Why free solar panels are best avoided
by Dennis Ambler
“Solar panels have always been expensive. As a result, only a small number of people have decided that the potential energy savings are worth the initial cost of buying and installing them.
Isis Solar is hoping to change that. Last month it hit the headlines by announcing that it is to start handing out the panels for free – saving you the full £11,000-£15,000 the average PV solar panel system costs to install. And that’s not all: Isis will fit them and maintain them for 25 years too. All you need to qualify for this fabulous sounding deal is 24sqm of south-facing, completely unshaded roof space.”
“What’s the catch?
Obviously Isis Solar isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart. So what’s in it for them?
Answer – Feed-in tariffs (Fits).
Back in April, a new scheme was launched whereby the government(?), via the utility companies, pays cash to anyone generating energy from a small-scale renewable scheme at a set level for a long period (25 years in the case of solar). (and just where does the government get its money from?)
It’s no small amount of cash either – it can add up to between £900 and £1,450 a year. But go with Isis and you won’t get it – Isis will. And that isn’t particularly financially efficient for you.
If you install the panels yourself, you’ll get the “Fits” for yourself as well as the reduced energy bills: note that, nuts as it may sound to the average tax payer, you get paid for all the electricity you produce even if you use it yourself.
It certainly is NUTS to the average taxpayer who is funding this through their utility bill, in fact it is the height of absolute lunacy)
“It may cost you a bit up front, but the cash from the government means you should have earned back the cost of the solar panels within ten years, says Miles Brignall in The Guardian. Banks are also beginning to get wind of this, and some say they may be prepared to lend money towards installation.”
This idea was introduced by the previous Labour government and is already widespread in Europe.
Money Week had looked at Solar Panels back in February:
Will solar panels pay for themselves?) Feb 12, 2010
“The government is offering £1,000 a year tax-free for 25 years in return for an initial investment of £12,500. It works like this. From 1 April any household generating its own energy will be rewarded with tax-free payments – even if that household uses all the energy it generates.
How much you get depends on the type of system you have – wind turbines, hydro-electricity schemes and solar photovoltaic panels are all included – and whether you are installing them on an existing home or a new-build property.
The most generous rewards will go to people who install solar panels. This will earn you 41.3 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated, plus an extra 3p for every kWh sent back to the National Grid.
According to Ed Miliband, (former Minister for Energy and Climate Change), who announced this ‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT) system last week, anyone fitting a typical 2.5kW solar panel system to their existing home should earn £900 in the first year, plus a £140-a-year saving on their bills.
Is there a catch? The short answer is yes.
The initial cost of installing the system, for one. That typical 2.5kW system costs around £12,500 to install. So you won’t see any return on your investment for 12 years.
That makes the idea that “these tariffs are going to generate rates of return that will beat high-street savings accounts by a mile”, as suggested by Jeremy Leggett, the chief executive of solar energy supplier Solarcentury, in The Times, laughable. You can’t possibly compare the two. With a high-street savings account you don’t lose access to your initial investment.
Still, if you have £12,500 to spare for the long term, the scheme looks attractive. The industry regulator Ofgem warned last week that bills could rise by 25% over the next ten years and having your own power source could help protect you from these rises. (I think a diesel generator may be a better option).
There are other concerns that should be taken into account. For example, you might move before you get your hands on all the payback, and the value added to your house by solar panels may not be fully recognised by buyers.
But the biggest drawback must surely be the length of the scheme. The government says payouts are guaranteed for 25 years. But there could be six changes of government in that time – one of them just around the corner. Who can be sure they’ll all stick to Miliband’s promises? If you are thinking of taking up this offer, it’s probably worth waiting at least until after the next election to do so.”
Unfortunately, the election did not bring any change of policy in the UK, because the new Prime Minister, his inner circle and his coalition partners, are all signed up to Global Warming and the need to destroy the UK economy with high energy costs, as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Low Carbon Economy at the End of the Rainbow. However, only a few will access the Pot of Gold, not least those politicians and advisers who are directors of, or associated with, “low carbon enterprises” seeking public money.
Enter, the Power Police
Of course, in order to give Fits to the UK public, it is necessary to have smart meter technology, the roll-out of which is being accelerated under the new coalition government headed by David Cameron.
The rollout will see the introduction of new equipment into customer premises, including:
• Gas and electricity meters with smart functionality
• An in-home display (IHD) for domestic customers
• A wide area network (WAN) communications module to connect to the central communications provider
• A home area network (HAN) to link meters in customer premises, the communications module and the IHD – and potentially other consumer devices, such as microgeneration and load control devices
This data can be communicated through the WAN to a proposed central data and communications entity (DCC), which may then provide the data to authorised third parties.
This set-up is designed to provide a two-way communications channel between smart meters and a central communications hub to which smart meter data users (suppliers, network companies and other authorised third parties) will have access.
DCC trialling and testing should be completed by August 2013, at which point it will become obligatory for domestic customers.
This same process is already underway in the US:
“Despite the fact that the carbon trading market, along with “smart meter” programs, have been exposed as slush fund scams owned by the very globalists fearmongering about man-made climate change – namely Al Gore and Maurice Strong – designed to line the pockets of habitual con men who have been caught over and over again lying about the evidence behind global warming, states are now adopting their own version of the scheme so that the trick can be played on an unsuspecting public who still think that cap and trade hasn’t been implemented.”
We currently see comments emerge that “Cap and Trade is dead” and “public belief in AGW is waning”, yet all around the globe, the real process is underway, and they don’t care how they achieve their objective of getting a mandatory price for CO2 emissions to keep the carbon trading gravy train on the rails.
In the sixties, there was a TV series called The Outer Limits, which started with an intro saying, “we are controlling your television set….”
In the Brave New World of energy control, they may be doing just that in the future, by remote control via their smart meter gizmo, in your house.