Why installing solar panels was a bright move for one Basingstoke resident

Daily Echo: Peter Roberts Peter Roberts

AS FAR as Peter Roberts is concerned, putting solar panels on the roof of his family’s Basingstoke home was definitely a bright idea.

Mr Roberts installed 16 solar panels on the roof in Scotney Road, Oakridge, in December 2011.

The 62-year-old took advantage of the high Government Feed-in Tariffs being offered at the time, an initiative in which he is paid for the electricity he and his family generate – even if they use it.

It means the father-of-four’s home earns 45p per kilowatt hour – a rate that can only increase over the next 24 years and will mean the solar panels will be paid off within seven years.

Although the Feed-in Tariffs have now reduced, so have the cost of solar panels.

Mr Roberts, a business development manager, paid £10,500 to install his solar panels, whereas the average cost now for a domestic solar panel system is around £7,600.

He said: “It saves money and earns money. The green factor is a bonus. It generates income and reduces electricity bills.”

Any energy not used by Mr Roberts and his family is exported to the National Grid, for which he is paid.

Solar panels work by capturing the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells, which can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.

This means that once the initial installation is paid for, any electricity generated is free, therefore reducing electricity bills.

The benefit of installing solar panels for individuals and businesses is clear, but they are also helping to cut our carbon footprint.

Solar electricity is green and renewable and it does not release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.

Mr Roberts has a Bluetooth device inside his home which tells him how much electricity is being generated each day, and how much carbon dioxide it is saving. A typical home solar panel system could save more than a ton of carbon dioxide each year.

Mr Roberts said: “I think that developers should have to install solar panels on to new buildings. They don’t even need to put a roof up, because they have solar panels now that can replace a roof.”

For more information about solar panels, visit energysavingtrust.org.uk.

Comments (7)

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1:54pm Wed 6 Feb 13

JJ38JJ says...

An advertisment dressed up as a news story. Journalistically speaking this is on a par with the car with a puncture in Overton.
What next? A report from Chineham where some paint is drying?
An advertisment dressed up as a news story. Journalistically speaking this is on a par with the car with a puncture in Overton. What next? A report from Chineham where some paint is drying? JJ38JJ
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Wed 6 Feb 13

BugBear says...

Seven years, wishful thinking. The brainwashing continues along with dogs being stolen preparing us all for the new EU legislation coming in to chip and pin all dogs and Cameron's and Millers mysterious zest for Gay marriage which turns out after all to be at the behest of the EU. Makes you wonder who's running our country doesn't it.
Seven years, wishful thinking. The brainwashing continues along with dogs being stolen preparing us all for the new EU legislation coming in to chip and pin all dogs and Cameron's and Millers mysterious zest for Gay marriage which turns out after all to be at the behest of the EU. Makes you wonder who's running our country doesn't it. BugBear
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 8 Feb 13

PeterRoberts says...

Dear JJ38JJ,

I was approached by The Gazette because they have been running a series of articles about green issues. I was happy to share my experiences with their readership.

I do not understand why you have accused The Gazette of advertising. No companies are mentioned and the only link is to the Energy Saving Trust Foundation which has charitable status and offers impartial, accurate and independent advice. If you are at all interested in reducing the money you spend on energy or if you wish to generate your own green energy I would urge you to visit their website.

You could also visit Nat-Gen’s showroom at Sherfield on Loddon Garden Centre to see some of the available technologies for yourself. Nat-Gen is not independent but I have no hesitation in recommending them for their professional and friendly advice and service. They sorted out my system after the original installers made a complete botch of it.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Roberts
Dear JJ38JJ, I was approached by The Gazette because they have been running a series of articles about green issues. I was happy to share my experiences with their readership. I do not understand why you have accused The Gazette of advertising. No companies are mentioned and the only link is to the Energy Saving Trust Foundation which has charitable status and offers impartial, accurate and independent advice. If you are at all interested in reducing the money you spend on energy or if you wish to generate your own green energy I would urge you to visit their website. You could also visit Nat-Gen’s showroom at Sherfield on Loddon Garden Centre to see some of the available technologies for yourself. Nat-Gen is not independent but I have no hesitation in recommending them for their professional and friendly advice and service. They sorted out my system after the original installers made a complete botch of it. Yours sincerely, Peter Roberts PeterRoberts
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Fri 8 Feb 13

PeterRoberts says...

Dear Bugbear,

Seven years is not wishful thinking. It is based on my experience during the 15 months since my system was installed.

I am currently being paid 45.4p for every Kilowatt Hour (KWH) of electricity generated by my PV panels and 3.2p per KWH for electricity exported to the National Grid. I do not have an export meter so it is assumed that I am exporting half of what my system generates. Plus any electricity which is generated and used in my own home reduces my electricity bill.

During the last week, despite the short days, British weather and shade cast by a neighbour’s unkempt trees, my system has generated more than 9KWH on two separate days. For each of these days I will receive a payment of more than £4.23 plus my own electricity bill will be reduced because I have used some of the electricity in my own home. Over the course of a year there are far better and far worse days, but the average is working out at £1500 a year plus whatever I save on my own bills. So, if you do the sums you will realise that seven years is not wishful thinking but based on hard facts.

These payments will continue for 25 years from the date of installation and every year they will escalate in line with the RPI. When the payments stop I will continue to benefit from reduced electricity bills. I hope by then that technology will have moved on and there will be a cheap system for storing the electricity I generate during the day to use during the night.

Anyone having a PV system installed now will only receive 15.44p per KWH for generation but 4.64p per KWH for export. These payments will increase in line with the RPI but for fewer years. Their home will also have to meet energy efficiency standards to receive these payments. The main reasons for the changes to the payments is to encourage people to become more energy efficient, reduce their own consumption and export more into the National Grid. It is still worth considering and if you are interested then visit the Energy Saving Trust Foundation website and Nat-Gen's showroom at Sherfield on Loddon Garden Centre.

Finally Bugbear, if you pay for gas or electricity it is right to thank you for subsidising the payments I receive by virtue of the green taxes you pay on your oen fuel bills. I am grateful that I am receiving more than my fair share of benefits from the green taxes I pay.

Yours sincerely

Peter Roberts
Dear Bugbear, Seven years is not wishful thinking. It is based on my experience during the 15 months since my system was installed. I am currently being paid 45.4p for every Kilowatt Hour (KWH) of electricity generated by my PV panels and 3.2p per KWH for electricity exported to the National Grid. I do not have an export meter so it is assumed that I am exporting half of what my system generates. Plus any electricity which is generated and used in my own home reduces my electricity bill. During the last week, despite the short days, British weather and shade cast by a neighbour’s unkempt trees, my system has generated more than 9KWH on two separate days. For each of these days I will receive a payment of more than £4.23 plus my own electricity bill will be reduced because I have used some of the electricity in my own home. Over the course of a year there are far better and far worse days, but the average is working out at £1500 a year plus whatever I save on my own bills. So, if you do the sums you will realise that seven years is not wishful thinking but based on hard facts. These payments will continue for 25 years from the date of installation and every year they will escalate in line with the RPI. When the payments stop I will continue to benefit from reduced electricity bills. I hope by then that technology will have moved on and there will be a cheap system for storing the electricity I generate during the day to use during the night. Anyone having a PV system installed now will only receive 15.44p per KWH for generation but 4.64p per KWH for export. These payments will increase in line with the RPI but for fewer years. Their home will also have to meet energy efficiency standards to receive these payments. The main reasons for the changes to the payments is to encourage people to become more energy efficient, reduce their own consumption and export more into the National Grid. It is still worth considering and if you are interested then visit the Energy Saving Trust Foundation website and Nat-Gen's showroom at Sherfield on Loddon Garden Centre. Finally Bugbear, if you pay for gas or electricity it is right to thank you for subsidising the payments I receive by virtue of the green taxes you pay on your oen fuel bills. I am grateful that I am receiving more than my fair share of benefits from the green taxes I pay. Yours sincerely Peter Roberts PeterRoberts
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Best_Name_Ever says...

Well, if Mr Roberts believed that the Gazette article was not a form of advertising, his comments most certainly are....
Well, if Mr Roberts believed that the Gazette article was not a form of advertising, his comments most certainly are.... Best_Name_Ever
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Fri 8 Feb 13

BugBear says...

Thank you Peter, I appreciate your taking the time to put over your point of view backed up as it is by statistical evidence. I'll be honest, I'm still not totally convinced as unfortunately in today's world things are rarely as they seem. All too often those with ulterior motives, manipulate the facts to promote whatever issue it is they derive benefit from. Up to now, nothing convinces me any of these green technologies live up to what some would have us believe but I am willing to take what you have said at face value but continue to do my own research in the hope of getting to the truth. I most definitely don't believe anything I hear from any politician of any persuasion, definitely not the BBC and am very sceptical of the main stream media in general, all of which feed off one another at our expense.
Thank you Peter, I appreciate your taking the time to put over your point of view backed up as it is by statistical evidence. I'll be honest, I'm still not totally convinced as unfortunately in today's world things are rarely as they seem. All too often those with ulterior motives, manipulate the facts to promote whatever issue it is they derive benefit from. Up to now, nothing convinces me any of these green technologies live up to what some would have us believe but I am willing to take what you have said at face value but continue to do my own research in the hope of getting to the truth. I most definitely don't believe anything I hear from any politician of any persuasion, definitely not the BBC and am very sceptical of the main stream media in general, all of which feed off one another at our expense. BugBear
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Fri 8 Feb 13

PeterRoberts says...

Bugbear, I share your healthy scepticism about most of what politicians and the media say. The most often used words which I refuse to believe are 'lessons have been learned'.
Bugbear, I share your healthy scepticism about most of what politicians and the media say. The most often used words which I refuse to believe are 'lessons have been learned'. PeterRoberts
  • Score: 0

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