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PV Newsletter - Mar 2011

Photovoltaic systems – how they really work

Well, as expected, December and January were pretty dark and dismal with some days generating a measly amount of electricity. With the sun being so low in the sky I also found out that the gable end causes shading quite early in the afternoon, as can be seen in the photo. If one panel is in shade it has an effect on the whole system, so this is something which must be taken into consideration before committing to installing a system. The panels also do not work under six inches of snow and the long suffering husband refused to get his ladder out to brush it off. So the amount generated in these two months has been about 20% lower than expected. Oh well, the worst has passed - roll on summer.

Onto the financial side of things. I submitted my second meter reading and have received my second payment for the feed-in-tariff and export tariff. The panels had generated a further 300 kWh and I received £128.40, tax free, taking the total to £475.08. From April 1st this year, the feed-in-tariff has been increased 2p to 43.3, an increase of a whopping 4.84%.

In the words of the fabulous Professor Brian Cox

“Things can only get better”.

As I don’t know how much of our own electricity we are using I compare my bill from last year to the same period this year.

Last year 26/11/09 – 26/02/10 we used 1611 kWh

This year 26/11/10 – 26/02/11 we used 1111 kWh

Saving a total of 500 kWh or 31%

On our tariff, that is a saving of £38, taking the total saving to just under £150 in only nine months. With electricity prices rising this year (surprise surprise) the savings will only increase.

As usual, feel free to email any questions to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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