Solar PV is maturing as a market in the UK. Solar panels are an increasingly common site on homes and commercial premises throughout the country and the cost of buying and installing solar continues to fall. As the cost of the technology has fallen, so too has government subsidy, so where do we stand in 2016? Just how much can you save with solar PV for your home?
Here are some quick figures for a 4kW installation at today’s Feed in Tariff rate of 4.39 p/kWh.
|Electricity Generated||3,400 kWh|
|First Year Income & Savings||£492.97|
In line with previous estimates, we have assumed a load factor of 850kWh/kW/year for well sited solar PV, meaning that the system will generate 850kWh per year for every kW of peak capacity. A 4kW system generates 3,400kWh per year. Electricity use is assumed to be 50% on-site with 50% exported to the grid and electricity cost savings are calculated with an average price per unit of 15.4p. The 4.39 p/kWh FiT rate applies for installations with eligibility dates between 8th February 2016 and 31st March 2016.
Feed in Tariffs have fallen in the last year and there has also been a slight fall in the domestic cost of electricity. Both of these act to lower savings and returns from solar PV but perhaps not as much as might be expected.
A 4kW solar panel system still has potential to generate considerable income and savings of around £493 annually. Interestingly, the majority of this return is now from savings on electricity rather than income from the government’s Feed in Tariff. The Feed in Tariff payments are guaranteed for the 20 year term of the scheme and index linked to rise with inflation. Electricity prices are also likely to return to their long term rising trend and both of these factors should mean increasing returns over time.
It’s pretty clear that the solar potential of your site, the installation cost that you achieve and the balance of your electricity usage will all affect the balance of costs and returns for solar on your home. To find out exactly what your roof could earn talk to 3 or more accredited installers in your area.