By far the most widely used renewable energy technology in the world. Harness the power of the sun to create your own electricity instead of buying it from your energy provider.
The panels are usually roof mounted (either on roof rails or counter-sunk into the roof to give a flush finish) but can also be ground mounted in a garden or a field and the number of panels used will be dependent on your electricity production requirements. A battery storage system can be added to store any excess electricity (rather than exporting this back to the grid) for use later and therefore maximising the use of the electricity generated from your solar PV panels.
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) started at the beginning of 2020 pays customers for renewable electricity they have generated and put into the grid. SEG pays for any excess electricity you generate but don’t use on site and subsequently put into the grid. Companies set their own SEG tariff prices and what they pay varies greatly with payments from 0.5p/kWh and 5.5p/kWh currently so you’ll need to shop around to make sure you get the best deal. You don’t have to apply for SEG payments from your current electricity supplier, you can apply to any company with more than 150,000 customers which covers most of the main players in this industry.
If you fit a home battery storage system, you’ll be able to store and use more of the electricity you have generated, helping you save more on your electricity bill. However, different tariffs have different rules around whether they’ll pay for electricity stored in a battery, especially if some of it could be ‘brown’ electricity from the grid. Check what your chosen SEG company’s rules are. If they’ll pay for stored electricity then you could earn more with a flexible tariff by storing electricity to export at times when rates are higher.
If you install solar panels you should be able to sign up to a SEG tariff. You’ll need to meet certain criteria though like having a smart meter that can provide half-hourly readings for electricity export and your installation must be MCS-certified. In practice, to provide half-hourly meter readings it’s likely that you will need a smart meter. Although the government told us that it’s ‘still possible to enjoy the benefits of SEG without a smart meter’, you’ll need more than a traditional electricity meter because these cannot take half-hourly readings. Some advanced meters can do this or ‘any other type of export meter’, according to the government – but you’ll need to get one of these installed if you don’t already have one.
So make sure that you get a second-generation smart meter that can take export meter readings if you’re considering installing renewable technology.
Funding options are available through the Energy Savings Trust (Scotland) where home owner / occupiers can apply for an interest free loan of up to a £5,000 when installing solar PV panels as well as an additional £6,000 interest free loan if installing a battery storage system.
Arrange a free solar pv consultation to see how this technology can work for you.