Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Free Solar Panel Installation.

We live in a semi-detached house. Our neighbours inevitably share the same compass orientation, roof slope and like us don't have any shading at any time of the day on the roof.

Unlike us, they've decided to go for the rent a roof option and will be enjoying free electricity from their roof, whilst the installers will be benefiting from the current FiT option.

The company involved ASHADEGREENER claims to be the UK's leading installer of free panels with 14,850 installations,which have generated  41,140,900 kWhs on the day I looked on their website.

They are obviously more commercially minded than the average householder who perhaps takes into account the aesthetic look of their property rather than maximising the earnings potential. The same roof space as mine will house 17  rather than my 14 panels, which will potentially generate  2,933 kWh's each year. I had never heard of the "Aurora" inverter being fitted, but because of the remote monitoring and meter reading system it offers a perfect solution for a company with multiple installations.

My 190W panels will be 2 years old in April 2013. I lust after 245/250W panels which are now available for new installations. I was VERY surprised that the 210W panels they're installing are not the high output, super efficiency items that I'd anticipated. The installers have signed an agreement to buy 47MW of solar panels from JA solar, a Chinese company whose products are not widely used in the UK.
Nevertheless, 17 panels rated at 210W will dwarf the 2.66kWH system on my roof coming in at a healthy 3.57kWh. 

Even with the much reduced FiT rate of 15.44p which started on the 1st November 2012 the company will enjoy a healthy return on their investment for the next 20 years. Obviously, I have no idea of the cost to the company of this installation, but a Google search shows plenty of companies offering to install a 4kWh system for £5,000. It would be reasonable to assume that ASHADEGREENER costs would be under £4,000 for a similar array.

2933 kWh @ FiT rate 15.44p            = £452.85
50% export tariff. 1466kWh @ 2.25p = £70.00

Total revenue P.A. = £522.85

Probable cost of installation. £4,000

Indexed linked return on their investment 1st year = 13.07%

All of the cynics who were predicting the demise of solar power generation need to review their opinions. If commercial companies are still offering householders the option to rent their roofs out for "free" electricity, whilst generating a healthy ROI then the economics are still acceptable.
Even if, like me you decide to make the investment in buying a system for £5,000, a return of 10.5% looks a lot better than the miserly 2.5% on offer from high street banks and building societies.

I'd be interested in your views.

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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