Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Springtime for Solar?

It's been a VERY long winter. 

Looking out of the window this week I've finally seen signs of spring appearing, which must be good for all of us with PV panels on our roofs.

What's even better is the electricity and gas meters are not whirling around at frightening speeds building up ever larger energy bills.

As the graph above shows, my annual electricity usage is very similar to the energy generated by the panels on my roof. However, the problem lies in the way it's generated.

1: I don't use a lot of electricity in the summer, yet most of my output is between May and September.

2: My winter usage of electricity is normally in the evening, when lights, tv and various appliances are in use. Whilst I try to alter my lifestyle habits to optimise the use of "free" electricity, I can't get up and go to bed based on daylight available!

3: Many domestic appliances run 24 hours a day. Fridges, freezers, wi-fi routers, etc are all buzzing away in the background despite the fact we're not "actively" using them. Isn't it about time that manufacturers recognised the ever increasing solar household and built in timing/activating devices?
Your fridge or freezer will remain cold if you don't open the door for hours and hours without the benefit of electricity, your access to the internet could be available only when you use the search function. Why doesn't the router "wake-up" when needed, rather than be 100% available?

Anyone who hasn't taken the plunge and invested in solar power for their roof-top, needs to think VERY carefully about the future cost of energy.

Feed in tariff rates (assuming an average inflation rate of 3%) will rise from 43.3p per kWh in 2011 to 95p at the end of my 25 year contract, that's an 120% increase.
If the average energy bill is currently £1,300, then applying the same logic (who thinks that energy costs will rise at the same or lower rate of inflation?)
Then in 25 years time most families will be paying £2,860 per annum.


It may be a large part of your savings or household budget, but you'll be very glad you made the choice to add PV panels on your roof.

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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