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Are Solar Energy Panels A Good Investment?
Understand the the tariffs and types of solar energy panels systems...
The general public have been encouraged by the government to invest in Solar Energy which involves installing solar panel electric systems also known as solar photovoltaics (PV) on their roofs to capture the suns energy via photovoltaic cells and transform this into electricity. In order to promote a large number of consumers to become involved in generating electricity via this manner the government originally heavily incentivised the public to purchase such systems. The take up of these incentives was so great that the government has now taken measures to ensure all new consumers installing such equipment will be placed on a much lower tariff to the one initially offered, with the possibility of even further reductions to all new entrants from July 2012.
Incentives for installing solar panels has been structured across two different processes one being the Feed In Tariff ( Generation Tariff) and the other being the Export Tariff. The Feed In Tariff has been set at 43.3p/kWh whilst the Export Tariff has been set at 3.1p/kWh for all electricity exported back to the National Grid and index linked to RPI (as at 1st April each year) for all consumers whose FIT's application was made before 2nd March 2012. If the application was made between 3rd March and 1st April then the FIT will be 43.3p/kWh up until 1st April 2012 and then 21p/kWh thereafter indexed linked based on the price of 21p/kWh. For all new consumers applying for FIT's after the 1st April the price will be 21p/kWh and index linked based on the price of 21p/kWh as long as the property has an Energy Performance Certificate banding of D or above . For all properties where the Energy Performance Certificate Rating is Band E or lower the price at which they will be compensated is 9p/kwh for all consumers installing such equipment after 1st April 2012 . Irrespective of the FIT's price that is paid all consumers will qualify for the Export Tariff of 3.1p/kWh.The government is also planning to introduce an even lower rate for consumers who install solar panels after 1st July 2012 which is proposed to be 16.5p/kwh. The price you will be compensated at moving forward will be based on your initial banding and, hence, somebody who is in the 43.3p/kwph band will not be placed on the 16.5p/kWh band after the 1st July 2012.
Whilst it would be difficult for any government to change any price banding retrospectively there is of course no guarantee that future legislation may not be brought in to effectively increase taxation on any benefits currently being received . This statement is particularly important when considering investing in such equipment as past governments have always found ways of increasing taxation on goods or services that large numbers of consumers have found fashionable.
Investing in Solar Power technology is not cheap and most salesmen will always look to recommend systems that have capacity of 3-4kWp the reason being twofold. One that the system will be a much better investment and provide you with a better return and two , they will earn more commission . It is important to realise that many of the salesmen that you come across will be on a very low (if any) basic salary and will earn the bulk of their income through bonuses thus it is always wise to obtain 3-4 quotations and never sign up on the day despite the salesman's rhetoric.
Typically you will find that many of the companies or sales people who work in this industry will also have had experience of operating in the double glazing industry where there has been a number of complaints of people being exposed to "hard selling" tactics.
If you feel that your Solar Panels have been mis-sold please note that we do not charge any upfront fees for our service and the only fees we will charge you are 28% + VAT of any benefit that is obtained on your behalf.