A sunny summer for solar panel customers
With one of the longest and hottest UK summers on record householders could be forgiven for not thinking about installing solar panels.
But those residents who did have seen both record breaking temperatures and solar panel performances. They have gained lower energy bills, higher Feed-In Tariff payments from the Government plus more unused electricity to sell back to the National Grid. “The outlook has been sunny for them,” said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox. “But for those who missed out they should start planning now for next year for two very important reasons, Brexit and the possible ending of the Feed-in Tariffs (FiT).”
Recent reports show that the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) could lead to higher energy bills, according to Energy UK, the trade association for the British energy industry, and a House of Lords committee.
Also the Feed-in-Tariff payments, the amount householders receive for the electricity they put back into the National Grid, is likely to be withdrawn by the Government to new entrants from April 1, 2019.
However, if householders install solar panels before then, they can still qualify for the payments for 20 years with the rate changing according to the Retail Price Index (RPI).
With the UK scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, Energy UK has suggested that household energy bills are likely to go up because of uncertainty over whether Britain will remain in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which has been crucial in the drive to decarbonise across the whole EU economy.
Also part of residents’ energy bill goes towards investing in renewable energy sources and funding energy improvements to hit green energy targets and meet EU pollution targets. When the UK leaves, there’s a chance these targets will change.
At present, about 5% of the UK’s electricity and 12% of its gas is imported from the EU.
And because the EU’s internal energy market is designed to remove trade barriers and promote trade between member states, leaving this arrangement could also lead to significantly higher prices.
Lord Teverson, the chair of the EU, energy and environment subcommittee, is reported as saying: “There will be a divergence and we will not be integrated. What that means is energy trading becomes less efficient and retail prices will go up.”
With all this uncertainty Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park, said all householders should considering swapping to solar panel green energy using free sunlight.
He said the benefits included no more nasty surprises from the energy companies putting up their prices. There were also attractive incentive schemes with the Government Feed-in Tariffs, provided householders sign up before next April, plus the benefit of being able to sell any surplus energy back to the Grid, as well as helping to protect the planet.
“With the cost of solar panels coming down and easy installation and low maintenance residents can easily become energy self-sufficient,” he added.
For more advice contact Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk