Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

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Camille
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Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

Postby Camille » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:15 pm

Help everyone
My husband is extremely keen for us to have solar panels fitted to our roof to cut our electricity consumption, reduce the bill and most importantly, reduce our home's carbon consumption.
In theory it's a no brainer and with Govt subsidies due to be chopped at the end of the year we need to make a quick decision.
So...my reservation is based simply on the fact that I can't see that anyone else has done it round here!!
Please enlighten me a.s.a.p.
Is it we don't care about the environment, don't need the savings, don't careor just don't like the look of the panels despite their benefits?
Help!
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supergirl
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Re: Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

Postby supergirl » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:24 am

You need to do your sums i.e.. how much will you need to invest to make sure you get something that does look like a return and how long does it need for that return to pay off the investment.
Solar panels are good when a) there is enough sun exposure (your roof needs to be a certain angle to maximise the exposure, it is better if you are south or south-west facing obviously and you need a lot of sunny days). Then b) how much is it going to reduce your electricity bill.

The technology is evolving everyday and i am sure the future will bring a solution but at the moment the biggest problem with sustainable energy is storage. Until we can store the energy it is not going to be that cost effective unless you live in a very sunny region of the world, I presume you are in Battersea hardly a sunny spot ;)
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Herculesmum
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Re: Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

Postby Herculesmum » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:58 am

We've never explored the option because always assumed the cost to instal would be too high and the savings wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed or enough to justify the upfront cost. We'd also wonder about ongoing maintenance and what impact it would have on resale of the house...would buyers be put off?

Solar is not a new technology and hasn't been widely adopted even in countries with lots of sun, so I've kind of always assumed that in their current form they are the Betamax of the energy world.

Have you asked local agents? They might be able to give some insight into mindset of buyers or if they know any reason why solar is an excellent or not so good investment?
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Camille
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Re: Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

Postby Camille » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:37 pm

Many thanks for the responses which have been very useful.
The companies who have presented their case so far all promise great electricity bill savings (50%+) and offer storage systems for the solar energy generated.
They also state that direct light on a cloudy day, not necessarily bright sunlight, will power their systems.
The Government subsidies (likely to expire Jan 2016) also make the solar roof panel option.
Ultimately the initial investment takes c.9 years to break even.
So it would be great to know if anyone has actual experience of such a system on their roof?
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Pod
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Re: Solar Panels on Roof Advice Please...!

Postby Pod » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:48 pm

Hi Camile,



I agree it's a no brainer. Don't let that fact that you don't see many around put you off.



Credit to you and your husband that you are considering ('most importantly') the environmental benefits as part of your overall decision.

It takes forward thinking people like yourself to then bring the masses along with you in making a change like this.



A reputable company will be able to assist with all the calculations and payback periods. It sounds like you already have all the correct fact and figures.



Solar is no longer a new technology, it is now mainstream, which is demonstrated by the large global uptake in the technology (Increase of 40% in 2014) resulting in the cost of the panels and installation falling dramatically. This only happens due to the economies of scale that occur with increased production. (more panels produced = lower cost per unit)

In 2014 the UK became the European leader in terms of new PV panels installations. So even though you might not see it on your doorstep it is happening!



In regards to why more people aren't doing it - I am bewildered by that question too.

· I don't know anyone who would say no the savings.



· If we don't care about the environment than that is a real shame as we all need to care to ensure our planet as we know it is still around in generations to come. The action you take may just influence others to take the same action too.



· If we don't like the look of the panels then my view is that is as much of a shame as the above point.

The agents I have spoken to about this have said they have never experienced a negative perception in regard to solar panels. The trend that they feel will become more prevalent and they are starting to see is that homes with solar panels are achieving a slightly higher resale price. The type of saving in electricity bills (costs which are only going to go up) many years into the future is actually worth a considerable sum of money now and this is starting to be understood, acknowledged and recognised in the value of properties.



As you mentioned storage systems options are becoming more viable and will be needed with the planned reduction in FIT payments but I agree that if you can get in installation done before the end of the year then it is the perfect time to do it.

We are buying a house now and plan to do the same.



We have previously installed panels on another property and found the whole process to be rather simple and well managed. We had a local installer who were excellent. They have a 25 year guarantee which gives the assurance in terms of ongoing maintenance. They were only installed a couple of years ago so we have had no maintenance issues. The only thing that I understand is sometimes useful is to clean them to ensure any residue/dust is removed so that they perform at their optimal output.

It is not a large system (1.25kW) and along with other improved insulation we put in the property the panels are providing around 40% of the properties electricity needs.

And as a further bonus we just received a payment of £184 from our energy provider, so that always helps!



Happy to provide any further information you need in relation to actual experience.



All the best with the decision and from my own experience and others I know you have done the same it won't be one you ever regret.
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