Solar Photovoltaic Panels on your roof generate electricity and feed any you do not use into the grid for others to use. But how do you get the best return on your investment? Here are the three key sectets to getting the best return...
1 - GET THE FEED-IN TARRIFF
You must use a MCS registered installer. If you do every unit of electricity you generate will be worth around 55p to you instead of only around 10p.
2 - TIME IT RIGHT
The optimum time to invest is most probably this year (2011-12).
- feed in tarriffs are at the highest point they will ever be NOW
- feed in tarriff rate is fixed for 25 years at the time you invest, and index linked from that point
- installation prices may drop - but the feed in tarriff is set to drop faster starting with a 10% drop in April 2012
- the Times calculated that the return on solar PV investments was now around 18.5% in real terms
- the technology is mature now with millions of systems installed worldwide.
3 - DESIGN IT RIGHT
Solar panel systems are not like double glazing - your system should be designed by an engineer, not a salesman. One size does not fit all. He needs to
- optimise use of the roof space
- take into account the condition, orientation and slope of your roof
- produce a proper design tailored to your roof
- produce a tailored cash return forecast for your specific installation
Reputable companies do not need to charge for this.
IS IT FOR YOU?
Systems cost £5,000 to £20,000.
You need to be a homeowner and preferably planning to stay in your home for 7 years or more to see any profit from your investment. Like with a pension annuity, you will never get back the capital - but income is pretty much guaranteed for 25 years and your system will probably return around triple your original investment during that time and save many tonnes of CO2 emission.
The author is Martin Smith BEng ACGI MIEE, director of Mr Electric, Chartered Electrical Engineer and designer of Solar PV systems for Mr Electric.
Any other questions or for a no obligation appointment to assess possibilities call Martin Smith, Mr Electric on 07760 104 735
Member since: 16th June 2011
Chartered Electrical Engineer, Director of Mr Electric and AireServ. Married, 4 children. Born Wycombe, Educated at RGS, then Imperial College, London, spent 20 years in manufacturing industry before starting...