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Why haven’t you got Solar Power in your house?

Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009

On 1st October 2008 the Peak District National Park Authority removed its long standing objection to solar power installations. Only two impediments remain

1) The installation should not be visible from the main road.

2) The building must not be listed.

I installed solar thermal panels to provide hot water as part of an upgrading of the water system within my property in Brookleton, Youlgrave on 1/10/2008. I had been promised savings but not quite on the scale I have received. My property has Gas central heating and an immersion heater we do not use. We cook with electric and have wood burning stoves as extra heating.

Between December and March 2009 my gas usage FELL by 12. 6% compared to 2008

Between March and July 2009 my gas usage FELL by 21.6% compared to 2008

Given that the house occupancy was unchanged this represents a real considerable reduction in energy use attributable to solar panels.

Only one word of caution – low energy users such as people living alone are unlikely to save any money with solar thermal

As I write, the government have announced even more incentives for solar power. The previously expensive solar photovoltaic system (panels placed on the roof which generate electricity from sunshine) have now become affordable. Currently you will be paying 10p per kilowatt for your electricity. From April 2010 the government will pay you 36.5p per kilowatt you generate.

This means anyone installing a 3kilowatt photovoltaic system can expect to receive a cheque for £1000 every year from the government. This means the system will pay for itself in a comparatively short time and as the systems are almost maintenance free, you will continue to receive an income for many years after you have paid for the system.

Is this a gimmick? Will the government stop paying for this in the future? No and no again. These tariffs reflect that our government is finally being forced to catch up with our European neighbours who have received these incentives for many years. No future government is likely to be able to reduce the payments given the attitude of the world community to green energy.

John Orchard

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