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If I install solar panels without incentives, can Action Renewables sell my energy?

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If I install solar panels without incentives, can Action Renewables sell my energy?

The simple answer is yes. If you opt to do this, Action Renewables can sell your exported energy by securing the best deal on the energy market. We keep prices under review and seek the best deals for our portfolio of generators. However, you should consider the following factors:

  1. The pattern of your electricity demand is important, and you should aim to use as much of the generated energy during daylight hours to get the best value from your panels.

  2. Consider what you pay for electricity as this is important in calculating the benefit to you. It is always best to use as much of the electricity generated and export as little as possible.

In order to reduce exported energy, an electronically controlled water heater can be installed with your panel so that additional units are directed into your hot water tank if you have one. This system costs approximately £5,000, fully installed. Without a water heater, the system could cost around £4500.

The advantages of using your generated energy onsite
 

Financial payback may not be your primary motive for installing renewable technologies. However, the following scenarios illustrate the advantage of using the energy you generate onsite and aiming to minimise the amount exported.

A typical 4kW domestic sized solar PV installation in Northern Ireland is likely to generate approximately 3,800 units per annum. So, if you currently pay around 18 pence per unit, then using all 3,800 units on-site would save you £680 per annum or around £170 per kW installed, providing a medium-term payback of around 7 years. It is estimated that the value yielded over a 20-year life on this basis is around £15,800 (using a non-discounted cashflow), not accounting for occasional maintenance costs.

It is unlikely that you will use all the energy generated. So, for comparison, systems exporting 75% or 50% would payback in year 8 and 9 respectively. The remainder of the life of the panel will yield a direct income for the building owner, less any maintenance costs which an installer should advise you of.

Find out more
 

In the absence of renewable incentives, the financial feasibility of installing solar panels is still a favourable medium-term investment, with revenues continuing after the payback period. To find out more information, or if you have any other domestic solar queries, click the button below: 

Domestic solar FAQs
Mark Compston

Mark Compston
Senior Project Manager

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