Solar panels have come down in price - come talk to me about yours and have they really?

(22 Posts)

We looked at the rent a roof schemes and poo pood the idea when the tarrif thingy changed, now a year has passed and i have 5k sat in a pot and a company has rang like they do sayign they have systems from 3k yadder yadder and i have agreed they can come out next week and survey my southfacing roof and tell me how much a system would cost etc.... to buy outright not to rent. So tel me this i have just looked at my May to August elec consumption and in this 99 days we have used 1319kwh (whatever that means) - so how many kw system would we be best suited at abring in mind i will change my ways and not have everything on at the same time in summery times. Anyone had god awful experience with these govt backed companies blah blah. I am a bt suspicious about it all to be honest but dh is a bit exciteable whenever we mention possibilities. Os should i just pay the 5k of my mortgage or go to florida for a holiday ? grin

Watching with interest as I am considering similar.

captainmummy Mon 10-Sep-12 18:52:43

me too

The woman on the phone irittatedme immensley trying to be my mate so when she asked how many dc i had i said 10 just to shut her up. i actually have 2 - she didnt beleive me anyway so i said no i have 7, i think i have to much time on my hands these days lol but seriously i am interested so come tell me your tales and companies etc....

Milliways Mon 10-Sep-12 19:11:54

We got ours in February so on the 40p (ish) tariff and DH reckons they will pay for themselves within 5 years.

Beware, you will find yourself waiting for the sun to shine before switching anything on! grin

captainmummy Tue 11-Sep-12 13:31:02

Actually i know someone who installs PV solar cells - so I could probably get them cost.

But I don't really want them - I know they are eco, but I think they are ugly, and, to be honest, the technology will probably be obsolete in 5 years time. By that time PV cells will be installed in your roof-tiles or in the window glass or something, and we might be left with ugly dinosaur PV cells that will (Probably) cost loads to remove.

Still, would be interesting to get another perspective.

sooo the feed in tarrif is down to 16p, the guy is coming out tomorow night yikes. Those of you who went ahead what company did you use and howmany kw system did you go with ?

Milliways Tue 11-Sep-12 20:25:38

You can't see ours from the road, or either our front or back garden (only way I agreed to them - but we are fortunate with house position.)

4kw, British Eco

yes ours would be on the back so not visible but i wont be able to see them either because our gardens not that big . if we use 1319 kwh in 3 months i need to nkow how many panels we would need . how many panels does a 4kw system have then?

Jins Tue 11-Sep-12 20:50:17

We got a 2.4 kw array on the 43p tariff in December. We've made a bit under 1800 kw in 9 months or about £800.

They'll give you an estimate over 25 years. Check the payback time and bear in mind you'll need to replace your inverter every 10 years when checking the figures

We've got a 2kW system (8 Sharp panels) on the highest tariff as we installed in April 2011.
We have generated 2300kWh so far (in NW England) and as we are low users, our FiT more than pays for our gas and electricity bills.
Our panels can't be seen from the street or the garden (except on tiptoe right at the end).
My advice would be to get several companies to quote (you can get numbers from the Energy Saving Trust), then play them off against each other to get a good deal. I hadn't intended to do this, but every time I let a company know I had chosen another as I had a better deal, they kept lowering the price, I saved £800 doing that.
Solar water heating is also worth a look, the panels are much cheaper, and if you use a reasonable amount of hot water it can save you a lot of your gas bill.

Jins Wed 12-Sep-12 09:04:36

On the lower tariff you won't make the sort of money that we on the high tariff make. We've definitely covered the last two quarters energy bills in FiT payments but payments will be much lower now.

Having panels does make a difference to how you use electricity. I don't run my dishwasher until we're generating, same with the washing machine etc but we still use more electricity than we generate. The best day we've achived was 16.5kw but more often than not we're down at 4kw. If you aren't around in the day then you won't use the electricity so you need timers.

Our 2.4kw is 10 panels. Not sure of the make of the panels but we've got a sunnyboy inverter

albertswearengen Wed 12-Sep-12 09:18:03

I've looked into this as there was a company round our way doing them cheap. I found out that not all solar panels are the same-some are much more effcient and will give you better output. It is unlikely the really cheap quotes are giving you decent panels.
Because the guarantee is usually 20-25 years you need to be sure the company is going to be round that long and a lot of these fly by night johnnies won't last a couple of years.

This was one of the things I read

www.solartown.com/blog/2010/02/all-solar-panels-are-not-the-same/

Depends too on your lifestyle- if you are Ok with doing all your electrical stuff during the day OK but it wouldn't suit some folk. Plus I was told by the advisor chap who came to ours that running several electrical items simltaneously ( ie washing machine plus kettle) might not all be covered by the free lecky all the time- you get a monitor thingy to see what is being produced at that time so you can juggle things. <technical terms here>

All in all I decided not to use it but others might. I like the idea of it but they do look SO bloody ugly !!

Jins Wed 12-Sep-12 09:42:28

We're currently generating about 400watts but my monitor tells me that we're using over 1kw (washing machine is on) so I still have to pay for the difference. Later today we should get up to 2kw so I'm going to run the dryer. You can't store the electricity you generate unfortunately sad

Viperidae Wed 12-Sep-12 09:43:00

I think they are incredibly ugly so refuse to have them on the house and, to make a big difference, they would have to go across the front of it. DH is a geek and really wanted some so our compromise is that we have them on one side of the garage.

Apparently it does make a difference to the electricity bill but not so much that I'd care. Agree that they will be out of date soon as solar roof tiles are already available just expensive as yet.

captainmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:38:35

Viper - solar roof tiles are available? I know that was the thinking but didn't know that they are around.

I read an article recently about a bikini made of solarcells (vvv thin) which could charge up your ipod as you sunbathed! They also made a prototype mens version but the trunks didn;t generate enough.....

I had to cancel our appt, i did last number redial and the number was with held (they rang last night to confirm) fortunatley the man rang tonight to confirm again and as i am now dying of tonsilitus i have told him i will re contact them. Thwy appear to have no contact or website or anything so now im kinda glad . i last number redialled after he rang the 2nd time so i could record the number but again it was with held - hmm.

Contact the Energy Saving Trust, they are not for profit and will give you impartial info on what energy saving and generation solutions will suit your situation, they also have a database of FiT registered companies. I can't link from the iPod but google them.

albertswearengen Mon 17-Sep-12 12:14:05

That sounds similar to a lot we had round our way. Made an appointment with me and then my DH turned up unexpectedly and started chatting to him about it as he is very keen. He arranged a meeting when I was at home but he was at a work. 10 Minutes later got a call from the guy saying they could only do it when we were both there and no it couldn't be after 4pm. Obviously they realised that DH was the one into it and they were only prepared to come and give us the hard sell where I would have to sign up there and then and that I was unlikely to do it if DH was there and it was unlikely DH was going to do it either as he was so clued up. They had no website, weren't registered anywhere and it was in all probability a scam. Scary stuff.

lljkk Sun 30-Sep-12 09:12:48

she asked how many dc i had i said 10 just to shut her up. i actually have 2 - she didnt beleive me anyway so i said no i have 7

pmsl, I am glad that you realise that they are mostly cowboys. One of them passed our details to other energy companies & we got Sales phone calls for ages & ages from many different companies (we ARE registered with TPS).

If you phone around you may be able to find a company with morals; before they come visit tell them they have an hour to assess & give you their details, you're buying nothing on the spot.

Same applies to facia board & DG windows types!

mumteacher Sun 30-Sep-12 20:41:53

We recently had our solar panels fitted by a company called energymyway.co.uk (Middlesex) Having had messy builders in previously I thought these guys would leave a mess, want cups of tea - generally annoying! But they were polite and very professional. I was really impressed how they explained everything too ( I'm not techy).

We paid £6600 for a 4kw system and looking to make our money back in around 8years.

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