Archive for 'Fuel prices'

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!

Sep 22

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has said he is determined to “get tough” with the six biggest energy companies, in his speech to the Lib Dem conference.

Mr Huhne also said he wants to help smaller companies get a share of the market.

He wants to do this by ending the practice by the biggest firms of luring new customers with cheap deals paid for by charging millions of their consumers high bills.

Mr Huhne said: “It is not fair that big energy companies can push their prices up for the vast majority of their consumers – who do not switch – while introducing cut-throat offers for new customers that stop small firms entering the market.

“That looks to me like predatory pricing. It must and will stop.”

What Mr Huhne has not talked about in his speech, however, is the scandal of energy companies imposing massive increases on consumers and blaming the wholesalers – when in some cases the wholesalers are those same energy companies.

Making the case for a low-carbon economy, which Mr Huhne claimed will eventually lead to far cheaper energy for everyone in the country, he said Britain is in danger of falling behind the emerging industrial nations.

Jul 12

British Gas became the first of the 5 remaining “big-six” energy suppliers to follow Scottish powers announcement to increase it’s gas and electricity prices, putting further pressure on household purses.

Gas bills will rise by an average 18% and electricity bills by an average of 16%. The change will affect nine million households with the average dual fuel customer paying an extra £190 a year.

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley said its bills were being driven higher by the fact that the company buys 50% of its gas on the international wholesale market, which has seen the wholesale cost of gas go up by 30% since last winter.

The company said it had been selling energy at a loss for the past three or four months.

Spending squeeze

In June, Scottish Power became the first of the big-six energy suppliers to announce another set of price increases. It said it would raise the cost of gas by 19% and the cost of electricity by 10% at the start of August.

“Average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer will now go up from £1,096 to £1,288,” said the price comparison service Uswitch.

“In total, British Gas customers will have seen their bills shoot up by £258 or 25% within a year, taking them from £1,030 a year to £1,288,” Uswitch added.

Oliver Yeates, Director at renewable energy installers PV FIT, said “the scary thing about the latest price increases is that they are caused by a large percentage of energy being bought on the world markets. This problem just isn’t going to go away if the Government maintain the status quo and do not increase investment in renewable sources of energy”.

“The PV Feed-In Tariff (PV FIT) is proving to be a very popular scheme that is boosting uptake of renewables across the UK. In the short time the scheme has been operating we’ve seen a dramatic increase in uptake and also seen costs come down. Despite this the Governments recent decision to reduce FIT’s for larger scale projects above 50kW saw investor confidence drop, which is only now starting to recover but not to the level we experienced prior to the cuts”.

“We need a commitment from government that they will step up support for the renewables sector in particular, as we have seen in Germany for nearly a decade, as this is the only way the industry can help fill the void left by our depleted natural resources, and our reduce our reliance on imported energy which is susceptible to ‘world issues’ as we’ve seen in Libya and the Middle-East”.

According to the Energy Saving Trust average household consumes 3300kWh (units) of electricity per year. A 16 panel (3.92kW) solar pv installation, which typically takes 1 day to complete, on a South facing roof can generate 3365kWh, offering income and savings of £1744 per year. These savings can be increased by changes in usage habits, such as using washing machine or dishwasher during the day instead of at night, plus they are index linked to RPI and tax free for 25 years.

PV FIT offer a free solar survey service over the phone using aerial and streetview imagery to establish the location and number of solar panels you can fit on your roof, and quickly establish a fixed price and anticipated return on investment.

“Our customers like our telephone surveys they are unobtrusive and only take up 20 minutes of their time, compared to 2 hours for a home visit. We are often in the position to email a fixed price quotation within 24 hours of their call, with the ability to start work on site within 2-3 weeks from date of their order” said Dave Houston of PV FIT.

“We have a large number of happy customers across the UK whom have gone through this process and are more than happy to speak to anyone looking to invest in a solar pv from PV FIT”.

Getting a PV FIT quotation is simple, call 0344 567 9032 (4.6p/min peak or free from most contract mobile providers) or fill in our web form and we will call you.

For more information see PV FIT

May 10

Major new report recommends the UK generates 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030

The independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will today release a major new report arguing that the UK should be able to deliver at least 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 as part of efforts to deliver deep cuts in carbon emissions.

Speaking to BusinessGreen, CCC chief executive David Kennedy said that the recommended targets were demanding but achievable.

“Thirty per cent is not the maximum of what is technically feasible, it is what we think is appropriate given the economics and other factors,” he said. “It will be challenging and it is not going to happen on its own.”

The report calls for a mix of renewable energy technologies, including wind and marine energy, air and ground source heat pumps, and the use of bioenergy for heat generation.

It also outlines a series of demand management and smart grid technologies that would allow the grid to support high levels of intermittent renewable power.

Read the full Business Green article

Apr 18

PV FIT were pleased to attend the Cheshire Greener Futures Show at Reaseheath College on Friday 15th April.

Dave Houston, PV FIT’s Managing Director, delivered a 30 minute Q&A session on Generating electricity and an income from the sun using Solar PV, which proved to be very popular amongst those attending.

As a result of this interest we’ve attached a copy of the presentation slides to this post. The presentation offers a brief overview of photovoltaics, how they work, levels of income you can expect from the feed in tariff and ways you can fund an installation.

Dave says “We have access to a portfolio of lenders whom are interested in funding renewable energy projects, especially solar PV, for commercial customers in Private and Public sectors including councils, HA’s and colleges. In some cases it is possible to achieve cash flow neutral/positive funding, where the FIT income services the repayments over the full term of the loan, which takes away the main stumbling block in finding capital to fund a photovoltaic installation in the first place”.

For more information on how much a solar PV system will cost and the finances options available please call us on 0844 567 9032 or email

Delegates were also interested in the Carbon footprint of photovoltaics, as many believed that PV panels only repay the Carbon emitted in their production of a long period of time.

Whereas Carbon is emitted in production of photovoltaics, the general consensus from a number of different studies suggests a Carbon Payback term of 3 years. We’ve attached a comparison by Colin Bankier and Steve Gale, first published on Energy Bulletin, of a number of studies and reports into PV energy payback which may be of further interest.

Mar 03

Ofgem have published the RPI adjusted FITs tariffs for the period 1/4/11 to 31/3/12.

All tariffs, including the export tariff as well as the generation tariff, have been increased by 4.8% in line with the RPI change over the period 1/1/10 to 31/12/10.

As well as those who install in year 2 of the FITs (i.e. after 1st April 2011) getting the new tariff levels, everyone who installed in year 1 will get the increased tariffs from 1/4/11.

The table of new tariffs for all eligible renewable technologies is available from the Ofgem website.

We have provided the example below to show how much extra will you earn from your PV investment:

Dave Houston, MD of Chester based nationwide solar installers PV FIT, commented; “Today’s announcement on the RPI adjustment comes as welcome news for our customers amid growing concerns of the Governement’s comprehensive review of subsidy levels offered by the feed in tariff scheme”.

“We hope that the increased tariff rate will stimulate those who haven’t yet taken the plunge to now proceed with a solar photovoltaic installation before any potential cuts to tariff rates come into effect on 1st March 2012″.

If you are considering installing solar PV it has never been simpler – call us today on 0844 567 9032 or request a solar survey online.

Jan 20

According to a report published by Ofgem on 17th January 2011, the average household supplied by the “big six” energy suppliers consumes 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh for gas.

Ofgem also explain how these costs are made up and to what level, for example “wholesale energy, supply costs and profit margin” account for 63% of electricity bills with the rest made up of distribution/transmission charges, 5% VAT, environmental costs and meter provision – read the full Ofgem report.

In money terms this means the average gas bill for a standard direct debit account is £608. For electricity it is £424, making a combined energy bill of £1032 per year.

One way to reduce your reliance on energy bought from the grid is to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system onto your home or business. “The main incentive for going solar is the introduction of Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), where you are paid an above market rate for the energy that your PV system generates” says David Houston, Managing Director of Chester based MCS solar installers PV FIT Ltd. “A typical PV FIT householder can benefit from a tax free income in excess of £1000+ per year, which will rise with inflation and is Government guaranteed for 25 years”.

An average solar pv system consists of 16 panels with a peak output of 2.96kWp. Here’s how installing solar panels can reduce your energy costs:
  • A 2.96kW pv system installed on a South facing unshaded pitched roof at 30 degrees
  • It will deliver approx. 2162 kWh per year (according to SAP 2009)
  • You will qualify for the top rate of fit at 41.3p/kWh = 2162 x 41.3 = £892.90 FIT income
  • You will use on average 50%, in this case 1081 kWh, of the solar energy you generate in your home. This will save you paying for electricity from the grid, which if you currently pay 14p/kWh will save you £151.34
  • You then sell the surplus energy back to your energy supplier who will pay you 3p/kWh, generating an additional income of £32.43
  • Combined annual income and savings amount to £1076.67, equivalent to 96% of the average household energy bill.

The whole solar installation will cost £11,299 (incl VAT), meaning you can see your money back in *10.5 years, and an additional 14.5 years of profit!

Getting a quote from PV FIT couldn’t be easier…

1. Call us or fill in our solar survey form

2. We will complete a 20 minute survey over the phone to determine if your installation is feasible

3. We email you a fixed price comprehensive quotation open for 30 days, detailing the equipment we will supply, how long it will take to install, and an estimate of how much you will earn through the FIT

4. You read through the information and then contact us with any queries. If you are happy with our price and rest of the information provided you place your order

5. We arrange for an engineer to visit you to check over survey and agree an installation date; as well as agreeing with you where you would like cables will run and equipment is to be located. They then return on the agreed date to complete your installation, after which we complete required forms and liaise with your energy supplier to enable you to claim your FIT.

It couldn’t be simpler! Contact us PV FIT today for your free solar survey.

*Note: The above example is designed to demonstrate basic return as does not take into account inflation, time value of money or savings on tax versus other forms of investment. Performance estimates are calculated using the Governments Standard assessment procedure (SAP) and are for use as guidance only, as it is impossible for us to guarantee the performance of your system due to changes in the weather from year to year.

Jan 11

The BBC reported today that E.ON were the 5th of the big 6 energy suppliers to raise their gas and electricity costs this Winter.

E.ON say they had “no option” other than increasing their rates for gas by 3% and electricity by 9%, due to the rising wholesale cost of energy.

A typical dual fuel customer will see their annual bill increase by £62 following the price rises, according to calculations by price comparison website

“As an energy consumer myself I am not surprised by this latest announcement regarding fuel price increases. Coupled with spending cuts and wage freezes, these fuel price rises are putting even more strain on household and business purse strings, and it is only likely to get worse in the future” says David Houston, Managing Director of Chester based solar energy installers PV FIT Ltd.

One way that energy consumers can protect themselves against escalating costs in by investing in a solar photovoltaic system. Thanks to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, launched in April 2010, consumers now get paid an above market rate the the renewable electricity that they generate.

A 4kW system on a South facing roof can offer income and savings of £1600+ per year, which can be more if your property is in South. For householders, this offers a tax free income, which is linked to inflation and guaranteed by the Government for 25 years, equivalent to 10-12% annual return on your capital investment.

A PV FIT system usually takes 1-2 days to install, and consists of:

  • 10-20 solar panels mounted on your roof
  • a solar inverter located in your loft
  • and a cable which drops down to your consumer unit (fuse box) which is connected to your mains supply – enabling you to sell any excess energy back to the grid

You can also keep track of your PV FIT systems performance through your own web page which records how much power you have generated, and more importantly how much you have earned!

PV Fit Ltd are a nationwide MCS approved installers so call or now on 0844 567 9032 for your free 20 minute solar survey, or pop your details in our solar survey form and we will get in touch.

Source: Read the full BBC article

Jan 04

The increase in the amount of energy generated from renewable sources in the UK over the next decade will surpass that of every other EU Member State, according to Chris Huhne. The energy and climate change secretary conceded the UK’s poor standing in EU’s renewable energy rankings, and said the UK has “a massive catch up” to do.

According to the latest official figures, in 2008 the UK ranked third from bottom on renewable energy in the EU ahead of only Luxembourg and Malta.

“We are exceeded in our paucity of delivery only by Malta and Luxembourg. This is the legacy we have inherited. The essential legacy is pretty damn poor. We have got massive catch up. We will be the fastest improving country on renewables in the EU between now and 2020. I’m absolutely determined about that and it will happen.”

The UK has been sluggish in getting its renewable industry off the ground, but investment has started to pick up dramatically in the last few years, particularly in offshore wind farms.

A recent report carried out by Bloomberg Energy Finance for Pew Charitable Trusts forecast that, based on current policies, $114bn (£73bn) would be invested in renewable energy in Britain between 2010 and 2020, the fourth highest amount in the world. Germany will spend more, but its rate of investment will fall, according to the report. Huhne’s comments will reassure environmentalists that David Cameron’s post-election pledge to be the “greenest government ever” remains a priority.

Source: This article first appeared at the Guardian. See the full article in BusinessGreen