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solar panels and neighbours

(32 Posts)
SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 12:12:33

AIBU Not to tell our neighbours they can all get free solar panels like us (£20,000). My husband says it would be nice to have something noone else has as we are not the joneses normally. But I think its a bit mean as our neighbours are lovely.

gorionine Tue 31-Aug-10 12:15:38

Have the neigbours asked anything about it? HOw are they free if they are £20'000)confused

RandomWomble Tue 31-Aug-10 12:15:45

I think you would be being unreasonable if they asked you about how much it cost as they were thinking about having some put in.

However if you dont want to share the information off your own back its completely up to you. but I bet you someone will come along and say you should as its better for the enviroment. Up to you really, I personally wouldnt care if I were your neighbour and you didnt volunteer the information that I could get them for free.

Heartsease Tue 31-Aug-10 12:22:21

You mean you might be chatting to your lovely neighbours, and inevitably the solar panels will crop up, and your husband wants to make out that you bought them, or at the very least skirt round the topic? I find that quite weird and would not agree to go along with it. If he wants something nobody else has he could buy a water feature with six dolphins and a unicorn cavorting round a topless maiden or somesuch.

RonansMummy Tue 31-Aug-10 12:28:22

you have no obligation to tell them, but i do think its a bit mean. Surely there are much better ways to assert individuality than solar panels!

RonansMummy Tue 31-Aug-10 12:29:12

can you tell us how to get free solar panels?

JaxTellersOldLady Tue 31-Aug-10 12:30:19

I would like to know how to get free solar panels. Tell me, doubt I am your neighbour.

pumperspumpkin Tue 31-Aug-10 12:31:13

I wouldn't go round the neighbours knocking on doors saying "why don't you get solar panels like us, they are free" because some people might just not want to and it's all a bit awkward. But if you are chatting to someone and the panels come up in conversation and they ask about them or say they are interested or ask about why you got them - I'd definitely say they were free and encourage other people to get some too if it's that easy.

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 12:47:04

ISIS, Homesun, A shade Greener and British Gas are all offering free solar panels to people with S facing roofs at the moment.

The deal is in return for your roof space for £25 years you get to use as much of the electricity generated for free. It's only likely to be of the order of £100 worth a year. The company gets all the government FITs payments and they maintain the panels. After £25 years they become yours.

Have you got yours yet SayItWithWine? If so who with? I am very tempted and have been provisionally accepted by bot ISIS (you need to be South of Oxford) and Homesun (I think their area is south generally too), so I'd be interested to hearof any experiences.

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 12:50:06

I haven't mentioned it to our neighbours as the scheme might well be more trouble than it's worth. I'll tell them if they ask for sure though.

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 12:58:06

I linked to the Money Saving website page on this about a week ago here in case anyone wants to read about it/apply. The forum has quite lengthy debate on the pros & cons. Lot's of people think you'd be better off installing them yourself if you can afford it.

Generally speaking I agree that solar PV is not really the way forward in terms of solving UK energy problems, but if it's going to happen then I might as well be a beneficiary rather than one who pays (the scheme will cost every household an estimated £8pa on their electricity bills).

SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 12:59:15

They are not up yet, we are waiting for the scaffolding etc so have not had any awkward questions shock. The surveryor is happy with our house. Yes it is through a shade greener. Our roof qualifies. We will have no outlay whatsoever and save on electricity through the year. The company will do all maintainance and insurance and I can run my tumble dryer guilt free. smile

Most of my neighbours also have south facing roofs so would also qualify, I'm thinking about shoving the little cards we were given through their letter boxes and not telling DH. Then we would have them first - but only for a couple of months!

SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 13:07:33

This is the link

LilQueenie Tue 31-Aug-10 13:08:17

YABVU and quite snooty with it. Its not about the latest gadget its about stopping the use of fossil fuels.

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 13:08:18

That's really exciting Sayitwithwine. Do keep us updated how you get on. I think it's a bit churlish to not tell the neighbours, but equally I wouldn't want to be held responsible if their roofs were damaged/ they couldn't sell their houses/ a much better scheme with more efficient panels or air or water heating came along that they couldn't take up because their roofs were already leased out.

The electricity is mostly generated between 11am and 3pm by the way, so that's when you need to run things (sunny days only of course).

My major reservation about the scheme is that is encourages people to run wasteful electricity gagets on sunny days like aircon, which really won't help anything. Like your tumble drier too - if you are running it middle of the day on sunny days why not hang the washing out?

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 13:15:58

"its about stopping the use of fossil fuels" exactly, but if everyone is squandering their free electricity running gagets they wouldn't have done otherwise, then it won't reduce anything. Plus you will still need exactly the same number of power stations to produce power for the peak demand (7pm ish on a winter evening when the solar panels will be completely dormant).

WineBeforePearls Tue 31-Aug-10 13:20:45

You are a bit weird. I would be telling everyone I knew!

SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 13:25:15

I do hang washing out - am going to do that now and stop putting off the housework! I was thinking of winter when its draped round the radiators and looking untidy. I'll get the panels done and then tell the neighbours if they are interested. Theyre pretty nosy usually (in a nice way)grin

Snobear4000 Tue 31-Aug-10 13:28:42

Yes it's always best to have some stuff the neighbours don't have. Except that normally it's inside the house so you are not really showing it off. Better to get the best car on the street, like a Lotus or a Bentley. Still, unless you have a driveway to park it in, there's no sign on it saying "Bentley lives at number 12".

Being the only house with solar panels on the roof? Now that's showing up the neighbours. Everyone will think you guys are awesome, they will be envious, and will shower you with admiration and respect.

Who are these Joneses? They must be a fabulous family.

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 13:42:40

It's OK sayitwithwine, I'm not trying to get at you re the tumble dryer, but imo the scheme should reward people for exporting electricity to the grid rather than using it themselves. That would be a greener way of doing things.

I've already had to sternly tell myself that if we do get the panels I will not get aircon for the conservatory, but the temptation is there and it wouldn't help the planet at all.

Bramshott Tue 31-Aug-10 14:13:03

If you can afford the outlay yourself (may not be as high as £20,000 depending on the size of the system - could easily be half that) then you are MUCH better off financing the panels yourselves and getting the FITs paid directly to you.

SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 14:48:16

Help Please
You lot have just made me look into an aspect I haven't considered.
We want to sell in a couple of years and solar panels are a great selling point! But, that side of the house is where some of our neighbours have built 2 storey extensions! Would not being able to extend put off a potential buyer? Would we have to drop the house price or never sell? Sh** why couldnt the house be the other way round? Our savings would only be £120 a year. I really did want to help the environment too, but does it mean we'll be stuck here forever? It a 3 bed detatched with one bathroom and a small kitchen.

(cant afford them ourselves, sadly)

Would anyone here consider buying a house with limited scope for extension? They look so cool and I would be smug smug smug about my carbon bootprint. I would tell the neighbours eventually if they asked, now I'm sad and confused

snorkie Tue 31-Aug-10 16:33:59

That is a potential drawback and exactly the sort of reason I'd be hesitant to recommend the scheme to neighbours before it's tried & trusted. I think the lease itself might put buyers off too but as it's a relatively new scheme it's hard to say. A local estate agent should be able to advise on the reduction in saleability if extension isn't a possibility (for 25 years at least), but you really have to guess whether that's more or less than any rise in saleability due to the panels themselves. I would think that most people don't worry much about extending 3 bed houses when they move, but if others have done so I could easily be wrong - an estate agent would know better.

LittleMissHissyFit Tue 31-Aug-10 18:20:43

SayIt, why don't you ask if the panels could be temporarily removed and re-sited if you were to extend....

Sorry, but IMVHO, your DH is a bit of a tit... the 'oooh get us, we've got solar panels (which we didn't even pay for) and you haven't...'

smacks of

'We are considerably greener than yow...' grin

SayItWithWine Tue 31-Aug-10 18:53:56

Youre right, my DH is a big tit grin
I have spoken to greener people and savings are around £20 a month - half my leccy bill, so not to be sniffed at especially in the future. Have also spoken to estate agent (ta) and he pointed out anyone could put a 1 storey extension on, to give extra shower room, huge kitchen diner and conservatory or playroom. If they lost the garage, an extra bedroom!. They could also build a flat roof entension as panels are on side elevation (note the techi language!!)
Have just cycled to post office and not used super efficient toyota aygo, so v green day today. Will tell all neighbours when the scaffolding goes up so they can make their own minds up and I dont look like Im touting for a commision (unless the company offer me one) Will def go ahead with panels now having discussed with uber sensible mums on MN and feel v [virtuous emoticon] with my green, cavity wall, insulated loft, double glazed windows and doors, 'saving the planet' house grin

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