Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We have solar

The installers have just left, and 12 panels (or 3KWH) of solar power now adorn our roof. The final move happened very quickly - just a few weeks ago, but here we are. The forms have been signed, the loan taken out (which I hope to transfer on to the mortgage very soon - the outstanding amount on these panels will neatly equate to how much overpayments I've made on the mortgage since switching to the Co-op in 2010) and the panels are in place and generating electricity. Time will tell just how wise or foolish my decision was, but the cost has dropped a long way (along with the feed-in tariff, but the returns are roughly the same) in the last few years, so it doesn't feel like quite the huge leap it might have done. Put another way, the cost of installing these is the equivalent to extending our mortgage by about 18 months.

The thing is, I've done all the sums I can - both from their "conservative" figures and the Energy Saving Trust's even more conservative figures, and both of them equate to the savings and additional income paying off the loan within the next 10 years, and that's at current prices. The feed-in tariff is good for 20 years, so we might even make a nice tidy profit on our investment, but only time will tell and I'm not going to run before I can walk. And of course there's the environmental argument, which is half the reason for doing this: to look my children in the eye and say we're trying to do our bit, however flawed and ineffective that might be.

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