So Long Solar Power Subsidies
A Runaway Success Story
The feed in tariff was first introduced in April 2010 as a financial incentive to encourage property owners across the UK to install renewable energy technology on their homes and businesses. Eligible systems receive a payment for the clean energy they generate that ‘feeds in’ to the National Grid, with prices guaranteed for 20 years from the date of the install.
The scheme has proved to be extremely successful, increasing the amount of UK solar PV deployment from 22 megawatts (MW) in 2008 to 12,760MW in 2017, amounting to nearly 1 million installations. Renewable energy as a whole contributed 29.8% to the UK energy supply, whereas nuclear power contributed only 23.6%.
Feed In Tariff Falls
Early adopters of the scheme could expect to receive 46p for every unit of electricity they produced, making solar power projects an attractive long term investment for homeowners, businesses and community groups.
However, this has since been reduced to just 4p per unit for new projects in 2018, and will end altogether from April 2019. In his last Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that once the feed in tariff ends “there will be no new low carbon electricity levies until 2025”, leaving a big question mark over future government support for the renewables industry.
Just like solar panels, the cost of battery storage has fallen considerably in recent years. Companies like Tesla and Moixa are making solar power batteries available to residential customers for a relatively short payback period.
This means that property owners are able to store the electricity that their solar panels are generating and to use it when its needed, e.g. the solar panels could generate energy in the day which is then stored in the battery for use when the homeowner returns in the evening. Once smart meters and smart grids become more commonplace, it will even be possible for battery owners to sell their electricity to the neighbours.
Electric vehicles rely on battery storage too, which can be charged directly from solar panels. This all means that it is becoming much easier for solar panel owners to make use of the electricity they are generating, instead of channeling it back to the grid.
And if that wasn’t incentive enough, it is important to remember that the cost of solar equipment has tumbled in recent years. Where a typical 4kW system cost £15,000 in 2010, the equivalent today would be only £5,000.
How Can BHESCo Help?
We understand that despite the huge decrease in the price of solar equipment, the upfront cost of a new system can still be prohibitively expensive. This is why BHESCo offer an innovative ‘Pay As You Save’ financing, which removes the barrier of upfront costs for our energy project customers.
We use funds raised from our shareholder members to install energy equipment on behalf of our customers, meaning no capital investment is needed from the property owner. This means that customers start to see savings immediately, with a portion of the savings being used to repay the cost of the installation.
Once repaid, our customers own the equipment and can enjoy the full benefit of their savings each year for the lifetime of the equipment. We remotely monitor the performance of our systems for you, ensuring that the system delivers according to your expectation, over its lifetime.
Also, our customers are our members, meaning that you always have a say in our governance and a friendly voice at the other end of the telephone line.