We had put off buying a system in previous years as the costs
were high and the pay back periods were very long. However as set
out below, we now think the time is right to go ahead. We have had
quotations, chosen our installer and are all set to go.
Until the end of March 2010, there is a maximum grant of £2500
available from the Government's Low Carbon Building Programme. Then
from April the Government is committed to introduce a Feed-in
Tariff (FIT) scheme lasting for a period of 25 years. They have
proposed a level and structure for the tariff but following
a public consultation the actual levels have not yet
been finalised. During the next three months there is an
opportunity to benefit from both the grant and the feed-in tariff
by committing to install a system with an approved installer within
four months of obtaining the grant.
We are going to install a 3.96KWp system at an
estimated cost of £16,000, that is £13,500 after grant. The
estimated annual electrical yield is 3200 kwh (units of
electricity). Under the proposed FIT of 36.5 pence per unit, this
will produce a tax free income of £1168 pa. There is also a
payment of 5p for all units exported to the grid. Lets say 50% of
the electricity is exported which then generates an income of £80.
Finally there is a saving for each unit consumed and not bought
from our electricity supplier, Ecotricity full green
tariff, at 12p per unit which equates to another £192. The
total income and saving is estimated to be £1440 pa. This is a
payback of 9 years and the tariff payments are set to continue for
another 16 years after this.
One alternative way of financing the cost of the panel
installation could be through a mortgage over the 25 year term
of the tariff. Installation of panels can add considerably to the
value of a house upon resale.