Feed in Tariff Drops

Since 2015 the government has been cutting renewable energy incentives or Feed-In Tariffs (FIT), and although there have been many protests there have been ways around this. For instance, when solar first became readily available for domestic installations it was extremely expensive thus you almost needed the big Feed-In-Tariff. Now in 2018, you can get solar panels for close to £5,000, and the feed-in tariff still exists. Householders are queuing up to take advantage of the FIT before it inevitably disappears – and you can too.

Is it even worth it to install solar panels?

Yes, definitely – for many reasons as well as the FIT. Currently, it stands at 3.83p per kilowatt hour, which for somebody with a 4kw system roughly translates to about £230 a year, although this differentiates because of roof directions, shading, where about you sit in the country etc.

This added to the benefits of being able to use free, renewable electricity your energy bills will be a fraction of the price. With lifestyle changes, made easy by timers on appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, you can really relish in all the benefits of solar.

Of course, solar panels are kind to the environment too which could be enough encouragement. About 1.5 million houses (and growing) have solar installed on their properties, and the UK is installing them faster than any other European country and we can now see them on schools, farms and public service buildings. And with this, our dependence on fossil fuels is diminishing, making a solar panel installation completely worth it.

What is the cost and what will I get back?

You can get a 4kw system for £5,000 to £6,000 – this should be seen as more of an investment than a purchase. You’ll be saving tonnes of money each year on your energy bills alone, not to mention the FIT repayment. Your FIT payments end after 20 years, but your panels will never stop and you will continue to feel the financial benefits.

You’ll also feel the benefits of the export tariff which is a payment for every bit of surplus electricity your system exports to the electricity grid. Effectively, you are selling your electricity to your energy supplier and they will deliver it to other customers. So, although no two properties are the same, with such a low cost to install a system, the money you can get back is subjective but it is definitely worth it.

Why should I install solar now?

The FIT will continue to drop until it predictably just disappears. You have until 1st April to install solar and still be eligible for the 3.83p/kW. It doesn’t matter if it drops after your installation, you will remain with 3.83p for the next 20 years. It isn’t clear what will happen to solar or the FIT in the upcoming years, but one thing is for sure – you need to install solar promptly to be eligible for the highest possible FIT rate for the foreseeable future.

What are the FIT rates after March 31st?

The FIT rates don’t disappear after March 31st, so it’s not the end of the world. From the 1st April to 30th June the rate sits at 3.76p/kW, going down to 3.69p/kW until 1st October when it drops to 3.62p/kW and finally dropping to 3.55p/kW on the 1st January 2019. The government has to announce any rate change 40 days before it is actually altered, it is unclear what the plans for solar will be after March 2019 but the renewable energy world will be waiting in anticipation.

When should I enquire about an installation?

In short, now. Expectedly, there’s always a surge in people getting installations just before the FIT drops, so enquire now and if you are absolutely certain that this is the investment for you then act fast and book a place.