UK Government delay Feed In Tariff Cuts

At yesterdays Green Building Event at the Eden Project the news came through (Tweet feeds) that Greg Barker, the UK government energy and climate change secretary tweeted:

“Having listened carefully to industry, we are looking at scope for pushing back a little the next proposed reduction in the solar tariffs.”

They were due to be cut in July from the current 21p per Kw.

If you have / get solar panels there are several return on investment streams:

  • Generation tariff – your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 25 years) and are index-linked. For a full list of generation tariffs, see FIT payment rates published by Ofgem
  • Export tariff – you will get a further 3.2p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don’t use yourself. This rate is the same for all technologies. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50% of the electricity you generate (so that if your solar PV system is less than 30kWp you do not need to have an export meter fitted)
  • Energy bill savings – you will be making savings on your electricity bills , because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.

One of the Eden Project show talks had these figures, that may be high end in terms of them being from a chap that is from a PV installation company.

The Energy Saving Trust has figures of:

A typical domestic solar electricity system with an installation size of 3kWp could earn:

  • £530 a year from the Generation Tariff
  • £40 a year from the Export Tariff
  • £100 a year reduction of current electricity bills

Scaling this up to a 4kWp system that’d be £893.

Being fair to Tony at Cornwall Solar Panels (Tel 01872 562 775) who gave the above figures, his entire talk was centred around there being no such thing as the best solar panel, but the best solar panel configuration for a particular situation. Panel efficiency, shape, size, drop off with heat, drop off with shading, the roof angle and a bunch of other variables (string or per panel inverters) all influence the efficiency and the system cost and so the Return On Investment (ROI). His talk went over about a dozen different installations they’ve done and have figures from. The clear implication / impression is that they are doing installations all over Cornwall.