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Discuss Potentially moving to house with solar panels - advice? in the Renewable Energy area at PlumbersForums.net

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Hi! :) I'm on the hunt for a house and one of them which looks incredibly promising has a solar installation - I don't know a whole lot about these so I was hoping to get some advice on 'best practices' with solar panels. I'm also wondering how putting power back into the grid works - does it just get deducted from my electricity bill? Are there any tax implications or complications that I should know about? Had a poke around this tax calculator and if the returns from them are taxable it doesn't seem like much of an impact (at least on my current band). Any other opinions on this? I just want to know everything that could possibly affect me positively or negatively before I jump in!

Cheers :)
 
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townfanjon

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
ask the seller if the panels are 100% his/hers , if they are find out how old they are , and ask the feed in tariff, the older the panels the higher the tarrif will be .
If they are not his / her panels be very careful, they will be subject to a “ rent a roof “ type scheme, a lot of these firms have gone bust and the finance company owns the panels.
 
You used to get paid some 40p/kWh but that's been cut right back. If you Google for "Solar FIT" that will give you a lot of info. The key tariff is here:

Feed-In Tariff (FIT) rates

Yep - gone from 52.75p/kWh in 2011 to 3-4p from what I can see (which sounds more like Grid wholesale kinda prices).

So your main benefit sounds like it will be the deduction from your bill if you're paying say 12-15p/kWh - I'm not sure if the FIT tariff is paid on top of that?
 

snowhead

Plumber
First question to the house owner is, is it Solar thermal (water ) or P.V (Electric).
Next if it's electric is does the owner of the house own the panels.
There's a thing called Rent a roof where a company fit thier P.V panels and they get the F.I.T payment. (Feed in Tarrif)
The house owner only gets the free electricity whilst it's generated.

Ah, multiple similar answers...
 
1. If you are talking about feedback into the National Grid for electricity you are talking about Photo Voltaic (PV) panels. Solar panels generally refer to panels which heat water for domestic use.
2. Generally, for domestic installation, there is a meter which measures the output of the PV panels over a period. Half this amount (in kWh) is designated as "feed in" to the grid, and is paid for by the electricity supplier at a contracted rate. There are other ways of doing it, but this is the simplest and most common.
3. The contracted rate is agreed between the property owner and power company at the time of installation, and is guaranteed for 25 years. It used to be about 43p per kWh, but is a fraction of that now.
4. Please check, but I suspect you would have to re-negotiate with the electricity supplier if you took over an existing installation, and I suspect you'd only get the current rate, not the rate applicable at the time of installation / connection.
5. There are companies which will buy the rights to future payments for the feed in tariff for an up front payment. If the current owner of your potential purchase has done this, then you'll get nothing.

You need to find out who the electricity provider is, what the current rate is, and then talk to the provider to see what is on offer.
 

snowhead

Plumber
The F.I.T payment stays the same with the new owner.
Both parties need to notify whoever pays the F.I.T .

It'll come up in questions from Solicitors, but if it's Rentaroof that agreement has to be transfered and the Mortgage lender needs to know.

F.I.T ends next year for any new installations.
Existing ones keep the original 25 year or so, deal.
 

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