Solar PV Panels harness the sun’s energy in photovoltaic (PV) cells which are usually made from layers of silicon or another other semi-conducting material. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. However, PV cells do not need direct sunlight to work, they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day. The electricity that is captured by solar PV panels can be used to run your lighting and household appliances.
In the UK, solar PV panels will not work effectively on a North-facing roof. The optimum position for solar panels is due south. Compared to a South-facing roof, East or West facing systems may generate between 15-20% less energy but this could still be enough to meet many UK households’ electricity needs.
Here’s how it works
- 1 Solar cells within the PV panels act as a semi conductor that converts daylight into electricity.
- 2 The electricity generated by the panels is DC (Direct Current). This is then converted to AC (Alternating Current), using an inverter so it can be used in the home.
- 3 Household appliances can be used as normal via the Consumer Unit
- 4 Upon meeting certain eligibility criteria, Feed in Tariff's can be paid. Feed in Tariff's work by rewarding customers with payments for every unit of electricity they generate. Customers are also entitled to an export tariff.
Here's how it works
- Reduce your energy bills by generating your own, clean and sustainable electricity
- Save more money if wholesale energy prices continue to rise because the electricity you generate won’t be subject to fluctuations in the market
- Find extra cost savings – as part of your solar PV survey, we’ll conduct a free home energy survey and advise you on other measures that could save energy – and money
- Reduce your carbon footprint – a typical solar PV system could reduce your CO2 emissions by over a tonne each year.
Earn money with Solar PV
When you install solar PV panels with npower you could earn a quarterly payment for all the electricity you generate and for any surplus electricity you are not using that we export back to the national grid. You earn this money via our Feed-in Tariffs. You receive a tax-free, index-linked payment for every unit of electricity your solar PV system generates. Currently, this payment provides a low risk and highly competitive rate of return that would be hard to find via high street savings accounts.
What you could get back
A 4kWp system registered before the 1st April 2014 could generate an income of £846 a year in Feed-in Tariff payments and savings on your annual electricity bill.
The amount paid to you for every unit of electricity generated from your solar PV system, assumes DECC’s current Feed-in Tariff generation income of 14.9p for customers with a Solar PV system under 4kWp in size – as per www.ofgem.gov.uk/fits
The amount paid to you for every unit of electricity generated by your microgeneration system which is then exported back onto the grid. Assumes DECC’s current export tariff of 4.64p. Export income is tax free however, it is subject to VAT if the customer is VAT registered. The Secretary of State reserves the right to change the Feed-in Tariff rates.
Electricity Bill Savings
Based on year zero costs with no degradation or inflation applied, and on the Energy Saving Trust’s estimated current average electricity price of 15.32pper kWh, Ofgem’s average UK household annual consumption of 3,200 kWh and a system size. Assumes 50% of all electricity generated will be used in the home. These savings are for customers installing after 15 July 2009. All existing customers registered for the Renewables Obligation before this date will be subject to different Feed-in Tariff rates.
|Saving on electric bills
|Annual rate of return
Annual Return on Investment
Calculation based on a 4kWp Solar PV system located in optimum conditions for an average UK home, with a south facing array at 30º pitch and no shading. Cost of the system based on npower’s average installation costs for a 4kWp Solar PV system. Actual costs will vary depending on site. Assumes generation of 850 kWh per 1 kWp installed with generation income based on DECC’s current Feed-in Tariff rate of 14.9p for customers with a solar PV system under 4kWp in size (as per ofgem.gov.uk/fits) and export income assumes 50% of generation exported onto the grid at DECC’s current export tariff of 4.64p per kWh.
Electricity Bill Savings based on the Energy Saving Trust’s estimated current average electricity price of 15.32p per kWh, Ofgem’s average UK household annual consumption of 3,200 kWh and 50% of all electricity is used in the home. Does not include any maintenance costs or tax implications. No two installations of the same type and scale are likely to produce the exact same level of generation each year for the same cost, and thus rates of return can vary between installations. Example provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.
Is Solar PV right for you
Call us on 0800 975 3199 for a quick chat about solar PV and what we can offer.
We'll then pass you on to one of our technical experts so they can arrange an initial assessment over the phone, during which our expert will:
- Look at your property to see if Solar PV is right for you
- Explain the costs and benefits of Solar PV
- Describe our product range so we can design and price a system that meets your needs
- Send you a full quotation pack with all the details of your discussion.
Your survey and quotation
Once you receive your pack and are happy to proceed we will:
- Carry out a full survey of you property, including checking the suitability of your current hot water system, measuring your roof area, noting any obstructions and making sure your roof can take the load
- Draw up a full design of the proposed system and give you a final quote.
Installing your system
If you are happy with your design and quote and wish to proceed we will:
- Ask you to sign the order form and pay a deposit
- Arrange for the installation to be carried out with minimal disruption
- Provide you with a Feed-in Tariff form so you can begin earning money as soon as your system is installed.
Already installing Solar PV? Learn more about Feed-in Tariffs.