Tue, 25 Nov 2011 15:16:00 GMT
No doubt you have been following the news on the FIT cuts and how it is going to affect everyone. The cuts have now been finalised so that means the tariff rate is now 21 pence per kilowatt down from around 43 pence. So what does this mean for anyone looking at getting a solar system installed?
If you were looking for a free solar system you will find that many installers, this seems to be the smaller companies specifically, have stopped offering free systems. There are however still companies who are going to continue to offer free systems. This may mean that some people may no longer be able to get a system in their area but some of the larger installers such as A Shade Greener do cover a large swathe of the UK.
There have been a few emails dropping into my inbox from people who were in the process of getting free panels but the company they were with have been unable to honour the installation due to the cuts. Whilst this is an obvious disappointment to many there is light at the end of the tunnel, at least you know your home is suitable so you can apply again to find another installer that covers your area.
Those who were thinking of investing in their own system may be reconsidering. Talking to some installers it seems that prices are falling, one company is offering a 4kWh system for £9,500 inclusive which they claim gives a return of around 10% which is still a good return. I have seen figures of around £1,000 a year being stated for FIT income and electricity savings for those investing in a system. Make sure that you are getting the best price and the best system by getting at least 3 quotes.
...we are able to offer a 3.92kwp system based on leading Hyundai panels and an SMA inverter for under £9,500 including VAT...
David Hunt, Eco Environments
The cuts have meant that many installers are now putting pressure on their suppliers to reduce their unit costs and they are also slashing prices taking a short term loss to retain custom. For you this means that at least in the short term you can get a really good deal if you are buying a system.
We can expect there to be fewer solar installers in the market, this is both a good and bad thing. It is more likely that cowboy installers will fall by the wayside as they tend to be smaller firms who will not have as much financial backing. Cowboy firms will also leave the market due to the much lower profit margin. This is the good as it means customers are less likely to be caught out by a rogue company.
On the down side it does mean less competition and some firms may be tempted to cut corners or use inferior or cheaper parts in order to lower costs. As long as you do your research and ask the right questions you can make sure that the components being used are good. Most products can be search out on the internet and there will more than likely be a review of the panel or inverter being used in the system.
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