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Solar panel advice

(27 Posts)
LizzieDrip Sun 24-Oct-21 12:26:26

I’m considering having solar panels fitted. It’s a big financial outlay for me. I wonder if GCs have any advice? Are solar panels worth it? Do you save much on electricity bills? Is the fitting disruptive? Any problems with solar panels? Thanks in advance.

Auntieflo Sun 24-Oct-21 12:51:35

LizzieDrip, I am sure that there will be others along to answer your questions.
We have had Solar Panels, since 2012, and they have paid for themselves in FIT payments to us. The quarterly payment received, covers our Gas, Electricity and Water costs.
This may not be so now that fuel prices have increased
BUT, when they were installed, we got a good FIT payment guaranteed.
The prices of Solar Panels have come down, but FIT returns are not so good.
The fitting was not disruptive, and we have had no problems.

LizzieDrip Sun 24-Oct-21 13:02:49

Apologies - I mean GNs not GCs!

Many thanks Auntieflo. That’s really useful.

PollyTickle Sun 24-Oct-21 13:17:27

LizzieDrip, when we had 14 photovoltaic panels fitted to our previous house roof in 2009 it cost us about £11k but the incentive payment was 43p per kwh for twenty years and our electric and gas bills were well covered. It added considerable value to the house sale price and the current owner still benefits. We had an air source heat pump too. Well worth it.
This time around however, renovating this house in 2017 we researched it and found that the return just wasn't worth the outlay. The payments are negligible. The air source heat pump incentive is good enough though so we've gone for that.
It's possible that there will be good incentives in the near future as this government are anxious to prove their green credentials.
Maybe wait and see for a while.
Solar panels, just for water heating are still a good investment.
Good luck

Calendargirl Sun 24-Oct-21 13:20:03

We had ours fitted in 2015. Haven’t recouped the cost yet, but were earning nothing in the bank with that money. Good to get the FIT payments quarterly.

Have been really pleased we had it done, don’t really notice a reduction in electricity bills, but didn’t expect to.

The fitting was done efficiently with no hassle, and the utility company have always been efficient with the FIT payments.

PollyTickle Sun 24-Oct-21 13:22:20

Sorry didn't answer all of your question. Not disruptive to install and the people who bought our last house have not had any problems with the system in 12 years and it's right on the coast.
I seem to remember some on GN previously reporting problems with nesting birds but overcoming it by having wire protection fitted.

Deedaa Sun 24-Oct-21 13:28:17

We've had our panels for about 5 years now. The electricity bill did seem to go down a bit afterwards and the FIT payments cover most of the electricity bill.

Auntieflo Sun 24-Oct-21 16:06:14

Looking at PollyTickle's post, I should perhaps have mentioned that we did have nesting pigeons under the solar panels. We had only noticed this in the last year, so have had mesh fitted, and the pigeons evicted.

Nonogran Sun 24-Oct-21 16:20:34

I have heard on the grapevine that when you come to sell, mortgage providers are reluctant to lend where solar panels are installed.
Providers are actually very tough on practically everything it seems, these days.? Worth doing a bit of research, just in case you or your inheritors need to sell.

Katie59 Sun 24-Oct-21 16:51:10

As there is currently no FIT available any benefit depended on using free electricity plus any KWs you sell to the grid. If you can use the solar power generated ( when the sun shines) it can be very good, if you don’t use much daytime power it may not be.

MayBeMaw Sun 24-Oct-21 16:59:06

Auntieflo

Looking at PollyTickle's post, I should perhaps have mentioned that we did have nesting pigeons under the solar panels. We had only noticed this in the last year, so have had mesh fitted, and the pigeons evicted.

Me too Auntieflo ! After a recommendation from GN.
Our solar panels went up about 10 years ago and the Feed In Tariff fixed then was and is extremely generous. They had paid for themselves a good 5 years ago and I get quarterly tax free payments ranging from as little as £300 in the depths of winter (snow is the worst as it cuts out all light) to £7-800 in a summer quarter so I suppose it totals about £2000 a year which covers all my energy bills.
I agree with everything else Auntieflo says too.
They are considerably cheaper these days and quite possibly more efficient so you would be saving on your own electricity bills .

Urmstongran Sun 24-Oct-21 18:04:35

I read about all this a couple of years ago. In the early days it was a very attractive proposition. Householders benefitted greatly apparently. Then the ‘big boys’ moved in. Sharks saw the financial opportunities. They ‘rented’ roof space from south facing homeowners. Creamed off the profits. Gave the homeowners a very small cut. The government got wind of what was happening & the incentives lessened accordingly!

Katie59 Sun 24-Oct-21 18:07:40

Maybe maw

How many KW of solar do you have?, £2000 a year is a lot for a domestic installation.

MayBeMaw Sun 24-Oct-21 18:11:40

Katie59

Maybe maw

How many KW of solar do you have?, £2000 a year is a lot for a domestic installation.

No idea about the techie detail blush
I have 22 panels, for what that is worth!

Urmstongran Sun 24-Oct-21 18:13:07

See my post. Rates may well have changed in the interim!
Be careful.
It may now be a huge expenditure for very little gain.

Nannarose Sun 24-Oct-21 18:17:53

We have both photovoltaic and solar thermal panels.
They were installed when we built in 2011, so the 'deal' has changed.
You will get good independent advice from Centre for Alternative Technology and the Energy Saving Trust, so you can do your sums.

J52 Sun 24-Oct-21 18:20:03

Just to add, make sure your roof is sound. Neighbours had to have them removed and re instated at some cost, when their roof needed attention.

Katie59 Sun 24-Oct-21 18:22:27

That explains the high payments probably over 10KW of Solar

varian Sun 24-Oct-21 18:45:15

Solar Thermal panels (which heat your water) still cost a lot less than Photovoltaic panels (which generate electricity).

Solar Thermal panels can give you all the hot water you need in the summer and make a big contribution to your hot water requirements in winter, reducing your demand for fossil fuel use.

Calendargirl Sun 24-Oct-21 19:15:37

Nonogran

I have heard on the grapevine that when you come to sell, mortgage providers are reluctant to lend where solar panels are installed.
Providers are actually very tough on practically everything it seems, these days.? Worth doing a bit of research, just in case you or your inheritors need to sell.

I wouldn’t have thought having solar panels was detrimental to a house sale, as the new owner would benefit from them then. Obviously different if you bought your own panels as opposed to a company having installed them for free, which seemed to happen years ago ‘get free solar panels’.

No idea if it affects a mortgage application though, never heard of that before.

JenniferEccles Mon 25-Oct-21 09:39:43

There is also the aspect of whether or not you like the look of solar panels on your roof!

muse Mon 25-Oct-21 10:30:09

LizzieDrip. Many have given you the answer to your question but I've noticed solar thermal panels have come up.

We already have PV but they are ground mounted. Our new home (still building) will use the self generated power from the PV so we decided to use the roof area for two solar thermal panels. One panel per 2 people. On advice from our plumber we've installed a 300l solar thermal water tank too. It's huge and will store the hot water for a much longer period.

The panels do produce hot water in winter (about 25% of it) but with the tank we expect to hardly use the boiler which is for emergencies. We did talk to a couple who had the same system installed 3 years ago and they have never had to use the boiler.

The angle of your roof makes an huge difference as to how effective PV or solar thermal is. Optimal angle is 30°

We've used evacuated tubes as they perform better in colder and/or cloudier conditions than the flat panels.

MayBeMaw Mon 25-Oct-21 13:23:19

JenniferEccles

There is also the aspect of whether or not you like the look of solar panels on your roof!

Fortunately, ours are across the back of the house, which backs onto an orchard and then farmland so nobody sees them - except the cows.
I accept that they may not be things of beauty but perhaps we have to think practicalities and environmental benefits rather than aesthetics in our brave new world.

MayBeMaw Mon 25-Oct-21 13:24:48

Katie59

That explains the high payments probably over 10KW of Solar

I was afraid I might have been exaggerating blush so I checked the last 4 quarters payments and it came to £2230 - sunny summers clearly helped.

Charleygirl5 Mon 25-Oct-21 14:02:37

I have solar thermal panels which were fitted in 2009. My local council was doing a really good deal. Everything is in the loft so I cannot see if there are any drips. I did have a major leak a few years ago with a bedroom ceiling collapsing. Certainly locally getting solar panels etc serviced is very expensive.

I find if I switch on the boiler it is only for around 15 minutes to top up the water. I live alone so I have full control and the £800 I paid for it has paid for itself.