returns from solar PV installations are growing.

A 17.5% increase in the average savings and income for households that have installed solarPV panels is revealed in new data from the Energy Saving Trust. Data before 1 November 2012 showed average savings of £540 a year, a figure that has increased to £635. The Energy Saving Trust believes the main reason for the increase due to larger installations, despite a drop in the Feed-in Tariff.

Ian Cuthbert, renewables expert with the Energy Saving Trust, says, ‘The average size of solarPV installation has increased from 3 to 3.5 kW, which basically means households are generating more electricity and, therefore, more savings and Feed-in Tariff income. It is clear that UK households are looking to get the maximum yield for their roof to maximise the benefits of the solar installation.

The EST survey shows that of the third of people in the UK approached about an installation, only 4% went ahead.

Ian Cuthbert says, ‘We hope the latest figures will provide householders whose homes are appropriate for solar panels with the reassurance that they will make significant savings as a result of the installation. These savings could be even higher if householder take steps to reduce the amount they export to the grid by shifting some of their electrical demand to during the day when the solarPV system is generating.

‘It is also important for installers to offer the right measure in the right home, alongside the right advice, to ensure that trust continues to be built between them and householders who could benefit from solar installations.’

EST figures indicate that a 3.5 kW system would generate about 3 MWh a year, of which 75% would be exported and 25% used on site. The generation tariff is 15.44 p/kWh, and export tariff is 4.5 p/kWh — so using electricity on site is over three times more profitable.



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