12th of September 2008 Scaffold gone. Job complete.
the expected return is £1200 per annum in hard cash or credit off your energy bill, that figure does not include the value of the Energy saved by using you own generated KWh 's of Energy 'used in house' this cannot be calculated as every house will use a different amount, dependent on the number of electrical lights/appliances when and how used. The FITs regulations deem you to have exported 50% of the Total registered on your Total generation Meter (TGM) although in most cases a greater percentage will be used.
Would we recommend Solar Fusion Ltd for your installation?
Most decidedly, every thing about the Company was spot on and we are very impressed with the professionalism shown right from the ordering of the system to the installing, commissioning and the provision of the well presented detailed information folder every thing you need to know as either the householder or the professional agent on site is contained within that one file.
Help was even available for applying for the grant which went without a hitch, It would not be an easy job without the companies support.
Also despite the fact that Solar fusion did not install our Solar Thermal (Domestic hot water system) They do also fit these systems which will qualify for FITs payments in 2011.
We have now managed to switch our Electricity account across to 'Southern Electric' as of the 5th Oct 2008 and we have a date for the installation of the Import/Export meter for the 16th of Oct.
However by that time I estimate we will have supplied at least 120KWh of energy to the National Grid for which we will not be paid.
So if you placing an order for PV
make the decision as to who you are going to associate your system with (sell you energy to) as early as possible and contact that company to ensure they will accept you onto their FITs register , you need this information when completing the OFGEM registration form Do this to either coincide with your order for PV if not before, or you like us will become a charity and supply energy to the National grid for Free and until you have completed registration.
Your installers with the best will in the world may advise you to go down a particular route in respect of energy companies, Make sure that you are satisfied by placing a call to that company Microgeneration dept.
If you have to pay for the call, take that into account some calls can be complex and long and eat into your profits from the generation, even and I have found that in some cases the staff are not even familiar with the systems your talking about. I can speak for Southern Electric who have a dedicated department and the staff are very well informed.
0845, & 0870 numbers can cost and not all telephone call plans include them, in fact they cost more than a call to a regional number, see my page 2 for more details on this subject.
When completing your application form to the Energy Company you have chosen to associate your PV system with,
be aware that the form may contain a question asking if your import meter
The meter that currently records you KWh of energy used from (the national grid)
runs backwards. (clockwise)
This has been known to happen with analogue meters where the PV system is generating more than the household demand and is therefore sending power to the national grid at that point in time.
However you cannot answer this question truthfully unless you watch the meter on a bright sunny day and watch the meter dial, if the dial is seen to turn clockwise then your meter is running backwards.
Note it has to revolve 150 times to delete one Kilowatt hour
However as soon as the either the demand exceeds the generation or generation is less than demand the meter will turn anti-clockwise.
Once your energy provider is made aware of the situation they may
get the network providers
Energy company responsible for electricity supply/maintenance in your region
to fit a digital meter, there will be no charge for this change.
Meters shown in the photograph on the right are of the analogue type. Where an export meter has been fitted as in this case the problem does not arise.
Digital and Smart meters are not affected.
Do I need an export meter
This really depends of the size of your system, in the majority of cases a domestic system consists of 16 panels,
number dependent on the make of panel
with a combined theoretical output of 2.06 KW per Hour (KWh) which is controlled by the roof surface space available.
If this applies in your case then I would say
do not have a meter fitted, You will almost certainly use more than 50% of your generated energy in house and so would loose out by fitting the Export meter.
If an export Meter is fitted you will only be paid for the exported energy recorded on that meter be it more or less than 50% of the TGM reading.
If on the other hand you have a larger system like ourselves then YES have a meter fitted because you will export more the 50% and so would loose out financially as the FITs scheme deems you to only have exported 50%, in our case we Export about 70% of the energy we generate. But the decision is yours.
If you do have an export meter fitted you will then finish up with two meters supplied by the network provider for your region, this may not be the same company to whom you intend selling your energy or to whom you pay you bill.
When fitted you will have one meter that records
Imported energy ( flowing into your home)
and the other
Exported energy, (Leaving your home via the national grid)
If you are on an E7(Economy seven tariff) you will have 4 readings, Normal and Low on both meters.
On the export meter both Normal and low readings are added together and the total paid at 3p.
On your Import meter you will pay the tariffs indicated in you current contract, so shop around for a good deal, but remember you have have a contact with your existing company so check before you switch or you will have to pay a penalty charge/fee. Bear in mind that it takes 28 days minimum to change supplier so start looking prior to the contract expiry date.
Having had the first installation fitted and seen the benefits we decided to have a second installation, another 2.06KWh system, this has doubled our generation capacity, this installation was also undertaken by
Solar Fusion Ltd
on the 3rd of Nov 2008 again we were pleased with the efficient way the team installed the system which was on a more difficult roof due the the overhang of the veranda. Both scaffold and solar Fusion teams over came the problems well.
Do remember that should you wish to enquire about having 'Solar Thermal' panel's installed 'Solar Fusion Ltd' can also quote for that work as well .
For details of the second installation please go to
Photovoltaic installation page 2