cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

A couple of companies around here [may be same company with different names!] are offering free solar panels if you have a south facing roof.  You get free electricity from them [in daylight hours]and they get money from government from what I have read.
Has anyone taken advantage of a similar offer and found it is worthwhile?


[company is www.ashadegreener.co.uk]
12 REPLIES
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

The panels are owned by the company so I would think twice of buying a property where a 3rd party own some of the building structure.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,551
Thanks: 194
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

@itsme you're right and I read that it could make a house more difficult to sell as a potential purchaser may not want to inherit the contract.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

From the FAQ:
[quote=http://www.ashadegreener.co.uk/faqs/]
The Energy Saving Trust has statistics that demonstrate that homes with Solar PV on them sell 30% faster than homes without
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

I would buy a house with Solar panels fitted if I was going to be the new owner of them but would think twice if the panels where still owned by a 3rd party. The Energy Saving Trust statistics has not taken this into account.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,286
Thanks: 219
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

Many mortgage lenders will not provide a mortgage to a potential purchaser if part of the structure is owned by a third party. AVOID like the plague!
Add to that the fact that the so-called feed-in-tariff is being reviewed in 2012. I wonder what will happen to it?
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

Again, from the FAQ:
Quote
Some people say it will be difficult to sell my home with someone else’s panels on them and that people won’t be able to get a mortgage on properties that have your panels.
This is completely false information that is a result of pure speculation by various people in the media. Not only have some homes already been sold with our systems installed but we now have the agreement of every major mortgage provider that they will give their consent to our installations and we have also had confirmation from these mortgage providers that having our system installed would not stop a homeowner from raising a mortgage on a property or for re-mortgaging purposes

I'd love to have solar panels put on my roof (Cornwall, lots of sun) but I live on the bottom floor of a 3 floor block of apartments so probably not viable.  I'd buy a house with solar panels as it reduces the ToC over time, dunno how much it would save but that kind of cash could be used to help pay off the mortgage.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,928
Thanks: 603
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

Not sure how these things work but if it is along the lines of water being circulated through the panels and back through your heating system I would not be interested.
If electricity is generated and a single set of wires feeds through your roof then that might not be bad but you also need to take into account how the panels will be cleaned to maintain maximum efficiency and the additional weight to your roof.
Personally I would wait a few years and if there are no horror stories, speak to those that have them before making any decision.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

The solar panels that are offered free are the ones that produce electricity and will generate a revenue for the suppliers. Believe the feed in tariffs are not very short of 40p per kWh. 
Ellis
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 04-02-2011

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

These figures don't add up, sell power to the supplier for 40p per Kwh when I pay them 9.7p per Kwh doesn't make sense.
I have been approached several times and always refuse saying that my roof will not take the extra load (it's corrugated asbestos so they wouldn't be allowed to mess it around).
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

Yes it does to the Government (this one and the last one and most of the rest of the EU for that matter) it is a subsidy for producing electricity from renewable sources.
It may be apocryphal but some users in Spain were using normal electricity to power lights pointing at the photocells and were even generating electricity at night
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

In a Which? survey (Sept. 2010), it recommended considering roof mounted solar panels to produce electricity only if you  are certain that every other energy reducing method (insulation, eco-lighting, etc.) are in place first.
In the sunniest part of the UK, you will save £412 per year, the owner of the system creaming off £1,313 a year for the "surplus" electricity generated.
Which recommends paying up front and installing your own system (anything up to £18,000). Over 25 years (the average "roof rental" agreement) your investment should generate £10,500. Very much a long-term investment and at the mercy of any whim of future governments.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Solar panels for free - worthwhile?

you could invest here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12609590
We had at least two schemes around here which the Council put a stop to