Thursday, September 22, 2022

How Do Free Solar Panels Work

If Your Firm Goes Bust Payments Won’t Transfer Automatically

How do solar panels work? – Richard Komp

If you’re on a feed-in tariff , your payments won’t transfer automatically to a new provider if your current supplier goes bust.

This is different from the smart export guarantee if you’re on a FIT, regulator Ofgem will appoint a new supplier for you, but payments won’t start until your contract starts.

The new company will contact you to confirm your tariff information and it must also confirm whether it’s a FIT licensee. If it’s not, you may need to find another FIT supplier to continue to receive payments.

As above, you’re able to choose a different supplier from the one Ofgem appoints for you if you wish, but it shouldn’t really matter, as your FIT rates won’t change.

MSE weekly email

What Have I Signed Up To With Free Solar Panels

If you’ve rented your roof out, you ought to be fully aware of what you’re involved with: you have entered into a lease contract with the company, and rented out your roof to someone else for 20-25 years.

We analysed a contract from one rent-a-roof company, and found issues with liabilities and provisions that were very much in favour of the company.

  • The contract we saw stipulated that the householder would have to get consent during the term of the lease if they wanted to sell their house, or make any alterations or additions to the building near the solar PV system. This clause would apply to a loft conversion.
  • If the panels needed to be removed for a period of time to do maintenance work on the roof, for example the householder would have to compensate the company for the missed FIT payments.

The lease stays with the property. So if you have free solar panels installed and want to sell your home within the 20-25-year lease period, you’ll have to find a buyer who is happy to take on the lease for the remainder of the contract.

The Most Efficient Solar Panels

There are two types of solar panels: PV and thermal. The type most commonly used is photovoltaic solar panels these catch the suns energy and convert it into electricity. These enable you to power your home appliances. The other type of panel is solar thermal. These enable you to heat water for your home. Most homes will install solar PV as we tend to use far more electricity so this is the most efficient way to cut down on bills.

Read Also: How To Connect Solar Panel To Generator

What Are Solar Leases / Solar Ppas

Solar leases and PPAs offer people a way to go solar with no up-front cost.

Under a solar lease, the installer builds a system on your property and charges you a monthly fee to lease the equipment from them. You pay a flat monthly fee and get to use 100% of your systems production.

Power purchasing agreements are similar, except instead of renting the equipment for a set fee each month, you buy power from the installer at a flat rate per kWh. So if you use less power than your system produces, you dont have to pay for any excess generation.

Components Of A Solar Panel

How solar Panels Work

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 .

Also Check: Can You Skydive Solo Your First Jump

Not All Homes Are Suitable For Solar Panels

To maximise what your panels can make, it’s best to make sure your home is right for them:

  • You usually need a predominantly south-facing roof. If your roof faces south-west or west you’ll still get some benefit, but it may be less effective, and you might not get the maximum savings.
  • Your roof should be unshaded between 10am and 4pm. While some early or late shading from other buildings or trees is OK, during the peak period for daylight you want the panels to be out of any shade.
  • You need a fair bit of space. Solar panels typically take up two square metres each, so the size of your roof matters.
  • Your roof needs to be in good condition. Make sure you’ve had an inspection carried out to ensure your roof isn’t damaged, as this could affect the installation. If you have old tiles, it may be worth getting them replaced before your panels are installed.
  • It’s best to have a diagonal roof to catch the most rays. If you want to install panels on a flat roof it could cost more, as you may need fixings to hold the panels in place.
  • The Downsides Of Free Solar Panels

    The appeal of free solar panels is that you dont need to have thousands of dollars on hand to switch to solar. This was great 10 years ago when the prices of solar panels were much higher than they are now. In fact, solar leases and solar PPAs helped drive the solar industry forward.

    Now, however, the cost of solar is cheaper than ever, so making cash purchases or taking out a solar loan is a realistic option for homeowners. Free solar panels just dont offer as much of a benefit as they once did.

    Actually, they tend to come with more downsides.

    You May Like: How To Get Into The Solar Industry

    Why Would They Offer Free Panels

    Simple, they can still make good profits from receiving the FIT or NIROC payments in addition to the fee they receive for selling any unused electricity back to the grid.

    So, just to make sure were clear, you get free panels on your roof plus you get to use as much of the free electricity as you can.

    Don’t get me wrong. For many of us who can’t afford residential solar panels to produce electricity, this system can be fantastic, as it can halve the cost of your annual electricity bill.

    But, as with most things there’s a little more to it.

    All the firms offering the free panels will have them fitted by a MCS registered installer, otherwise the installation won’t be eligible for the FIT or NIROC scheme and the company won’t get its payments.

    Is Leasing A Solar System Or Going With A Ppa Better Than Owning One

    Solar power 101: How does solar energy work?

    Solar leases and PPAs are a wonderful option because they make it possible for almost any homeowner to go solar, even if they do not have any cash to purchase a system. However, many homeowners have found it is more beneficial financially for them to own their solar system because they can see a substantial return on investment.

    If a homeowner decides to buy a system they not only save on energy costs as soon as the system is operational, but they also begin to generate profits from the excess energy their system produces and can take advantage of tax credits and grants. Plus they can sell their SRECs to earn even more income. In fact, on average a purchased home solar system generates a 125% return on investment in 5-7 years. By year 20, homeowners are earning a 500% return on investment.

    Many of Solar Energy Worlds customers who own their solar system now pay $0 for their electricity due to the ROI it provides. To see video testimonials of homeowners who purchased a solar system and now have a net zero energy homes, click here.

    Its also less difficult to purchase a solar system then many people think it would be. Buying a solar system is similar to purchasing a car. Most people do not pay cash for a car and most people do not pay cash for a solar system. Solar Energy World offers financing for purchase including an option where a customer can go solar for $0 down and just have low monthly payments.

    Also Check: How To Find Solo Travellers

    Can Free Solar Panels Be Installed On Any Home

    There are different solar systems for different weather conditions, and some systems come with storage facilities so that you will have power when there are grid failures.

    Shop around to find a system that is suitable for you.

    For systems that store energy for you, check out this guide on the best batteries for your solar panels.

    Not all homes are necessarily suitable for solar panels. If your roof is shaded all year round, you will not generate enough energy to power your home and you may need to purchase additional energy from the grid.

    This means that solar power may not be the right option for your home, and you are better trying to find a green energy provider if you want to power your home with more sustainable energy.

    What Happens If My Solar System Produces Surplus Energy

    If you are worried that your solar array will produce excess energy that goes to waste, have no fear! This surplus power can be used for what is known as net metering, which automatically sells this additional solar energy back to the utility grid and gives you a credit on your electricity bill. If you do not care to take part in net metering credits, you can install solar batteries. Instead of the renewable energy going back to the utility company, excess energy produced will be stored in the battery to provide backup power which can be useful during a power outage.

    Read Also: What Are The Benefits Of A Sole Proprietorship

    Choosing Solar Panels For Your Home

    There are many different options when it comes to what panels or solar energy systems you choose to install on your home. The first thing to note is that solar installers only offer specific amounts. In most cases, this means that your choices will be limited, making it even more important that you choose a reputable solar installer for your home.

    When you choose solar panels for your home, what you should look for most is the efficiency rate and life expectancy. You want the panels to produce a high amount of electricity and also to continue producing a high amount of electricity for several years. In some cases, the panels production will decline rapidly as they age, making them less effective and valuable. At Sun Badger, we only install solar panels that are guaranteed to produce at 80% of their capacity after 20 years. That means your solar investment will last for years to come, and even after a longer period of time, youll still be getting electricity from the panels.

    Can I Get My Solar Panel System For Free

    A glimpse into how solar panels work

    Its going to be difficult.

    When the Feed-In Tariff was around 15p per kWh, it made a lot of sense for companies to install and maintain solar panel systems for free. Over the course of 25 years, the solar panel installer would make around £12,000 on the Feed-In Tariff leaving the homeowner to benefit from lower energy bills.

    With the tariff at 3.93p today, the £12,000 that the installer would have earned six years ago would just yield him or her £3,144 now. Thats barely enough to pay for the solar panels let alone the installers.

    Even when the tariff was a lot higher, it was never straightforward and certain that one of these companies would have installed a system on your home anyway. Why is that?

    • You need a south-facing roof with the right orientation to catch enough sun and daylight
    • Your home needed a Grade D or better energy performance certificate
    • The further north you are, the less electricity youre going to generate

    The right set of circumstances had to exist for a company to make money from providing your home with a free solar panel system.

    Comparing Quotes Could Save You Up To 40%:

    You May Like: How To Use Solar Energy At Home

    Suitability For Your Home

    The economics of using photovoltaic panels for a specific application should be carefully investigated before installation. Different green energy technologies are more suited to some types of homes than others. Contact NI Energy Advice to find out if solar power is right for you – or if you should consider another technology, like wind power or micro combined heat and power.

    Are They A Viable Option

    We’ve all heard about free solar panels, but there’s got to be a catch, right?

    Not really!

    Once you understand the motivation of the companies that offer free solar panels it all makes a little more sense. They simply put the panels on your roof and then they take the feed in tariff or NIROCs payments.

    You simply provide a roof for them to use and in return you get whatever free electricity the panels produce.

    Don’t Miss: Do You Have To Clean Solar Panels

    Advantages Of A Solar Battery Bank

    If you do choose to install a battery bank on your home, here are some of the advantages that youll be able to experience.

    • On-demand power whenever you need it.
    • Security during power outages.
    • Cleaner energy is better for the environment.
    • A quiet solution to power outages. No need for noisy generators and their gas fuel consumption
    • Lower electric bills because you wont be using traditional power almost at all.

    There are more advantages than that, but these are the most important advantages weve found over the years. If youre sold on the idea of a solar battery bank, contact us today, and we can estimate your cost for a solar battery bank.

    What Do Solar Installers Mean When They Say Free Solar Panels

    How do solar panels work

    When installers talk about free solar panels they are referring to one of two solar financing options:

    With both solar leases and solar PPAs, you enter into a long-term contract with a solar installation company that will perform the solar panel installation at little to no cost to you. The solar company is the owner of the system and they are responsible for all maintenance and installation costs.

    Learn more:Solar leases vs. solar PPAs

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Angle To Install Solar Panels

    Solar Panels Increase The Value Of Your House

    Did you know that installing solar panels increase the value of your house? When a house comes on the market to be sold, European rules dictate that the propertys energy label be published. Having solar panels on your roof can significantly increase the value of the property, in addition to many other advantages.Zonnefabriek is located in Amsterdam, but has offices and installation teams throughout the Netherlands. Since 2009 we have installed thousands of solar power systems all over Holland, ranging from small residential systems to large commercial installations.

    The main brand of solar panels that we install is SunPower, well-known for its high quality, high efficiency solar panels.

    Forget Leasing How About Financing Your System Instead

    The revolutionary thing about solar leases was that they made it possible for virtually anyone with a roof to go solar. Solar leases were crucial in removing barriers to entry back when solar system prices were prohibitively high.

    But times have changed! Solar prices have plummeted in the last 5 years. and financing options other than solar leases have become viable. The most important of these is the solar loan. With our SolarBase Program, we can provide homeowners with $99 down financing options with 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 and 20-year term options along with the benefits of system ownership.

    So before you sign up for the first free solar panel deal that comes your way, make sure you understand what youre being offered and that youve considered our SolarBase Program.

    Read Also: Can You Write Off Solar Panels On Your Taxes

    Where Do I Get Started

    Our solar power calculator is the perfect tool to get started with solar. It will tell you:

    • How much you can save
    • How much your system will cost, and
    • What system size you need

    The calculator factors in all of the specifics of your property like roof orientation, roof pitch and shading issues and will tell you how much electricity your solar panels can generate.

    Hidden Costs Of Free Solar Panels By Payment Plan How Do Loans And Leases Compare To An Outright Purchase

    How Do Solar Panels Work infographic

    Now that you understand the nuances between solar leases, power purchase agreements, and solar loans, its important to assess the return on investment in each scenario. Heres a break down of the most potential to least potential return depending on the payment plan you choose:

    • Cash purchase: buying your solar panel system outright is usually the best value over 25 years. Even though your initial cost will be steep, you can reap all of the financial benefits and savings associated with going solar .
    • Personal loan: applying for a solar loan is the next best option when it comes to a return on investment. The initial cost is $0 however, interest payments chip away at energy savings for approximately the first 7 years until the loan is paid off. After that time period, you get to keep 100% of your energy savings.
    • Solar leases and PPAs: choosing to go with a solar lease or PPA may be something worth considering for certain homeowners. The biggest selling point here is that there is no upfront cost, but beware that the value is dampened by the solar company who takes out their cut of your savings each month. By the end of your warranty period, the lease or PPA will have taken up more than half of your potential savings as profits for the solar installer.

    Also Check: Can You Use Pine Sol In Laundry

    Popular Articles
    Related news