Wednesday, 1 September 2010

August sees record rise in UK home solar panels fitted

A record number of homeowners had solar panels installed this month,
according to energy regulator Ofgem.

The devices have been fitted to 2,257 homes so far during August, up from
1,700 in July and 1,400 in June. More than 6,688 homes have had solar panels
fitted since April, when the government's scheme to reward people who
generate their own energy altered.The feed-in tariff system now enables
homeowners to receive 41.3p for every unit of energy they generate.

This is regardless of whether they use the energy or sell it back to the
National Grid.After the panels are installed, the tariff is paid for 25
years and increased in line with inflation. This replaces the previous
system, under which people could obtain grants to help cover the cost of
installing the green technology.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, solar panels usually cost between
£6,000 and £12,000 to buy and install, depending on their size.

The panels most commonly installed by homeowners, consisting of eight panels
able to generate up to 2.5kW, cost between £10,000 and £12,000.

The Trust calculates such panels could generate about £700 a year from the
feed-in tariff, as well as saving homeowners about £100 a year on energy

In addition, people could make about £25 to £30 through selling unused
energy back to the National Grid.

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