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Solar panels installed this week!

(25 Posts)
IrianofWay Fri 22-May-15 11:53:19

I am harvesting my own share of daylight! I spend far too much time watching the numbers on the smart meter go up! grin

MovingStress Fri 22-May-15 16:12:16

Ooh, exciting! We are getting a nrebuild with solar panels, I am hoping there is an interesting info display panel thing showing us the charging / usage etc! Are you generating enough to sell back to the grid?

CointreauVersial Sat 23-May-15 22:18:53

Fun, isn't it? We've had ours for three and a half years now, and have just passed the point where we've made back 50% of the purchase price.

We have a little Bluetooth thingummy which gives us all the stats.

IrianofWay Sun 24-May-15 22:10:23

We will be getting the FIT when we have completed the form. I don't think it matters how much you generate, you still get 50% of it back. And obviously saving money. We are also moving suppliers so it's all up in the air atm!

CointreauVersial Mon 25-May-15 16:35:24

You will need to get into the habit of using your electricity when the sun shines. Run the washing machine, immersion heaters etc. As you say, they assume you'll return 50% to the grid, so any you use up is "free".

IrianofWay Tue 26-May-15 11:17:19

Yes I know cointreau. Most of us are out most of the day so I am going to invest in a timer for the washing machine I think.

elizabethsmum Tue 26-May-15 22:26:11

we have had ours for a couple of years and save £40 on energy bills plus made approx £450 last yr in FIT payments. also free hot water due to diverter to hot water tank. we set dishwasher off in the morning before work and washing machine on timer to come on a couple of hrs later.

elizabethsmum Tue 26-May-15 22:26:49

* save £ 40 p month on bills

notapizzaeater Tue 26-May-15 22:28:42

We had ours installed last October and had a immmersun fitted - we e never put the hot water on since, it's always managed to generate enough to to heat it up.

headlesslambrini Tue 26-May-15 22:32:08

Do you mind if i ask how much it cost to get it installed? I would love to have solar panels if I could afford it.

PigeonPie Tue 26-May-15 22:33:34

notapizzaeater, that's really interesting about the hot water. We had our panels installed a month ago together with the solar iBoost for the hot water and I've been trying to get my head around how's best to do it and get the most out of the 'free' energy.

notapizzaeater Tue 26-May-15 23:19:46

Ours was about 10k when everything was finished but I know you can get them cheaper.

I do as much as I can during daylight hours now, ironing, cooking (slow cooker most of the time) dishwasher, I load it the night before and run it as I go to work, washer goes on as soon as I walk I walk In at lunchtime. I've swopped all bulbs In the house for led versions. Bought from so cheaper to run. I combined with the solar it's saved me about £50 a month in electric and saved me a fortune on gas (not had a bill recently to compare)

I love looking at the stats and usage. Someone is bringing out huge batteries later this year for you to charge during the day and use at night, as soon as this comes out I will be investigating.

elizabethsmum Wed 27-May-15 08:02:57

sorry yes it is a solar-iboost that we have for hot water- diverts any solar energy not used to hot water tank. dh (who has some plumbing skills) has a better grip on it than me- i wanted to turn the immersion off totally and only turn on when necessary but he reckons that it is cheaper to keep immersion on and it will only 'kick in' when all i- boost water has been used up?? i-boost display tells us what we have saved each day- which in last 7 days is 0.7kw - does that sound right to you pizza ? We are family of five and have showers once a day!

IrianofWay Wed 27-May-15 13:08:15

headless - ours cost 7665. For just under 4kw with super-dooper (apparently) panels that are meant to be extremely efficient. We were told we would get abput 550 FIT a year, save approx 40 a month on electricity. We can increase savings if we install a smart switch for the hot water tank but ...ahem... embarrassingly we couldn't find it grin We have now so we will be asking them back to retrofit one when we have got some more spare money.

CointreauVersial Wed 27-May-15 13:32:11

I'm really tempted to have an iBoost installed - we just use our gas boiler to heat water so don't really use as much "free" electricity during the day as we should.

Interesting to see what you saved, elizabethsmum - we are also a family of five. I need to do my sums and work out how long it would take to pay us back. Alas, I don't have a handy DH, so would have to pay for installation. Also, our immersion isn't currently cabled in properly.

Ours is a 4kW system, on a near-perfect south-facing roof. It cost £11.5k, but that was in November 2011, just days before the tariffs dropped from the original high level (but when panel prices were higher too).

But in 3.5 years we have been paid nearly £6k in FIT - 50% paid off already!

PigletJohn Wed 27-May-15 13:39:17

If you have a gas boiler (energy from gas is about a third the cost of energy from electricity) the savings from an iBoost are very small.

For example in summer, heating hw by gas, I use about half a cubic metre of gas per day (about 5.5kWh @ 3p) costing about 16pence (plus the standing charge of 25p/day)

I have an iBoost, it cost about £200 so was not an economically viable buy. Immersun is similar.

For people without gas, the cost of an immersion heater might be about 45p-50p per day, so about 400 sunny days would cover the purchase cost

IrianofWay Wed 27-May-15 14:25:01

Interesting pigletjohn. Thanks for the information. That does surprise me - we use an awful lot of gas - about £100 of our £177 duel fuel every month.

PigletJohn Wed 27-May-15 14:31:28

Averaged over the year, but surely not in Summer.

Heating the house in winter is sure to use most of your gas.

It can be interesting (especially if you are looking at Solar) to take your meter readings at least once a month, and sometimes daily, to identify your usage patterns.

hedgehogsdontbite Wed 27-May-15 14:36:18

I keep trying to talk DH into doing this as our energy bills are astronomical. Our roof is south facing so in full sun for most of the day. Unfortunately he's too well informed and hates them because of their environmental impact.

IrianofWay Wed 27-May-15 14:52:44

"Unfortunately he's too well informed and hates them because of their environmental impact."??

because of the look of them?

Yes I guess it is mostly in the winter averaged out over the year.

notapizzaeater Wed 27-May-15 14:56:39

Ours had to go on the front and I requested black framed ones so they don't look "too" out of place.

PigletJohn Wed 27-May-15 15:21:10



hedgehogsdontbite Wed 27-May-15 16:40:22

because of the look of them?

No. Because he's a scientist whose specialism is industrial recycling. He's been working for years on trying to develop a process for dealing with old panels. There is currently no safe way of disposing of them because of the toxic chemicals they contain. There are mountains of them all over Europe waiting for someone to come up with a way of processing them and making them safe. He also tells me that parts of the production process are seriously noxious, because of the chemicals used, and are quite dangerous for workers.

hedgehogsdontbite Wed 27-May-15 16:42:54

Piglet That picture is a vile lie. That is not a hedgehog, it's a ferret in a spikey costume.

PigeonPie Wed 27-May-15 21:06:07

Hedgehogs, I can see your DH's point, but I'm hoping that by the time ours need replacing in 25 years' time, that progress will have been made on decommissioning; because, let's face it, the companies are going to have to do it to make progress.

I was also rather against them for years because of the amount of energy they take to make, but I figure that they are going to generate more energy than that now.

We're pleased with ours. They cost about £7k for 13 panels (couldn't fit the 14th on the roof - boo!), so it's a little under the 4kw system; it included the iBoost and should have included a wireless system to control the heating but our current system isn't compatible with that.

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