What is a Retrofit System?
Solar panel installations fall under three different categories. New build, retrofit and stand alone. Each different category qualifies for a different rate in the government backed Feed-in Tariff scheme. New build refers to solar panels that have been fitted to a new build. Retrofit refers to solar panels that have been installed on an existing property and stand alone refers to solar panels that have been fitted to a property only to supply power back to the national grid.
What is the Feed-In Tariff?
The FIT or Feed-In Tariff scheme is an incentive backed by the government which is designed to incentivise property owners to have renewable energy fitted, in this case solar panels. The electricity company that supplies the property we make a payment for your Feed-in Tariff into your account or it can use the amount as credit towards your electricity bills. The Feed-In Tariff is paid annually and is paid for every Kilowatt hour (KWh) of electricity you produce and an export Feed-In Tariff payment can also be made for any KWh you produce that is not used and is sold back to the national grid. The precise amount that is paid to you will depend on the size of the system you have installed. Typically larger size systems pay less than the smaller systems regardless of what sort of property they are attached to.
How much can I Generate?
For payments to a retrofit system a residential property with a system that has a capacity of less then 4KW will earn 43.3p for each KWh that is generated and used. They will also get an extra 3.1p for every KWh generated that is exported back to the electricity company. A non residential property that has a larger retrofit system 8KW or larger will get 37.8p for every KWh produced and used by them, plus a further payment for energy sold back to the national grid. The payments index linked to inflation meaning they will increase every year and the amount will be payable for a total of twenty five years which is how long solar panels are guaranteed for.
Getting Solar Panels
So with these bonuses to solar panels in place there has never been a better time to have them fitted to your property. Not only are they environmentally friendly you will also be getting the Feed-in Tariff payments and be saving on your electricity costs. There are some things that will need to be checked before you decide to go ahead and have solar panels. Ideally the roof space available should be strong enough to support the panels for the twenty five year period minimum. Asbestos roofing and lead roofing make for unsuitable sites. The roof in question should be south to south west facing and not be overshadowed by other buildings and overhanging trees. A professional fitter and supplier of solar panels should be able to assess your roof apace and decide whether it will be suitable for solar panels.