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Homegrown energy case study

David Humphrey lives in London and has been producing homegrown energy since April, when he had a solar pv array – rated at 2.96kW – installed on the roof of his home.

The main catalyst for David to go solar came from his experiences with an inefficient and expensive gas boiler. An energy consultant advised him to invest in an air source heat pump, which he did through our Generate Your Own website. David then thought he'd look into making his own electricity too, which led to getting 16 solar PV panels installed on his roof. The PV installation cost £14,795.68, and David receives the standard feed-in tariff rate of 41.3p per kWh for all the energy he generates.

Assuming that 50% of the electricity generated will be exported, David is paid an additional 3p per unit. David says that having generated 1.2MWh since April, he expects to receive a credit of around £513.60 from Good Energy for the energy he's produced so far.

For David, going solar and producing his own electricity is "the right thing to do" in today's world, and solar PV is certainly a great way of generating electricity; his 16 panels have already notched up nearly 1.2 MWh of power since 7th April. The decision to go solar also made financial sense to David thanks to the new feed-in tariff scheme, but this was always second in his mind to the environmental benefits. He says, "On a sunny day we generate at a rate of about 2.5 to 2.7 kW", going on to explain that even in the rain they are generating at 160 to 180 watts, "Most people think the sun has to be shining – but as long as it is bright, there are enough photons buzzing around to get the panels excited!"

David's house is south-facing, and so the solar panels are visible to anyone walking past the front of his house, which has created a bit of a buzz, with many of David's neighbours also expressing an interest in microgeneration. Fantastic news – the more people who follow his example and produce their own homegrown energy, the faster the UK can get to 100% renewable.

Discussion Thread  

Aphorism wrote:

04 Nov 2010

That's all very well for those that can afford those high installation costs. I am quite sure that many property owners would follow this example but for the prohibitively high costs. ROI on a system like this has to be considered very very long term and also costs for ongoing system maintenance.

I am convinced that current PV panels being offered are artificially expensive as there are cheaper alternative solar technologies that quite frankly are just not being made available to the public.

There's also another side to this which needs to be considered and that is insurance. A neighbour of mine had his solar system repaired with replacement panels under his building insurance policy. He told me that there was no way that he could have afforded to do that himself. Insurance Companies will eventually realize the high costs involved in this type of cover which invariably will increase insurance costs for everyone to cover the few that can afford it.

25 Nov 2010

they dont look so good

Discussion Thread  


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