1: How many panels you have—the more solar panels, the more power
2: How efficient your solar panels are—essentially, the more expensive the PV panel, the more efficient they are at converting light into electricity
3: The direction your roof points, and the pitch (angle) of your roof—naturally, the more you roof points towards the sun, the more effective your Solar PV system will be
4: Whether there is any significant shade—other buildings and tall trees can impact the amount of power you produce from your solar panels
5: Where you are in the country—our computer-modeled forecasts use historical sunshine records broken down region by region to ensure we don’t over-forecast. We serve the Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Bishops Stortford area primarily where, happily, we have more sunshine than the rest of country!
Remember, Solarbarn will give you a free full computer-modeled survey of your proposed solar power installation taking all these variables into account.
Happily, in the last two years, Solarbarn’s customers’ Solar PV panels have generated 12% more than our forecasts, on average, with some customers seeing 20% above target.
The latest Feed-In Tariffs explained
- The Generation Tariff for home Solar PV systems up to 10kW is now 4.32p per kilowatt hour (kWh) for all the power you produce
- In addition you’re paid a ‘deemed’ Export Tariff of 50% of 4.91p per kWh (see below)
- Therefore, for a typical 4kW home system you’ll receive a total of 6,78p per kWh
- A 4kW home Solar PV system on an unshaded south-facing roof will therefore earn you in the region of £240 in year one, increasing in line with the RPI (retail price index) over 20 years
The ‘deemed export’ tariff simply assumes that 50% of the power your solar panels produce will be fed into the national grid. However, you will be paid this tariff on top of the main 12.47p Generation tariff even if you use all the electricity you produce yourself, and don’t export any into the national grid at all.
This applies right up to large 30kW commercial solar energy systems. Above that you will need to have a specific Export Meter to claim the full 4.85p export tariff. (To see the latest commercial tariff rates in full, click The Latest Government Tariffs Explained on the left.)
Your tariff at installation is fixed for 20 years
There is a lot of confusion amongst potential buyers about this! Please be clear: the tariff that applies when your Solar PV system is commissioned is the tariff you’ll receive for the next 20 years. It’s also index-linked to inflation and tax-free as long as you remain the resident of the house.
Staged tariff reductions have always been part of the government’s plan to encourage householders to install Solar PV systems. As solar power equipment prices have dropped due to mass production, and as electricity prices rise ahead of inflation, less incentive is required. Hence the Feed-In Tariff will be reduced every 3 months for new entrants to the scheme.
But the tariffs are never reduced retrospectively – so even when they’re reduced again, they will only apply to brand new solar power installations.
Plus you’ll save on your electricity bills
In addition to the income from the Feed-In Tariff, fitting solar panels means you will also see a reduction in your electricity bills. The exact amount depends on a) the size of your Solar PV system, b) the amount of electricity you consume, and c) when during the day you consume it.
This means a typical 4kW home Solar PV system could save up to £150-250 per year at current power prices.