UK solar still shining bright, DECC says

May 22, 2013

A blog post from the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Alasdair Grainger has suggested that contrary to the views of one national newspaper, the solar industry in the UK makes a great deal of financial sense for customers.

Mr Grainger, an engineer and member of the UK Civil Service, said the feed-in tariff (FiT) in particular is still encouraging businesses and householders to invest in solar photovoltaic technology, with money paid for the generation of electricity which can be fed back into the National Grid.

Some 420,000 solar installations are now on UK properties, with falling installation costs and the lower price of panels contributing to an increase in interest.

Householders are also able to access the technology via the Green Deal, which covers the cost of installations up front, with repayments made from the savings made on future energy bills.

Mr Grainger did acknowledge that the government has had to change its approach to the incentives it offers for sustainable energy solutions, due to the falling costs and rising demands, but the returns are still attractive for homeowners.

He went on to say that the reduced tariff levels will make payments more consistent, stabilising the market and increasing customer security in the long-term.

Citing the Green Deal Feed-in Tariff Quick Guide, the DECC representative said that a household with a 4kW PV system could cost up to £7,000 alone, but save £860 a year – paying for itself in just under ten years. Mr Grainger emphasised that this ten per cent return on investment is more favourable than most ISA schemes.

In order to reassure customers about the technology, Mr Grainger said that measures were in place to protect people from being mis-sold products.

"Individuals who are interested in solar PV should rest assured that there is a robust consumer protection regime in place. All companies selling to homeowners must sign the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), which protects consumers against mis-selling. In addition, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) also ensures that only reliable, proven technologies can be installed under the scheme," he stated.

 

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