Free solar.

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by womblefruit, Jan 12, 2013.

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  1. WE had a chap knock on our door today promoting FREE solar power which got both myself and Mrs WF interested as we had been looking into the possibility of buying panels this year anyway. Last year we were quoted 13,000 for a 4 KwH system however we narrowly missed out on the 43p FIT so put it on the back burner so to speak.

    Anyway, this chap explained to us that we could have the panels fitted absolutely free of charge, utterly no cost to outselves and all maintence would be undertaken by the company. We get the free electricity, the company in question gets the FIT and the export tarriff. As we are south facing and can get a 4kWH system up on roof we qualify and we are not tied with the mortgage provider as we own outright.

    To myself, it seems pretty much win/win however is there anyone out there with expeiorence of these schemes and are there any major pitfalls we should be aware of. If we ever come to sell, I can't see having panels on the roof would put off any potential buyers and I'd like to think the free electricity THEy would get would not only act as an incentive but also help to keep the price up.

    I appreciate one of the major benefits of solar is the long term gains, 27k profit over 25 years being a figure that I have seen quoted often however the initial outlay is hefty and if we can get some of the benefits without spending any money, would that be a viable trade-off?

    All comments appreciated gentlemen. I'm keen, Mrs WF a bit less so however would like to hear from anyone who has experienced this before.
  2. Cant you just harvest the heat generated by your furious masturbation?
    • Like Like x 8
  3. Use the search it's been done before and they keep the money from the govt.
  4. How much money? Oh nice first reply :eek:
  5. The opinion was it may be harder to sell and even paying for them made no economic sense as the govt subsidy is now less. Check moneysavingexpert for the facts and also the search on here.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Oh and some of the cheaper or badly fitted ones are reported to rattle about in the wind.
  7. A friend in Germany was offered a similar set up. He did not go with it has he had to export to the grid a specific volume of power over a 10 year period. Any deficit would be settled in cash at the end of the 'contract' period. This could be monitored by having a gauge fitted. His neighbour went with it and nearly drove himself into an early grave with stress over whether he was hitting his monthly target.
  8. Remember the old adage "if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is" - I don't gamble - but i'll bet you this setup is a con.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. They'll only take you on if your roof is directly south facing.
  10. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    The was loads on this a couple of years back, these only work if you are in during the day as the free electricity is what you produce during the day so anything you use at night for example you pay for. plus they quote you 15k worth of panels and fit 4k of kit. china expanded too fast and cant sell what they make now so bargains can be had.

    that's why the best way is to pay for it yourself and you get the payments plus the electricity. the buyback tarrif was allways questionable and cant be sustained (not counting the fact that they just dont work in the UK) but the microgenerator payments are what make it worthwhile for them to offer it when they are due 25 years worth or a 500% markup. as far as I am aware no-one has worked out what happens if they go bust. wind power is the same the money isn't in the power made but the generator subsidy payments and maintenance contracts.

    alternatively you could work out a battery bank, use the free power to charge it during the day then use it at night. some folks buy old night storage heaters and charge them that way. I know a few boaty people and they cant get enough power out of solar for their minimal needs but it does cut down on the generator useage. mainly though they don't have enough storage capacity.

    you could look at home made water panels ala dick strawbridge which would cut on the immerser bills and lpg hobs work out better than electric ones or there are a few wood burners with little ovens hobs built in.

    for the most part the free solar schemes were regarded like the toyota pruis as only being good for their smug value. they did a test on an average family and worked out that just turning the lights off when not it use and the heating down a bit they saved more. newer solar tech will slash prices and increase efficiencies within the next few years, china will flood africa with solar tech as economic aid I reckon.

    some good debates on the calorific value of a pack of cheapo nightlite candles vs the cost of running a 60w light.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Also think of what happens if you need any roof repairs.
  12. As a rough guide, a 2.75 Kw system, since May last year, earlier figures not reliable due to buggered meter.

    Produced 1531 units, exported 745 units, imported 2049. Trying to use the max and not over using and end up importing when a cloud goes over is a pain in the arse so just run the washer/heavy draw items during the day and not worry too much about it.
  13. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    the upkeep they don't bother with from what I've heard as its just washing the panels, the tech side has little to break. current panels are less than 10% efficient, if they combined solar and water they could quadruple the productivity from the same roof space. not cheap but a solar water panel with peltiers on the back is more efficient.

    most of the tech is outdated and badly designed like the windmills some are so besotted with.

    the tech is currently here where you can printout your own solar panels on plain paper with special ink which is rated better than current ones.

    to run a laptop you need a dining table sized panel for 32w so if you work out your roof space you don't produce that much unless we have a very good summer.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Had the people round for a survey. I'm not due south facing but there's something like a 45* arc they'll accept. Yes the keep the money. Yes you can use all the power you generate for free. You're tied into a 25 yr contract unless you do something bad ( like filling your basement with battery banks) or someone builds a block of flats in the way. They'll remove and refit the system twice during the contract if you need roof mods. It's not something for nothing as they get the FIT, you get the benefit in return for renting them your roof. I don't work for them- I use solar on my van so I've done some reading...

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