Posts tagged with: British Gas

An article published in the Financial Times last week has vividly highlighted just what effect the recently introduced feed-in tariff has had on the UK solar industry. The news that record numbers of people have decided to install solar panels is largely due to the feed-in tariff legislation which offers installers a healthy return on investment, off-setting the costs of buying and fitting the kit.

The figures published in the FT last Tuesday taken from Ofgem state that this month alone, more than 2,200 homes have fitted solar panels compared to 1,700 last month and 1,400 in June. Indeed, with figures that more than 6,600 households have installed solar panels since the introduction of the tariff system it is good evidence that this incentive scheme could herald the beginning of a boom in the UK solar industry.

Unsurprisingly, The Financial Times paid particular emphasis to the obvious financial rewards associated with solar installation rather than environmental benefits. With the case example of John Keown, a company director who invested in solar through a scheme offered by British Gas, a good case was made for the long term viability of solar PV projects.

Keown will be set to reap the benefits of solar energy installation with expected returns of £1000 per year through savings on electricity bills and revenue from the tariff. Keown for example has estimated that since he installed his solar panels in April he has made £289 from the feed-in tariff. He stated,

“I haven’t gone into self-produced energy to be green. I’ve gone into it because I think it’s a good financial saving, perhaps even better than having an Isa account.”

Certainly, it seems to be growing in the public consciousness that the installation of solar panels to households is more than just a green fad or something which can bring about negligible carbon footprint reductions. The high rates of return which can be achieved through solar panels is likely to attract investors exponentially in the future as word catches on that sourcing and installing a solar system doesn’t have to be painful process.

With Sunday churchgoing on the decline and churches regularly converted into trendy apartments, bars and nightclubs it perhaps comes as no surprise that around 44 per cent of Church of England dioceses are running deficits. However, a report released by British Gas has showed that the installation of solar panels on religious buildings could see the generation of around £30 million across the UK.

Utilising the feed-in tariff mechanism, the British Gas report suggests that the feed-in tariff scheme would not only provide a steady revenue stream for religious buildings in need of cash but also save up to around £5 million on electricity overheads with energy coming directly from the solar panels installed on the roof.

British Gas, who have already begun installing panels on the rooves of religious buildings see a huge potential both in carbon emission reduction and savings,

“These potential savings are great news for the UK’s religious buildings and their congregations, and give them the opportunity to lead their communities in tackling climate change and helping Britain move towards a low carbon society. Religious buildings are particularly well suited to solar power as they tend to have large south-facing rooves which receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day” commented MD of British Gas, Phil Bentley. 

“The Government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme is the key to unlocking the potential of solar power in Britain. As Britain’s energy company, we at British Gas are committed to helping households, business and community and faith groups make the most of this opportunity to cut their carbon footprint and earn money for the electricity they generate,” he added.

Already up and running on the new scheme is the St Silas church in Pentonville, London which is using a PV tiled roof to take advantage of the feed-in tariff mechanism. Taking time out to praise the scheme, Father Paul Richards of St Silas Church stated,

“The Church of England is committed to saving energy and becoming greener throughout the UK and the potential for solar panels on our churches is an exciting prospect. Even though not all UK churches could adopt this model due to planning and architectural conservation laws, there may be thousands of Church of England buildings out there that could help create a greener future by generating clean energy as well as some much needed income.”