Archive for October, 2011

Oct 31

DECC have today confirmed the booming solar industries worst fears by publishing their “consultation” on feed in tariff cuts for PV systems.

The table above shows the proposed deep cuts will apply to all new installations completed after the 12th December 2011. This gives customers and installers just 6 weeks to complete any existing contracts at the current rates.What’s more although the proposals are “out for consultation” the changes in tariff levels come into effect before the consultation is due to close on the 23rd December.

David Houston, Director at Chester based PV FIT Ltd, says: “Today’s announcement confirms our worst fears and makes a mockery of the coalitions claims to be behind renewables and their intention to ween people off centralised produced power”.

The proposed domestic tariff levels, which are apparently “out to consultation”, mean a 4kW pv system on an optimum South facing roof will now take 11.3 years to payback, up from 6.5 years under current tariff levels.

“We accept that costs of PV equipment have come down in the 18 months since the FITs were introduces in April 2010. These savings however only translate to a 30% saving on a fully installed system. A knee-jerk 50% cut to FITs is disproportionate and will severely affect investor confidence in a sector which has already seen large PV systems disappear over night due to similar draconian cuts earlier this year” says Houston.

The full details of the comprehensive review for PV FITs consultation can be found on DECC’s website. Other proposed changes include:

Introduce new multi-installation tariff rates for aggregated solar PV schemes i.e. where a single individual or organisation owns or receives FIT payments from more than one PV installation, located on different sites.

a new energy efficiency requirement for FITs for solar PV (see section 3 of consultation for more detail). The new requirement would apply to all new solar PV installations with an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012 which are attached to or wired to provide electricity to a building.

What next?

Many are predicting a solar gold-rush up to the government’s imposed cut-off point of 12th December, after which solar firms will be left to reassess their offerings. There are likely to be severe job cuts in an industry which has created over 20,000 new jobs in the past year.

David Houston advised,  “PV FIT currently have spare capacity in the lead up to the 12th December. To avoid disappointment you will need to book your installation ASAP – if you haven’t already had a quote we can survey over the phone in 10 minutes and will email a quote same day”.

In the lead up to 12th December PV FIT are offering full installation at following prices:

Call today for your free solar PV quotation on 0344 567 9032 or fill in our free solar survey.

Oct 14

Ofgem says  the profit margin for energy firms has risen from £15 in June, to £125 per customer per year.

The profit figure is a snapshot of the amount suppliers would make from dual-fuel customers if energy prices and bills stay unchanged for the next year.

Predictably energy suppliers argue that Ofgem’s figures were misleading and do not paint a realistic picture of profitability.

“A snapshot of profits every few months does not provide a realistic picture of the average profits over a year of companies in the sector,” said Christine McGourty, director of Energy UK, which represents energy suppliers.

“It is the rising cost of wholesale energy that has contributed to the increase in customers’ bills this year.”

“The approach adopted by Ofgem in calculating this figure is entirely theoretical and does not reflect how a responsible energy supply business manages its energy procurement strategy in reality,” said SSE, which estimates its profit margin at £62 per customer.

Simpler Tariffs
Ofgem also say they are intent on forcing suppliers to simplify their tariffs to make it simpler for consumers to see whether they are on the best possible deal.

Energy suppliers will be forced to have no-frills tariffs, as part of The simplification plan, which would consist of a standing charge – fixed by the regulator – plus a unit charge for energy used.

This would mean the only figure which consumers would need to look at when looking to switch deals is the unit energy charge.

Under Ofgem’s simplification plan, more complicated tariffs would still be available, but they would have to be for a fixed period, with price increases not being allowed for the duration of the deal.

A costly Winter ahead

The average dual-fuel bill is now £1,345 a year following recent price rises from all the big suppliers.

“When consumers face energy bills at around £1,345 they must have complete confidence that this price is set by companies competing in a fully competitive market,” said Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan.

“At the moment that is not the case.”

Why put up with constant price rises? Contact PV FIT today for your free solar survey and you could start earning in excess of £1000+ p.a. from the Sun!

Oct 05

New research conducted by utility and environmental consultancy Gemserv has identified huge demand from British households to ‘Go Green’ and produce their own energy.

Gemserv’s study of over 2000 British adults found that 61% of homeowners would consider installing means to generating their own energy, whether using solar PV panels, installing air source heat pumps, using biomass fuel or harnessing the power of nature by using hydro power. If the so-called ‘green gap’ could be bridged, approximately 15 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved each year, the report claims.

However, despite the UK’s appetite for renewable energy, Gemserv’s research found that the widespread lack of awareness about installation, cost savings and benefits is stopping people from reducing their carbon footprints.

In these challenging economic times, expense was understandably a big consideration, 57% of homeowners who would not consider installing any of the renewable initiatives from a list they were shown said it is too expensive and 32% of people were unsure how much money they could save and/or earn from renewable energy sources.

A further 65% of Brits weren’t aware of the government’s financial incentive for generating renewable energy.

CEO of Gemserv David Thorne says: “I am encouraged by some of these findings as I am delighted that nearly half the population would like to install renewable energy technologies; what worries me is the lack of fundamental awareness surrounding it. To bridge the Green Gap it’s essential we continue to educate consumers and break down some of the myths surrounding the Green Deal, energy efficiency and microgeneration.”

More details at www.gemserv.co.uk

Dave Houston, MD of chester based solar installers PV FIT Ltd says: “I am not surprised that Germserv’s survey identified that a significant proportion of the public would be interested to install a renewable energy technology on their homes. The costs of renewable energy systems can put many people off, despite the very attractive returns offered by schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff (FITs), due to the substantial capital outlay to install them in the first place”.

“In the past year FITs have vastly increased the size of the UK’s solar PV industry, which in turn has seen the cost of equipment & installation drop significantly. In April 2010, a typical 4kW PV FIT system cost £16,000 including VAT. In October 2011, the same system has reduced to nearer £12,000 – with a South facing system offering combined tax-free income and savings of £1700p.a”.

“With wider awareness of FITs and access to low cost, or preferably, zero interest finance we feel the renewables market could be vast, with capital costs reducing at an equally rapid rate”.

FITs are due to reduce by 9% for new entrants in April 2012, although many in the renewables sector are predicting a greater reduction due to the schemes success in reducing equipment costs.

For a free no obligation solar PV quote over the phone call PV FIT on 0344 567 9032, or visit http://www.pvfit.co.uk

Oct 04

Due to continued expansion, PV FIT have moved to new offices at Regus House on Chester Business Park, still only 2 miles from Chester City Centre.

Chester Business Park is a 175 acre landscaped business environment providing the location for businesses in 1,250,000 sq ft of prime offices employing 7,500 people. Our new neighbours include MBNA (Bank of America), Marks & Spencer Money, HBOS and Natwest.

All post sent to The Gatehouse, Union Street, Chester will be automatically redirected to Regus House so there should be no interruption in the quality of service you receive from us.

Our full address is:

PV FIT Ltd, Regus House, Herons Way, Chester Business Park, Chester  CH4 9QR

We look forward to seeing you here soon!