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Considering getting Solar panels anyone got any thoughts on this?

(28 Posts)
CarolPrankster Sat 07-Dec-13 19:37:43

Well its DH who is actually considering it, I think that since we live in South Wales the chances of them working are slim hmm.

He has been given a quote for £5800 for 3kw panels to cover most of the roof that is south south east facing. It is a three bed semi with a two be extension so a fair amount of roof. The sales boy spotty teenager man suggested that, what with the saving in energy bills and feed in tariff, these would pay for themselves in 7-10 years and after that make us a small amount of money every year (about £300 ish) they are warranted for 25 years. Obviously if we got 4kw panels the cost is more but the payoff is quicker.

So am I wrong? Have you got panels and do they actually make you any money?

thanks in advance

specialsubject Sat 07-Dec-13 22:12:23

panels are more feasible the further west in the uk you are, south wales is quite good for solar energy.

That said, most of the EPCs I see say that panels cost a few k and save £20 (yes, twenty pounds!) a year.

ask to see the real calculations and do a LOT of research.

CarolPrankster Sat 07-Dec-13 23:37:14

I wonder why its better the further west you go?
Thanks for the reply, I will be doing a lot of research.

mrsminiverscharlady Sat 07-Dec-13 23:44:59

I am rather cynical about solar panels as I suspect that their current costs are being driven by the government subsidies in place. I reckon their price will drop considerably as time goes on and competition within the market increases.

I also think 7-10 years is a really long time to wait for them to pay for themselves. What if you sell the house in the meantime? Will they add value to your house (or even detract from it?) A 25 year guarantee is all very well in theory, but what happens if the company goes bust - is the guarantee underwriteen in any way?

I like the idea in principle but remain unconvinced in practice.

specialsubject Sun 08-Dec-13 10:27:59

yes, I would agree that the odds of any company being around in 25 years are miniscule.

The subsidies are dropping, but so are the panel prices - and you can buy your own kits for less than this. The salesman is not working for his health. :-)

CarolPrankster Sun 08-Dec-13 17:57:57

I think DH has another quote lined up. There are only two companies in this area but I don't really see why they can't travel hmm The companies only sell the panels, you have to get a contractor to fit them so extra cost.

I agree about selling the house too, this is not my forever home so will be moving in the future and I have no idea if solar panels add value.

DH will do anything if he thinks its a "bargain" it seems to completely blind him.

Mrsladybirdface Sun 08-Dec-13 18:34:40

I think ikea address selling solar panels niw at a very reasonable cost.

fresh Sun 08-Dec-13 19:36:42

We have them, bought them a couple of years ago when prices were around double what they are now, but the FIT grant was also much higher. Given what we've had back in FIT payments it will take around 7 years to pay back the original investment, but that doesn't take into account the free electricity we get (we're both at home in the day).

And it's not just about the money although that's important. We're cutting our carbon emissions which is important to me.

We're in the South West. PM me if you want to know who our installers were, I'd recommend them.

Liara Sun 08-Dec-13 20:43:02

We have solar panels, though are not grid connected.

Here are some things I would want to see if someone came to me with a proposal like that.

When estimating the amount of energy generated by the panels, are they using an actual programme which takes into consideration the exact angle and orientation that the panels will be at, as well as the location? If not, they are likely to be seriously overestimating the production.

Are feed-in prices contractually guaranteed for the life of the panels, or are they liable to be renegotiated in the future?

How much of a fall in production would it take for the warranty to kick in? Is any fall in production taken into consideration in the viability models?

I would also take a look at solar thermal panels. They are a lot less goldilocks than PV ones (i.e. they still produce a fair amount even when overcast/less than direct sunlight) and although you won't be able to sell what you produce to the grid the savings in heating and hot water cost may well mean that they amortise faster.

CarolPrankster Sun 08-Dec-13 21:33:29

Have just googled Ikea and at the moment it seems to be only in Lakeside - not much good to me in Cardiff but worth investigating as it says they are coming to 'a store near you' soon.

I agree fresh it isn't just about the money but it does have to be viable and preferably pay for itself in savings.

Liara thank for your indepth response, you have given us some good questions - DH says he did ask about fall in production and was told that the warranty will kick in if there is a 15% drop in production. As for the other questions - they have yet to be asked smile

Am I asking a stupid question, but are they portable if you do move house?

LegoCaltrops Sun 08-Dec-13 21:37:34

No idea about cost etc, as I rent. But my rented house has them. Be aware - if you have an internal TV aerial, it will probably need to be moved as we totally lost signal when the panels were installed.

EachAndEveryHighway Sun 08-Dec-13 22:19:18

Watching this thread with interest as I'm keen too. Live fairly eastish though confused so maybe not so lucrative or viable for me? That said, have a South facing roof smile

specialsubject Mon 09-Dec-13 16:15:23

another thing to ask is how the installers will do the job. If they start stamping about on your roof and don't fix the panels properly, you'll have roof damage too.

seen it done!

HaveToWearHeels Mon 09-Dec-13 16:28:05

I would never contemplate buying a house with solar panels, that is enough reason for me not having them fitted to my own home.

CarolPrankster Mon 09-Dec-13 16:47:11

Why not HaveTo?

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 09-Dec-13 16:51:33

We're very pleased with how ours have done since we got them 3 or 4 years ago, and we're in East Yorkshire. But that was with the higher tariff, and I work from home so I use the free electricity.

HaveToWearHeels Tue 10-Dec-13 13:46:18

They are ugly, might consider having them on my home if I could have them on the back.
They cost a fortune and would take years to pay for themselves.
There could be a massive downside in the long-term to affect the value, saleability and the remortgage potential of my property.
A lot of mortgage lenders now ask if the property has solar panels, which raises a red flag.
I wouldn't want to be tied in to a contract.

WithManyTots Tue 10-Dec-13 21:43:15

We have solar panels and because of them we have basically no electricity bills and can run the tumble dryer when ever we like.... As we are on an earlier (higher) tariff they pay for themselves in about 3 years... We also earn about £1800 a year from the Government.. I can't see a downside...

CarolPrankster Thu 12-Dec-13 12:36:05

I am talking to the next rep in January. I have taken note of your points and questions and the poor guy had better be prepared fgrin
Thanks again

Thinkingofmyfabfour Sat 14-Dec-13 12:51:44

withmanytots can you remember what your electric bills were before? Ours are high (£200/month) and so we are thinking of solar pv panels to bring this down.
What area of roof do you have covered?
We are in NE Scotland but we do get lots of sunshine here

kitsmummy Sat 14-Dec-13 14:35:44

My parents have them with the previous (higher) tariff. They make as much money as they were told they would and they have reduced elec bills, they do indeed make the initial costs back over 7 or 8 years.

My parents are there forever so it was a no brainer for them. We are also considering them but if you're moving house within the next 10 years or less then it's probably not worth it.

Ps if you have a slate roof they are barely noticeable.

kitsmummy Sat 14-Dec-13 14:37:49

If I was buying a house and they had the panels fitted that were on a tariff (eg not the free ones where you have slightly reduced bills but 25 year contract) then that would be a bonus for me!

specialsubject Sat 14-Dec-13 16:23:34

I fear the tariffs are not transferable between owners.

lljkk Sat 14-Dec-13 16:30:17

I am in eastern England. We've had ours about 2 yrs (older better tariff). We should get investment back in 8-10 yrs. Ours are over-performing (generate more electricity than the manuf. spec).

I think our net energy bill is -£45/month, which includes the cost of heating oil. We had to make up detailed spreadsheets to figure out if they would be cost effective.

kitsmummy Sun 15-Dec-13 13:40:08

Special-I think you're right in that you wouldn't get the great original tariff, you would just get whatever the current tariff was, but this would still be a bonus to me - free money and free electricity with no initial outlay and no long term contract

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