Photo-voltaics – are they worth buying?
- August 2009
These are panels which can be fitted over the tiles on a roof and they convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity. In May 2008, with the aid of a Government Grant, we installed 24 of these on our south-facing roof.
The panels have generated 2905kWh (units) of electricity over the first 12 months which is close to our average yearly consumption. First call on this is for the appliances we use in the home. Any excess is exported to our supplier (Southern Electric) who pay us 28p per unit. At night and on cloudy days, we import electricity from them at between 12p and 15p per unit. This works out well because we generate most of the power in the summer when our usage is at its lowest so we export a lot. The net result is that we have no yearly electricity bills – quite the reverse because Southern Electric have paid us over £100 for this last year. With this credit and no bills, the return on our capital investment works out at 3.3% for our first year which is better than if we had left the money in a building society or in stocks and shares. However, last summer was a poor one. Using this year’s figures for May, June and July instead, the return works out at 4.2%.
From next April, the Government is proposing to introduce a ‘feed in tariff’ of at least 41.5p per unit for householders who generate their own electricity from PV’s. This would give us a rate of return of over 7 %. In the longer term, electricity prices are almost certain to increase which would make investing in photo-voltaics even more financially attractive. If you do invest, you also have the additional satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit to combat climate change.
If you want to know more ‘phone me on 20882.
8 Haycroft Way