With Gas and Electricity prices due to increase substantially over the coming months and years then we can help find ways to reduce or even eliminate your energy bills.
Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) electricity
Generate cheap, green electricity from sunlight.
Solar electricity systems capture the sun's energy using photo voltaic (PV) cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting. PV cells don't need direct sunlight to work or have them on a south facing roof - you can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day.
Costs for installing a Solar PV electricity system have come done quite a bit in recent years with an average system (2.7kWp) costing around £12,000 (including reduced VAT of only 5%); that’s in the region of £4,000 to £5,000 per kWp installed, but costs per kWp should reduce as the system size increases.
Savings can be considerable - around 1.2 tonnes of CO2 a year. A 2.7 kWp system can generate around 50% of a household's yearly electricity needs.
If the installation system is eligible, you can make money on excess electricity by selling it back to the National Grid through a scheme called Feed in Tariffs (FiTs). More information can be found on FiTs by following this link.
Tariff levels, for technologies installed between 15th July 2009 and 31st March 2012 are of most significance to householders
|Technology||Scale||Tariff level (p/kWh)*||Tariff lifetime (years)|
|Solar electricity (PV)||≤4 kW (retro fit)||43.3p||25|
|Solar electricity (PV)||≤4 kW (new build)||37.8p||25|
Example; a typical domestic solar electricity system, with an installation size of 2.7 kWp could earn around:
- £990 per year from the Generation Tariff
- £40 per year from the Export Tariff
- £140 per year reduction in current electricity bills.
This gives a total saving of around £1,170 per year.
Note: This assumes 50% of the electricity generated is exported. The figure will vary depending on how much is exported.
(Source: Energy Saving Trust – Feed in Tariff Scheme)
Systems that connect to the grid require very little maintenance. You just need to ensure that the panels are kept relatively clean and that shade from trees isn't a problem. The wiring and components of the system should be checked regularly by a qualified technician. Stand-alone systems (not connected to the grid) need maintenance on other parts of the system, like batteries.
Solar Thermal (Hot Water) Heating
Solar hot water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
For domestic hot water you will need:
- solar panels
- a heat transfer system
- a hot water cylinder
Solar panels - or collectors - are fitted to your roof and collect heat from the sun's radiation. When water is passed through the solar tubes or plates, it heats up and is then pumped into your hot water cylinder or boiler. The heat transfer system uses the collected heat to heat water. A hot water cylinder stores the hot water that is heated during the day so you can use it later.
There are two types of solar water heating panels; evacuated tubes and flat plate collectors. Flat plate collectors can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.
Costs for a typical solar water heating system is around £4,800 (including reduced VAT at 5%).
Savings are moderate; it should save up to 570kg of CO2 emissions, depending on what fuel you will be replacing. A solar water heating system can reduce your water heating bill by between £50 and £85 per year.
|Fuel Displaced||£ Saving per year||CO2 saving per year|
|Solid Fuel||£60||520 kg|
Maintenance costs are very low. Most solar water heating systems come with a 5-10 year warranty and require little maintenance. Panels should be checked every year and thoroughly checked by an accredited installer every 3-5 years (or as specified by your installer).