Solar PV

A solar photovoltaic, or solar PV, system generates electricity from daylight. If you install them on your house, you can use this free electricity in your home instead of using electricity from your energy company and so reduce your energy bills. The government also pays you for the amount of electricity that the panels produce whether you use the energy or not!

How solar PV works

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Solar PV panels are usually mounted on a sunny pitched roof, preferably south-facing and with little or no shading from trees or other buildings.  Panels come in a variety of types, with the most efficient (and expensive) models generating up to 50% more power than the cheapest models.

The electricity generated from a typical solar PV system can offset at least half of the electricity demand of your home through the course of a year.  The generating capacity of a solar PV system is measured in kilowatts (kW) and for each of kW of capacity installed you should generate around 1000kWh (units) of electricity each year and save around 600kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Generating money as well as electricity

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The government pays you for each unit of electricity your solar PV system generates. There are two elements:

  • Feed-in-Tariff (FiT). This is the payment made to you for each kW of electricity your system generates. The rate per kW changes but up until 30 September the rate is 4.18p per kW. The payment is made whether you use that electricity yourself or not.
  • You also receive a payment known as the Export Tariff, of 4.91p per unit for the amount of electricity you feed into the national grid. This amount is usually “deemed” to be half of the amount of electricity generated.

The payments are index-linked, tax free and guaranteed for 20 years. To receive this payment the panels must be installed by an accredited MCS installer. The top FiT rate (quoted above) is only payable if your house has an EPC rating of band D or better, otherwise the rate is 0.87p/kWh

Solar PV systems are very reliable and need little or no regular maintenance.  Panels are generally self-cleaning if installed at a typical pitch.  If you run power-hungry electrical appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers whilst the sun is shining, you’ll be using free electricity and cutting your energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

Home Energy – Solar PV (L1)                                                                                                         WinACC October 2016

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WinACC - Solar PV - L1 October 2016.pdf124.11 KB