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Solar PV - Costs and Benefits

Solar panels

Over the course of a year, a solar photovoltaic system will save you money by reducing your electricity bill, and will earn you at least 20p for every unit of electricity that you generate on systems under 4kWp.

This revenue is known as the Feed in Tariff (FIT), which became available in Great Britain on 1st April 2010. Under this scheme energy suppliers have to make regular payments to consumers who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources. This means the initial capital outlay of purchasing a solar PV system is reclaimed much quicker.

The feed-in tariff only pays this increased rate for a set number of years, which for photovoltaic's (PV) has been set at 20 years and is index linked. The FIT is set at 14.9p per kwh/unit for 20 years. The property will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate with a rating of D or higher in order to achieve the 14.9p fit rate, otherwise a lower rate of 6.85p will be paid.

Self-finance calculation

Feed-in tariff rates will be paid for each unit of electricity generated even if it is used by the consumer. As well as this, any excess electricity can be exported back to the grid earning an extra 4.64p/kWh

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