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Bringing the light

The recent budget has brought a couple of interesting things with it.

The one I’m going to go through today is the 0% rating on the purchase of new solar panels.

Rich man’s game

No, wait, solar panels have come down in price, so while some of the subsidies have disappeared, if you weren’t buying a new system, a VAT rate of 5% would be applicable with little help outside of that.

There is help available via some grants to help if you are on a low wage.

The VAT break is important: a 4kW system would be around £5,000 including VAT a month ago, so that drops to £4,761 and there are other deals around.

That, coupled with the fact you’re saving on your electricity and getting the smart export guarantee makes solar tantalising.

Tantalising?

Yes, so for every 1kW we export that’s generated by solar, we get £0.30 back per kWh. That means we get around £1,020 a year back on what we generate. A really good year, that goes up to £1,080 which covers a great deal of the cost of the electricity we do by from the grid.

While interest rates are still low, this is a worthwhile investment.

Of course, we also get the chance to use that electricity – during the weekend, that means we don’t spend more than a couple of pence a day. All our cooking and cleaning is powered from our panels. Timing is everything and we do plan what we do when.

The great thing about moving to summer time?

Absolutely. While the clocks going forward is really hard work in many respects, being able to time hot meals, so they are cooked by the power of the sun makes it so worthwhile in reducing carbon dioxide production and of course, costs.

Not the whole story for you, though!

No, we also do vehicle to grid. That give us £0.32 for each 1kWh we export back to the grid that’s been stored in the car. We get around £700 a year from that, if we don’t use the electricity ourselves.

Some of that power has come from the solar cells, so it’s hard work getting a complete picture. But, it’s interesting that we can subsidise most of our power consumption with our exports.

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