Homeowner Blog

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.

Read more...

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?

Read more...

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:

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Topics: zappi, Solar PV

Time of Use Tariffs: Saving the UK Grid?

George Riley · 21 Apr 2021

If you’ve spent much time trying to find the best energy deal, you may have come across the term ‘time of use tariffs’. It’s more exciting than it sounds - if you’re interested in Britain’s evolving energy system.

Read more...

Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Tariffs

Solar PV Monitoring Solutions: The Best Apps and Platforms

George Riley · 01 Apr 2021

Image: SolarEdge.

Since solar panels are static, there’s little to actually, well, see when they’re generating. Sure, it’s nice to start receiving smaller energy bills but, if you’re like most of our customers, you’ll want to dig into the performance data every now and then.

As well as checking when the most solar power is being generated (a useful reminder to turn on the dishwasher and make the most of that free electricity), solar monitoring is great for reviewing past output and comparing performance. Sudden drops can indicate faults that need fixing, or help assess if it’s worth giving the panels a clean.

Wondering which solar PV monitoring solutions are the best? Read on...

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall, Inverters

Living with Solar Panels: One Year On

Mark Golding · 17 Mar 2021

Last February, when the world was a very different place, Spirit installed SunPower panels in the roof of my new home - read all about the installation process here.

So it’s been just over a year now that I’ve been living with solar panels. Although not the best of years, it has been nice to work from home to maximise the use of my own solar energy. But how is my PV system doing? Has it performed anywhere near what my quote promised? And how have my behaviour, bills and carbon footprint changed?

Read more...

Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

Type of Use Tariffs: OVO Energy’s Innovation

George Riley · 11 Mar 2021

We talk a lot about time of use tariffs, but now there’s a new kid on the block - type of use tariffs. The first of these has been announced by energy supplier OVO and is designed to reward EV owners with lower cost car charging.

Read more...

Topics: EV charging, Tariffs

How Do Electric Cars Reduce Pollution?

George Riley · 25 Feb 2021

Think back to the last time you took the Tube, ran beside a congested road, or walked in rural wilderness. Air pollution is tangible, in a way that perhaps other planet-harming emissions aren’t, and so the benefits of tackling it can be more apparent and immediate.

Public Health England says that ‘Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.’ Long term exposure to air pollution can affect the lungs and heart with chronic diseases and cancer. Short term exposure can exacerbate asthma and affect lung function. In total it’s estimated that air pollution is responsible for 28,000-36,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

What can we do about it? Air pollution is a huge topic with many interconnected causes and solutions. So in particular, we’re going to take a look at EVs and air quality, asking: how do electric cars reduce pollution?

Read more...

Topics: EV charging, Environment

Are Solar Panels Worth It in 2021? Yes, Solar Power Costs 8p/kWh!

Erica Charles · 17 Feb 2021

Recent years have seen significant shakeups to the economics of solar power. Since the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants in 2019, photovoltaics are no longer subsidised. Later that year, solar tax rates also got a shakeup, meaning not every installation is eligible for 5% VAT. So, are solar panels worth it today?

Speaking purely from a financial point of view, the answer is a resounding yes. Of course beyond the financial, there are many other environmental benefits to be gained from installing solar, installing residential battery storage, driving an electric vehicle etc. Not least because they all contribute directly or indirectly to tackling air pollution and the climate crisis.

Back to the financials. The solar subsidy may have ended, but the cost of the technology has fallen by more than 50% over the past decade. Overall the cost of domestic solar electricity is now around 8p per kWh. This is well below the 16p average domestic import cost from the grid (which, by the way, increased by an average 4.75% each year over the past decade...).

Read more...

Topics: Financing, Solar PV