Thursday, September 22, 2022

How Are Solar Panels Paid For

Ways Homeowners Can Get Paid To Go Solar

Worth it? APS pays to put solar panels on customer’s roofs

by Ryan | Sep 15, 2017 | Economy, Residential |

Let me ask you a question:

Can you afford to go solar today?

you might say no.

Many homeowners still believe that solar power is out of their reach. They think its too expensive and that only people with savings can afford to install solar on their home.

Those homeowners are misinformed!

In fact, when you add all the incentives and savings from lowering your electricity bill, youll see that the average homeowner actually comes out on top!

You actually make money when you install solar.

I know, that sounds crazy. I didnt believe it when I first heard that. But the math works out.

Youll see at the end of the post.

If you are a homeowner and the last few sentences made you curious, take a few minutes to read through this article. Youll be glad you did.

Im going to explain the five top reasons why solar is a great investment for the average homeowner. By the end, youll know more than 99% of homeowners about this incredible opportunity.

Then well tally up all the savings an average homeowner can expect with an average system

And youll see exactly how it pays to go solar right now.

Lets begin.

Solar Energy Information Before You Install

Thinking about solar? Heres what you need to know before you buy.

1. You can live in cloudy Britain and still use solar panels

How solar panels work in the UK is exactly the same as anywhere else. You dont have to live in an area with wall-to-wall sunshine to generate solar energy. Solar panels work even through clouds. However, the more sunshine you get, the more energy youll generate.

2. You need a south-facing roof

Ideally, you need a south-facing or south-west facing roof. With the latest technology most homes could benefit from solar PV. Only north facing roofs are not suitable.

3. You shouldnt need planning permission

Good news most homes dont need planning permission to install solar panels. However, if you have a flat roof or live in a conservation area you might want to check with your local council before going ahead.

4. You can still switch suppliers

Of course, you are still free to switch suppliers if you have solar panels. No matter which energy supplier youre with when you get them fitted, you can still change.

5. You need a certificate

Youll need an Energy Performance Certificate and a rating of D or above to qualify for a FiT. An EPC rates a building on its energy efficiency, A is the most efficient and G is the least efficient. Gov.uk can point you in the right direction of an accredited energy assessor.

If youre not ready for this step, but are trying to be more environmentally-friendly, then take a look at our low-carbon tariff.

What Is A Solar Lease

A solar lease is a contract in which a company purchases and installs a solar system on your roof, and you pay them monthly for the electricity you use.

Solar leases are an attractive option for those who want the environmental benefits that come along with solar energy but do not want the large cash outlay that may come with purchasing a solar system outright.

When you lease a system, you sign a contract often 20 years with a company that purchases and installs a system on your roof. You then pay them monthly for the electricity you use, and they sell any extra energy back to the utility company. Solar lease contracts typically have a fixed monthly payment, meaning you know what your payments will be for the duration of the contract.

Solar panel leases can be a good option for those who want to go solar but are not sure they will stay in their homes long enough to make an investment worthwhile. They can also be a good option for those who want to go solar but are not sure they can afford the upfront cost.

When you sell a house with leased systems, you need to be aware that the buyer will assume the lease and continue to pay it for the duration of its term.

A solar leasing company will typically require that you use a real estate agent when selling your house, so they can make sure the contract is written correctly.

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Yes Your Solar Panels Can Make You Money Find Out When And How

Find out how long it will take for your solar panels to start making you money.

How many years will it take before your solar panels start making you money?

Solar panel installations are expected to increase by 30% in 2021, according to research firm IHS Markit. But before you decide to invest in solar for your home, it’s important to understand how long it will take to pay off the initial cost.

Residential solar electric systems cost an average of $20,000 between the panels, other related hardware, labor and more, although that number can fluctuate dramatically depending on location and the number of panels. So how long does it take to break even on that initial investment before you can start saving money for real? We’ll show you how to estimate the payback period for solar panels.

Read more: 5 things to consider before you buy solar panels

Germany Sets The Feed In Tariff Example

How Long Does It Take for Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?

Possibly the most famous and successful feed-in tariff arrangements would be those in Germany over the past 22 years. In 1991 the German government introduced the Electricity Feed Act, legally regulating the feed-in to the grid of electricity generated from renewable resources such as solar power. This Act required utility companies to purchase electricity generated from renewable resources such as domestic solar power systems at set rates .

The scheme went through expansion and enhancement in 2000, and has been responsible for the dramatic growth in Germanys renewable energy market, particularly the solar photovoltaic industry. In the five years from 2000, the quantity of electricity fed into the grid from eligible sources had more than doubled, with a seven-fold increase in installed solar photovoltaic capacity to over 1,500 MW by the end of 2005. By comparison, at the same time Australia had in the order of 7MW of grid-connected solar power, or less than 0.5% of Germanys capacity.

Germany has continued to grow its solar market and had around 35,700 megawatts of PV solar power capacity installed by the end of 2013. In Australia, the total installed capacity of PV based solar power systems by the close of 2013 was around 3,000 MW.

Australia is still lagging behind other countries such as Germany who, while having half the sunshine of Australia, have many times the solar production capacity of our country due to a generous, uniform and stable feed in tariff program.

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Can A House Run On Solar Power Alone

Practically, it is not often possible. This is because solar only works when the sun is shining – which means when it is cloudy or nighttime, they do not generate electricity. There are some battery solutions to provide power during these times, but they still tend to be quite expensive. Most homes with solar panels still rely on the grid from time to time.

Components Of A Solar Panel

The components of a solar panel arent as complex as you might think. Some of the first solar panels were developed in the late 1800s. The most important solar panels component is the photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and transfer the energy to the inverters that change the DC electricity to AC electricity. Each photovoltaic cell is contained within a larger silicon cell encased in glass and metal to protect it from weather and water damage.

The glass that covers the silicon PV cells is covered in an anti-reflective coating to help the panels collect the most sunlight possible and, in turn, generate an optimal amount of electricity. A solar inverter is the portion of the solar energy system that acts as the systems power plant and converts the energy to alternating current .

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The Benefits Of Solar Panels

Using solar panels is a very practical way to produce electricity for many applications. The obvious would have to be off-grid living. Living off-grid means living in a location that is not serviced by the main electric utility grid. Remote homes and cabins benefit nicely from solar power systems. No longer is it necessary to pay huge fees for the installation of electric utility poles and cabling from the nearest main grid access point. A solar electric system is potentially less expensive and can provide power for upwards of three decades if properly maintained.

Besides the fact that solar panels make it possible to live off-grid, perhaps the greatest benefit that you would enjoy from the use of solar power is that it is both a clean and a renewable source of energy. With the advent of global climate change, it has become more important that we do whatever we can to reduce the pressure on our atmosphere from the emission of greenhouse gases. Solar panels have no moving parts and require little maintenance. They are ruggedly built and last for decades when porperly maintained.

There are many other applications and benefits of using solar panels to generate your electricity needs – too many to list here. But as you browse our website, you’ll gain a good general knowledge of just how versatile and convenient solar power can be.

How Much Power Do You Consume Daily

My Solar Panels Paid for Themselves & I Want More!

When deciding on the number of solar panels you’ll need, it’s important to consider the amount of energy your household normally uses. This can be worked out by studying past utility bills and calculating the amount of electricity your home consumes on an hourly and daily basis.

The more solar panels you have installed on your roof, the more power you will be able to generate for your home.

If you need help to make the calculations, please contact us and well be happy to do it for you.

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Solar Batteries Are Expensive But May Be Worth It For Those Who Use A Substantial Amount Of Electricity

A solar battery can store any excess power generated by your solar panels that you don’t use at the time, rather than exporting it back to the grid. They aren’t cheap costing about £2,100 for a three kilowatt-hour battery.

The savings you make on your bills can be significant, though. The price you’re paid for each unit of energy you export to the grid is usually much lower than the price you pay your supplier for electricity. So, economically, it makes more sense to store the energy and use it yourself with E.on saying a household with a battery could use 30% more of the electricity they generate themselves.

Another potential advantage of a battery is that it can increase the rate you get paid for exporting your electricity back to the grid. Some firms will pay many times more than the standard amount if you buy certain types of batteries. See what firms pay.

The battery isn’t all about what you generate yourself, either. If you’re on a flexible ‘time-of-use’ energy tariff, with cheaper electricity overnight for example, you can charge the battery at cheaper times from the grid and use it to power your house during more expensive hours.

What Is A Solar Payback Period

As with other investments, the solar payback period estimates how long it will take for you to break even on your solar energy investment. The payback period for solar is calculated based on the cost of solar, net of any incentives, and the savings youll see by avoiding paying for electricity.

As an example, if your solar panel system has a payback period of eight years, this means that your solar panels will save enough on your electricity bills to cover the cost you paid for them in just eight years. But solar panels last for 25 or even 30 years, so after year eight, its all gravy: thats when youll truly start to see massive savings from solar, often on the order of tens of thousands of dollars over the next two decades.

In this piece, we talk through the payback period of solar when you pay for solar upfront. But thats not the only way to pay for a solar panel system: both solar loans and solar leases/PPAs are very popular methods of financing a solar energy system. In the case of a solar loan or a lease/PPA, you pay for solar monthly, as opposed to up front. While youll save less money in the long run by paying for solar with a loan or lease, so long as your monthly solar payments are less than what you currently pay for electricity, your payback period for solar is right away: youll start saving in month one!

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How Do I Earn Money Through The Feed

Solar electricity going back to the grid can attract a feed-in tariff.

The payment you receive from your electricity retailer for your excess electricity generated by your solar power system is called a feed-in tariff. The electricity retailer will pay you for the excess solar electricity which you produce and feed back to the grid, usually by way of a credit on your electricity bill. This can help you to recover the cost of the system faster. Electricity retailers offer different rates of feed in tariffs. The mayor energy retailers have reduced their feed-in rates down to 5c/kWh. However, there are smaller retailers that will offer 8c/kW, even 10c/kW could be possible. We suggest you ask your solar installer which company pays the highest feed-in tariff in your local area. Be prepared to switch electricity retailer to get the best feed-in tariff.

South Australia Net Feed In Tariff

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

IMPORTANT: Participants in the Group 4 feed in tariff group stopped receiving 16c per kilowatt hour on September 30, 2016. View our guide for advice.

South Australias solar feed in tariff comprises two components: the distributor contribution, plus a minimum electricity retailer contribution.

Households that joined the program before October 31 2011 receive 44c per kilowatt hour from SA Power Networks for a period of 20 years.

Additionally, the electricity retailer contribution is as follows:

  • 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2013 9.8c per kilowatt hour
  • 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2014 7.6c/kWh
  • From 1 July 2014 , a minimum 6.0c/kWh which takes into account the abolishing of the carbon tax.
  • From 1 January 2015, 5.3c/kWh
  • and lastly, from 1 January 2016, 6.8c/KWh

From 1 January 2017 a minimum amount has not been set. Contact individual retailers for their feed in tariff rates.

View solar power specials for Adelaide and South Australia.

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Northern Territory Net Feed In Tariffs

For new connections, the Northern Territory feed in tariff is 1-for-1 whatever the customers consumption tariff is:

  • residential customers: 19.23 c/kWh
  • commercial: 22.37 c/kWh
  • commercial time-of-use customers: peak 28.63 c/kWh and off-peak 16.12 c/kWh

Customers under the Alice Springs Solar City initiative receive 51.28 c/kWh, still capped at $5/day, but that rate is only for existing customers under the initiative. The funding has been fully allocated now, so no new customers can receive this rate.

Benefits Of Solar Panels Outweigh Disadvantages

  • Green energy for sustainable development. The world tries hard to decrease greenhouse emissions. Solar energy is one the biggest hopes of humanity to stop global warming as solar panels don’t release harmful gases into the environment.
  • Reliable source of energy in all circumstances. Panels work all day long and arent afraid of harsh weather or natural disasters. They dont need fuel, they make no smell or sound and their lifespan exceeds 25 years.
  • Smart long-term investment that offsets your energy expenses. On average, solar panels allow you to decrease your monthly electricity bill by $100. In some cases you stop paying for energy at all. In the US, solar panels generally pay for themselves in 6-8 years, depending on the area. Everything after that is profit. What is more, a solar system increases the value of your property and prolongs the lifespan of your roof.

Is your state attractive for

going solar?

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Solar Panels Do Well In The Winter

  • Almost all solar panels are installed at an angle. The tilt helps snow slide off the modules once the heap is heavy enough. The only place you would want them flat is at the equator where snow is not a problem at all.
  • Solar panels heat up while working. Besides, they are dark and attract heat. Snow melts, slides down and even cleans your panels in the process.

Investment Cost Of Your Solar Panels

How Do You Pay for Solar?

Take your solar system size in kW, and multiply it by the price per kW for solar panels. Then, subtract any tax incentives to get your Investment Cost.

Investment Cost = Tax Incentives

You can calculate that too, depending on what percentage of your energy needs you want to meet with solar:

System size = ÷

I know, this is a long formula, so take a look at our example here.

Example #1:

  • Your daily energy use is bang-on average at 30kWh.
  • You want to cover 80% of your electricity bill with solar.

In America, sunlight hours range from 4-6, so well call it 5. System efficiency accounts for imperfect panels, shading and soiling, and energy loss when converting the direct current produced by the panels into more useful alternating current . While efficiency changes from installation to installation depending on the equipment and local weather, the National Renewable Energy Lab uses an average of 77% efficiency for their research and solar calculators, so thats what well use as well.

So our system size would be: ÷ = 6.2kW system size

Take this number, and apply it to the Investment Cost formula. According to a 2016 solar installation cost benchmark from NREL, the average price of solar panels is around $2.93/W . Subtract the federal tax credit which saves you 30% of the solar system price.

Thus, Investment Cost = 30%.

= $18,166

= $12,716 total investment cost going solar

N.B This did not include any state incentives, which would lower your investment cost.

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