The future's bright, the future's solar!

SolarAs most of us know, electricity prices have increased substantially over the last few years and prices are only going one way – up! so how can we reduce the size of our bills, make a good financial investment and play our part in improving the environment?

Graham fowler, technical consultant at leicestershire based solus renewable energy, has the answer “produce your own electricity by using the power of the sun! solar photovoltaic (pV) modules, usually mounted on the roof, convert the suns energy into electricity. until recently the cost of solar pV has put most people off. things have changed in a big way over the last few months because the government wants to encourage us all to invest in renewable energy ”

Investing in a solar pV system to generate your own electricity is now one of the best investments you can make because of the new feed-in tariff (fIt) scheme, a government initiative that pays householders and businesses to generate their own energy from renewable sources. It works like this. let’s say you decide to install a solar pV system on your property. you will be paid a guaranteed rate for every kilowatt hour (kwh) of electricity your system generates (the rate is guaranteed and index linked for 25 years), on top of this you will be paid an additional amount for every kwh you export to the grid and finally you will save more money by using your own electricity rather than buying it from the grid. the money is paid directly to you from your existing electricity supplier.

graham comment s “a typical 3kw domestic system will generate around £1100 in fIt payments every year for 25 years and will reduce your electricity bill by about £250 per year at today’s prices. as electricity prices go up, your savings will increase even more. the payments you will receive are also tax free!”

the cost of installation will depend on the size of the system installed – but will range between £8,000 to £14,000 and should take no longer than 2-3 days to install. graham says, “most properties will be suitable for a solar pV system, providing there is sufficient clear roof space which is facing broadly south, unshaded and in good repair. the systems are virtually maintenance free, make no noise as there are no moving parts to go wrong”

what about planning permission? graham says that planning permission may be required for solar pV, however we work with each client to get any permissions necessary, particularly if you live in a conservation area or in a listed building, where planning permission will be required”

“at solus we work with each client to understand their individual requirements and answer all their questions, we then asses the property for suitability and provide a quotation and estimate of how much electricity the system will generate. If the customer wants to go ahead, we provide a one stop shop – supplying, installing and commissioning all the equipment”

a word of caution “in order to benefit from the fIt and to ensure you get a high quality installation, you must use a company that has been accredited under the governments microgeneration certification scheme (mcs) and members of the renewable energy assurance listed (real) assurance scheme for complete peace of mind.

If you would like to find out more about solar pV or any other renewable energy technology, please contact graham fowler at solus renewable energy on 01509 788090, email