Yet despite all this efficiency and energy recovery our usage is relatively high so I took a look at the feasibility of installing a solar-panel (pv) system on our roof in the hope of becoming a British Gas supplier, rather than customer (which, as we all know, is close to purgatory).
Here's what I found out:
- The south east is a good place to be for this kind of thing because it isn't the grim north, I suppose.
- Our south facing roof, pitched at 30 degrees above the horizontal is a pretty good orientation.
- Every 8 square meters of pv panels will generate around 800 units of electricity (based on our orientation & location).
- Every 8 square meters would cost £5K installed.
- 800 units, at current prices, saves me £73.44 on my British Gas bill.
- The government would contribute a further £28 totaling up my savings to £101.44
Not exactly enticing is it? Would any manufacturer give me a 50 year warranty? Would they 'eckers like! Energy is going up and technology is improving so there will come a time when the numbers add up. If there emerged a vibrant pv panel manufacturing industry, costs would fall rapidly and grants and/or increased subsidy would help that become a reality sooner.
Lobby your MP please.
In the meantime I'm thinking up ways of integrating solar-water-heating-panels to our system as they are considerably more economically justifiable. Problem is, I have more hot water from my existing recovery systems than I really need already. Any ideas?