An installation of Dimplex solar PV panels is exceeding its energy expectations, providing free household electricity and earning the householder over £800 in just three months, with an anticipated system payback of 8-9 years.
The property on the south coast has been fitted with 16 Dimplex solar photovoltaic panels on its roof and within fewer than four months of installation had generated over 1800 units of electricity. The income to the householder is over £800 in addition to providing some free household electricity with a net benefit in excess of £850.
Fitted in two working days by Dimplex’s Poole-based installer partner Anolis Renewable Energy, the system takes advantage of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) via energy supplier Scottish and Southern Energy.
The FiT is an incentive structure legislated by government to encourage the adoption of renewable energy in the UK and help lower carbon emissions. The system owner is paid up to 43.3p for every unit of electricity generated and 3p for every unused unit generated that is fed back into the power grid. The rates are linked for the duration of the contract to the Retail Price Index (RPI) which is reviewed annually so that rates remain in line with inflation.
The panels occupy an area of around 27m2 on the south-south west facing roof, with a total capacity of 3.68kW and homeowner David Collins is monitoring the performance closely.
“We’ve been watching the development of this technology carefully and we’re in an excellent position to maximise the benefits. When Dimplex introduced its PV range we decided the time was right to take the plunge. Because of our location, we expect to generate more than the average predictions but the results so far have exceeded our expectations, even when it’s cloudy or raining,” he said.
“We estimate that over 80% of the energy we generate is being exported to the grid and will be able to monitor that more closely when the export meter is fitted. We’re far more attentive to the weather forecast now as we can have a choice of off peak or solar generated power for water heating and we’re still getting accustomed to having nil cost electricity available during the day and altering the times we run household appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher,” said David.
The property’s location is in the resort town of Swanage, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the famous Jurassic coast. And, although there was no definitive planning policy on the installation of solar panels, David Collins made a formal application for permission which was granted by Purbeck District Council and the installation was completed and fully working just four days later.
The 40 year old house needed no special roof re-enforcements or adaptations in order to fit the panels which was another aspect considered during the planning process.
“We’re right on the coast and get the full effects of all weathers and some strong winds so we wanted to be certain the installation could stand up to that. The panels are actually quite light but have very strong brackets and fixings which only needed to be screwed into the roof trusses, with no need to drill the roof tiles. In fact the only problem we’ve had is from the attention of the seagulls whose habits could reduce the performance of the panels slightly so it pays to keep them clean!” added David.
The Dimplex solar PV installation has also been included on the property’s insurance policy at no additional charge.