A few companies are offering Free Solar Power for houses. You may ask whats in it for them? They get the feed in tariff while the residents get the power during the day. Yesterday I looked at local wind power, today its solar electric.
If you own a house with a clear south-facing roof that is un-shaded you may be eligible for free solar power. They will install, operate and maintain around a 3kW solar system on your roof. You can use all of the electricity it generates and never have to pay them anything.
They estimate you will save £300 a year for 25 years completely free of charge. If you move the future owners will have to continue with the deal. Considering they get cheap power they would be foolish not to. And after 25 years the system is yours.
The Guardian says be wary of 'solar for free' offers. If you can afford to fit the panels yourself the benefit is greater, apparently even f you borrow the money. If you cant afford it, I think the free offers are good news.
Simon Osborn, policy advisor at Which?, said: "If you have the means to pay for solar panels yourself, then you may well be better off arranging to have them installed yourself." Consumer Focus has published a checklist people should ask before signing up, including who has liability if something goes wrong with the panels.
Under the "free solar" model, a homeowner would save in the region of £2,750 on energy bills over 25 years, the length of the tariff offer. By paying for their own panels with a loan at 7.7% interest repaid over 10 years and earning income from the feed-in tariff, they could save around £6,506 over the same period.
The advice comes as installations of solar photovoltaic panels have exploded in the UK, with the number installed in four months in 2010 more than doubling on the whole of 2009 since a government financial incentive was launched in April.
Homesun, Isis and A Shade Greener (in Yourshire/Derby/Notts region) are three of the firms planning to do a deal with more than 120,000 homeowners by 2015.
Residents are advised to install basic energy efficiency measures first, before installing renewable technologies. These include insulation for lofts and cavities, heating controls and low energy lighting. These measures are relatively inexpensive and will save more money than renewable technologies, once the cost of installing technologies is taken into account. They will also make the consumer’s home more comfortable.
Theres a cooperative that sells solar panels locally, smartenergy.
Personally I am delighted at the idea of my roof being used for solar power generation, even if I got no benefit at all. However it makes sence to shop for the best offer. I am looking at going with one of these companies, I shall say more when I know more.
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