I thought an update may be interesting to anyone thinking about installing photo-voltaic cells. I write this as a follow up to last year’s meeting organised by Jenny Moon when she introduced an installer and I to talk about our experiences.

Photo voltaic cells are panels which, when fitted onto south-facing roofs, provide electricity from sunlight. The electric companies have to pay the owner of the panels for every kilowatt produced and a further sum for any power fed into the grid. Additionally, the owner uses the power generated and therefore has a reduced electricity bill.

The system fitted to our roof has now been generating for 12 months and we have received payments equal to 9.4% of the initial cost of the installation. Additionally, our standing order has fallen too and the combined effect is that the return on the investment is about 12%. Therefore the ‘payback’ time will be far less than the 25 years that the electric companies have promised to pay the tariff.

The good news does not end there as the price they pay is increased annually in line with one of the cost of living indexes and this has translated into a further 2p a kilowatt payment since April.

So, if you have a south facing roof, spare cash and trust the government not to change the law this is a sound investment. (or a light in the dark!)

Brian Mather