Wednesday, February 02, 2011 / House & Home - Enlightened energy

Hmmm...we have a south facing roof that might be should we invest in solar photovoltaic panels or look into 'rent a roof' schemes? Interesting piece on this issue in the Financial Times.

“If you’ve got a bit of spare cash, it’s better to invest it in solar photovoltaic than putting your money in a building society,” says Charles Couzens, executive director of Ecos Trust, a Somerset-based charity that provides advice on sustainable building. He points out that you can get a healthy financial return of between 6 and 9 per cent, tax free.

The sea change for photovoltaic (PV) panels and other green electricity sources has come about through the introduction of feed-in tariffs in Britain in April 2010. This means that anyone installing small-scale electricity generation in homes, schools, hospitals or businesses can claim a substantial tariff – 41.3p a unit – for what they produce. And they get a further 3p a unit for any surplus electricity exported to the grid – as well as saving the cost of buying electricity in... Germany, a national system of feed-in tariffs has turned a mostly cloudy country into a world leader in domestic solar panels. More than 250,000 people are employed in the industry and Germany is exporting components around the world...

...But what about people on lower incomes or those with young families who are unlikely to have enough money to spare? There is an alternative – a number of companies in the UK, and in other countries too, are offering consumers the chance to have solar panels installed and benefit from the energy they produce without having to pay a penny for them. Under most of these “rent-a-roof” schemes, the householder makes savings on their electricity bills, but gets nothing of the feed-in tariffs – these accrue solely to the panel owner... / House & Home - Enlightened energy

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