Free money, courtesy of the sun and the government


In the week when doomsayers predicted that the cost of gas and electricity would shortly rise to a level where it would be cheaper to have liquid platinum piped into your house instead, the government have launched a solar power initiative that could save the lives of millions of penguins and make you some hard cash.

From 1st April, the government will pay new users of solar power for the electricity they generate, even if they use all of it themselves. Obviously, you’ll need an initial outlay for the photovolatiac (PV) solar panels (between £10k-£12k) and a south-facing, obstruction-free roof.

But after that, you’ll be paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour generated, which the government reckon will earn you as much as £900 in payouts, not to mention a saving on your regular bills of about £140. Better still, the payments will be guaranteed for the next 25 years and will be linked to inflation.

Early adopters who have already installed PV panels will also be rewarded, but at a lower rate. As the clever man in The Guardian who we’ve sourced the story from says: “If the government offered to pay you £1,000 a year for the next 25 years, in return for an up-front investment of £12,500, you'd snap it up in a second.” And that, in a nutshell, subject to many, many boxes that you’ll need to tick first, is what you could be getting.

It seems the sun has got his hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Or something.


  • milky
    proof at last that the govrnment is crapping itself over power outs in future years.. Good thing too, although I balk at the idea at wasting all that money on keeping the idiot generations thermostats unnecessarily at 27 deg c so they can walk around in winter at home in t-shirts saying "it's cold" office (home) was just above freezing in the cold snap (1 +/- degree & with the right clothes I have not needed to put the radiator on) insulate, get real, fit solar thermal water heating, (fast payback) as it's where a good portion of your yearly electric bill is spent simply heating water) . Unfortunately as with any governemnt initiative it's limited in funding, oversubscribed (Ie 15 minute application window once per month), & costly to run, not efficient & backed up by crappy government "friends" who sell crap not quality. happened before will happen again ..i'll hold my breath & buy off a decent supplier at a realistic price & shorten paback & "profitability time" no-end.
  • timmmers
    100% agree with milky. In essence this could be a good thing, but it will be badly run and poor quality. They would do better to back research and subsidise installation so everyone can think about installing and saving energy ...oh, and telling the councils to lose the red tape on such projects.
  • andy y.
    I worry the govt appointed gimps will fuck my roof up
  • Lanse
    How many people stay static for 25 years.......not many.
  • ElBuc
    @ Lanse - maybe not but that could be an asset when selling on.
  • wobbs
    its upto £900 - dependnat on size and output of photovoltais - The panels have a max lifespan of 25 years - the efficiency of the current offerings is shockingly poor - in 10 years maybe the new models will be worth using - stick the money youd save in your bank and as milky has said put some clothes on/ Few other items to consider - building inurance will they cover specailist kit - who pays if one of the PVs blows off, who will complete the necessary structural calcs and guarente the sub structure of your roof is good enough - what about leaks caused by shoddy installation ( another warmfront rip off me thinks ) blah blah blah - its not as straight forward as you think - we are having a lot of issues over a PV "farm" in Abu Dhabi in terms of warranty of roof structure liability etc etc etc where they have enough sun to make real use of them We need to do somthing but this ham fisted approach by the government is not the answer
  • smingletrack
    wobbs - I see you're a glass half full man, with razor blades in the bottom.
  • Lumoruk
    Wobbs - they've actually found out from new data that solar panels they thought would only last 20yrs have a much longer useful life span of 30yrs
  • wobbs
    Smingle - lol as long as the liquid is made from the juice of the grape Lumoruk - re the link, the statement about 10 year old panels - this must be based on testing of the panels as of 10 years old and then concluding the panel will still have a "usefull life" after 30 years - as for buying them like a house ( mortgage) and then owning them when they are near end of life why would you do this - no one would buy EOL kit - other than for scrap value and considering the glass is heavily bastardised with some real nasty chemicals cadmium and selenium for instance you will probably faced with a large bill for disposal ( unless this is covered the upfront purchase cost),oh and on average 10 years to cancel out the Co2 emission caused during production delivery, as I said they are not all they are cracked up to be - especially in our sunny climate ;)
  • milky
    If you wish to see the cheap but efficient side of good solar, whether it's water heating or PV electric, go & browse the Navitron renewables forum, ..I call em the solar brains trust, theres alot of science blokes & designers in their ranks as well as normal joe's info you'll get & cheap (well for green technology) gear with no affiliation to the scheming government solar body club (read govt paid up club to be able to charge lots for a slick brochure with no real knowledge of the systems they're selling & back up in alot of cases) ..local govt councils also tend to get a bung for recommending ie logo on their flyer's, when called & tested i've ended up speaking to a clueless 17 yr old nob who isn't even aware of what the company they're working for is selling) ....potential for disaster, however this paid up membership club does set you in line for the jobs via any government scheme. Navitron, when i last looked on the other hand wouldn't pay lots of money for the gov't stamp in order to keep prices far more competetive & therefore cheaper to buy & install whether it's diy or via a recommended installer. the back up for them is top notch via their forum or phone lines. recommended. No I don't work for em just want to do my bit & have money left over!
  • Mike
    But according to The Electricity Supply Regulations Act of 1988 you aren't allowed to supply your own electricity?
  • Neil
    Government initiative to give us money? Er..... Where does that money come from? Let's tax everyone more and give it back, only to people who can afford their own homes and to spend £15,000 on solar power. Yippee!!

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