Homeowner Blog

Spirit Returns to Reading Climate Festival

George Riley · 15 Sep 2021

This year may be remembered as the moment when the effects of climate change hit home. We’ve seen a summer of deadly wildfires, floods and heat domes across the globe. The IPCC published a landmark report on climate science, concluding it is ‘unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land’, causing ‘widespread and rapid changes’ to the environment. In November, world leaders will descend on Glasgow for COP26 to discuss how they can try to limit global heating and its impacts.

It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the challenge to protect Earth’s habitable climate, but we’re determined to do all we can to empower individuals to take action where they can. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce that we will be returning this month to Reading Climate Festival.

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Topics: Spirit Energy news, Solar PV, Environment

Solar Car Chargers: The Best EV Chargepoint for PV

George Riley · 17 Aug 2021

With petrol prices at an eight-year high and new fossil fuel powered vehicles due to be banned by 2030, the age of electric cars will soon be upon us. For those of us lucky enough to have a driveway, we can charge up our electric cars at home, making the most of time of use tariffs to slash costs further. But what’s even better than cheap charging? Free charging from the sun!

Solar panels make a great companion to an EV, allowing you to use the car’s substantial battery to absorb excess solar power so you can drive on sunshine. But what are the best solar car chargers to make for an easy peasy EV-PV experience?

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Topics: EV charging, zappi, Solar PV

Do Solar Panels Increase the Value of Your House?

George Riley · 04 Aug 2021

With the sun finally out (in passing), you may be wondering if now is the time to join the solar club. Panels are better looking and more powerful than ever before, energy bills are spiking, and perhaps your neighbours are charging their new electric cars from the sun.

But if there’s something holding you back, it may be that classic British concern: property prices. So today we’re going to try and answer the question... do solar panels increase the value of your house?

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Topics: Financing, Solar PV

What Affects Solar Panel Output?

Mark Golding · 28 Jul 2021

Today we’re going to take a look at a real world example of an average 4kWp domestic PV system we have installed to understand what affects solar panel output, including factors such as weather, season, angle and orientation.

We’re going to put the batteries, EV chargepoints and hot water units to one side and consider a house with only solar panels fitted. The problem with this setup is that unless the energy is used as it’s generated, it will be exported. This means to get your best payback, you should switch on the dishwasher while it’s sunny, rather than at night.

To get the best annual output, your system would ideally face south at around 35 degrees. The height of the sun in the sky moves quite a lot over the year, so getting the best possible output will not be attainable without a very expensive and complex trackable mounting system. Generally it will always be a compromise on the roof space, orientation and pitch available to you.

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Topics: Solar PV

How Green Are Green Energy Tariffs?

George Riley · 14 Jul 2021

In the last few years there has been a surge in clean or renewable energy tariffs - in May, over half the tariffs on the market were advertised as ‘green’. But there are conflicting views on the ‘greenness’ of electricity tariffs, often coming from suppliers looking to prove their stance is the right one.

So how green are green energy tariffs really? And what’s the best way to ensure your home is running on zero carbon power?

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV, Environment

Are Solar Batteries Worth It in 2021?

George Riley · 07 Jul 2021

Good Energy estimates that the UK will need 23-55 GWh of domestic storage to reach net zero, which is equivalent to 1.5-4 million Tesla Powerwall sized batteries in people’s houses. Why? Because battery storage in homes is vital to help people use more renewable energy, reduce the evening peak demand and avoid costly transmission upgrades to the national grid.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Monitoring Solar Export and Self Consumption

Mark Golding · 16 Jun 2021

In the old days of solar PV, after your system was fitted, the only way to know how much power you produced was from the generation meter ticking up each day, or reading the screen on the inverter.

As inverters got better and integrated with WiFi, they allowed you to track daily, monthly and yearly production figures using your phone or computer. Although, one thing that you could never be sure of is the total amount of PV energy consumed on site.

But times have changed, and there are now much better ways of monitoring solar export and self consumption.

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV

UK Net Zero Targets: How Close Are We?

George Riley · 26 May 2021

Climate change is fast becoming an unavoidable part of our daily lives. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a level not seen for over 3 million years. Ever more regular wildfires, heavy flooding and heatwaves foreshadow the devastation a destabilised climate could cause.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has laid out a pathway for emissions reductions which should limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the level estimated to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. This includes almost halving emissions by 2030, and reaching net zero by 2050. The ‘net’ means that the most difficult emission to eliminate, like farming or aviation, could be offset with carbon removal (via natural means or emerging technologies).

So how close are we to reaching the UK net zero targets?

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Topics: Environment

Talking All Things Solar with Mark Sanders

George Riley · 12 May 2021

We went to speak to Mark Sanders, one of our most enthusiastic customers, about his experience with solar PV and Tesla Powerwall.

Watch our chat in the video below:

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

eddi Turns Excess Solar into Heat

George Riley · 29 Apr 2021

Many of our clients desire energy independence, to be insulated against rising bills and polluting power. It’s one of the most common reasons for investing in solar PV.

This is why we’re always interested in ways to help people use more of the solar power they generate at home, boosting efficiency and saving money. So today we’re looking at a device that can turn surplus solar energy into heating for your house - the eddi.

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Topics: zappi, Solar PV