When we talk of solar energy, the first thing that springs to mind is the panels on the roof and needing lots of sun to make them work. Miles Banner and Simon Mitchell of Northern Light Solar Systems LTD explain to Coastal View the facts and the myths about solar power.
CV: What exactly is solar energy?
NL: Solar energy is a term for describing a range of methods for obtaining energy from the sun.
CV: Is it just for making hot water for a bath?
NL: Not anymore. The electric solar panels we install will produce a safe strong supply of green electric energy and can work for 30 years or more.
CV: But don’t you need a lot of sun for it to work?
NL: It’s a bit of a myth to think the sun has to be shining brightly all the time; we do have enough sunlight, even in this part of the country to make electric solar energy effective.
CV: Is it right that the panels have to go on the roof?
NL: No. Panels can be fitted on the roof, wall, out buildings or from the ground. They can be fitted to suit you and the environment they are in.
CV: Do you need planning permission for the panels?
NL: If you live in a conservation area then you would and we can help with that process, but most systems can be fitted in such a way they wouldn’t need permission.
CV: Is solar energy a new thing?
NL: No. Many countries in Europe and the rest of the world have been making electricity from the Sun’s energy for decades. Germany which has similar weather to the UK already produces half of its daytime electric power from photovoltaic solar panels.
CV: So does it just save you a bit off your electricity bill?
NL: The government has introduced a way for you to be paid for every unit of electricity your solar panel system will make. This is called the ‘Feed in Tariff’ (FIT) Your solar panels make electricity and every unit is measured on its own FIT electricity meter. You then bill your electricity supplier who currently has to pay you 43.3pence a unit for making it. This is for 25 years and will rise with inflation. The electricity is still yours to use in your property and reduce your electricity bill by 40% in an average home. It really is that good.
CV: Does solar energy only get used in your property.
NL: It works by feeding into your electricity board but any surplus is then fedback into the national grid. Currently this isn’t measured so you will be paid a further 3.1p for half of your units on top of all the other savings.
CV: What about business premises?
NL: Commercial tariffs are available and give great returns should you wish to install a larger system, at the office, factory, School or even mounted on the ground in spare land. The FIT is guaranteed for 25 years and will rise with the retail price index infl ation.
CV: Won’t the Government tax me on the FIT?
NL: No. Private households are exempt from income tax on FIT so as long as it is for the private household use.
CV: What if I rent my property?
NL: If it’s not your property you could suggest it to your landlord. They would benefit from the FIT and you would benefit from cheaper electricity so you both win but your landlord should pay to install it!
CV: What are the benefits of solar energy?
NL: Apart from the financial benefits as we explained earlier there are many benefits to solar energy: It reduces pollution and contribution to global warming. It is an infinite energy resource. While the sun is up there it constantly produces all the energy we can use. With prices of traditional fuels soaring the cost advantages of solar energy are becoming obvious. After installation of the system, solar energy is free, which means low running costs.
CV: This all sounds too good to be true.
NL: It’s as good as it sounds. You can be saving power and making money.
CV: What do I have to do to find out more?
NL: If you have any questions then please call us. Our team can provide you with a free estimate by post or e-mail. If you would like a full quotation you can book an appointment for site visit to suit you.
Here at Northern Light we aim to provide a complete package of customer support, design and installation to any project size and specification. Expert guidance is given and we aim to see our customers 100% satisfied with their investment. Every care will be taken to ensure your individual requirements are met. On a final note, don’t forget these three important benefits:- Installing solar PV panels can save you up to 40% off of your annual electricity bill. Earn a tax free income from your solar panel system guaranteed for 25 years. Do your bit to help the environment by creating your own solar energy. We offer free quotations and advice. We will endeavour to beat any like for like price and look forward to hearing from you.