For free advice call 0118 951 4490 or email info@spiritenergy.co.uk

Request free advice / quote 

Homeowner Blog

Erica Charles

Managing Director of Spirit Energy.

Recent Posts

Electric Car Charging Point Grants: Only for Smart Chargers from July 2019

Erica Charles 17 Jan 2019

The government says it wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.

To support this, it needs the National Grid to be Smart, with a finely tuned set of tools available to balance demand and supply.

With this in mind, the government has announced that from July 2019, the grant of £500 per charge point available for home and workplace charge points will only be given to people installing Smart Chargers to charge their electric car.

What's a Smart Charger?

Read more

Topics: EV charging, EVBox, Home car charging station

Government proposes new Export Tariff Scheme for Solar: the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Erica Charles 11 Jan 2019

When the government announced in 2018 that it would close the Feed-in Tariff scheme with effect from 31st March 2019, it failed to put in place any replacement for the Export Tariff.  Small scale solar PV systems installed after 31st March were likely to end up exporting excess solar generation to the grid for free.

Not surprisingly there was uproar within the industry at this prospect.

In response, the government has this week launched a consultation on the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). 

Read more

Topics: Solar PV Export Tariff, Deemed Export

Home Battery Storage Prepares for Blast Off in 2019

Erica Charles 14 Dec 2018

With 11 days to go until Christmas, Michelle Obama has launched her bid to join Christmas bestseller lists across the globe, Simon Cowell et al have launched their usual bid for the Christmas Number 1 song slot, and the nation prepares once more to vote in the Strictly Come Dancing final tomorrow.

A similar end-of-year flurry is taking place in the home battery storage market, all with a view to turbo-charging the market in 2019.

In the last few weeks:

Read more

Topics: Social Energy, Tesla Solar Battery, Powerwall2, Powervault 3

The End of the Solar PV Export Tariff: Solar’s Turn to Subsidise the Grid?

Erica Charles 07 Dec 2018

Back in July, the government announced its intention to close the Feed-in Tariff Scheme to new entrants from 31st March 2019.  The Export Tariff was scrapped at the same time, thus placing owners of small scale solar systems installed after 1st April 2019 in a position whereby they could find themselves exporting excess solar electricity to the Grid for free.

Not surprisingly the idea of the homeowner installing solar only to find themselves subsidising the Big 6 with free exported solar electricity has caused something of an outcry in the solar industry…

Read more

Topics: Solar PV Export Tariff, Deemed Export

Off-Grid Power: Is It Time to Ditch the Grid?

Erica Charles 23 Nov 2018

"Can I go off-grid with solar?" is a question we are asked at least once a week. When the Big 6 hike electricity prices, make that once a day.

It's a particularly enticing proposition, especially if you are 'self-building' your dream home and aiming for PassivHaus standards and Grand Design prizes.

The Short Answer is "Yes you can go off-grid with solar."

A Better Answer is "Don't do it unless your grid connection is REALLY expensive."  Instead, make the Grid work for you by taking full advantage of time-of-use tariffs (off-peak charging).

To illustrate our Better Answer, we've modelled an off-grid residential property with an annual electricity consumption of 5,000 kWh.

Read more

Topics: Off Grid Power

Can Solar Survive Without Subsidy? Find Out with Spirit’s New Solar PV Calculator

Erica Charles 09 Nov 2018

As you may know, the Feed-in Tariff solar subsidy scheme ends in March 2019.

After that, Solar PV (solar electricity) has to stand on its own two feet.

The question is, can Solar PV stand on its own two feet? 

And more to the point, if you can’t make the March 2019 installation deadline, should you still consider solar for your own property?

Equally if you want to extend your system (which wouldn’t qualify for subsidy even if you were to extend before March 2019), should you do so?

To help you work that out, we’ve launched a brand new Solar PV Calculator....

Read more

Topics: Solar PV Calculator, Solar Worth It

Spirit Energy Now Accepts SolarCoins: Air Miles for Solar Electricity

Erica Charles 28 Sep 2018

We hear more and more about Blockchain technology.  The technology creates a transparent public ledger that records series of transactions, facilitating a fast, low-cost, trusted transfer of value without the involvement of traditional intermediaries.  

Already used in the financial sector, it’s only a matter of time before Blockchain hits the energy sector in a major way, particularly with the explosion of micro-generation of electricity, the ending of solar subsidies, and the advent of smart meters.

With Octopus Energy claiming to have paid customers to use excess electricity at night on four occasions in the last 12 months, real time peer-to-peer trading of electricity is surely just around the corner. Other potential applications include authentication of renewable generation and trading of emissions permits.

Read more

Topics: SolarCoin, Is Solar a Good Investment?

Spirit Moves the Market: Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powervault 3 Warranty Updates

Erica Charles 13 Jul 2018

Four weeks ago, we compared the warranties of Tesla’s Powerwall 2, Powervault 3 and Pylontech.

This week, both Powerwall 2 and Powervault 3 have updated – and improved – their warranties.

Powervault has in fact changed the underlying chemistry of its battery and launched GridFlexTM, but more on that next week…

For Powerwall 2 customers, the update is retrospective which is good news for our Powerwall 2 customers.

Now to the fine print….

Read more

Topics: Powervault 3, Solar PV battery storage, Tesla Solar Battery

Last 9 Months of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme …. Claim Your Share Before It’s Too Late!

Erica Charles 28 Jun 2018

Since April 2010, more than 800,000 solar PV installations have benefitted from the hugely successful Feed-in-Tariff scheme.

The scheme was originally expected to be open until March 2021. However it is now closing to new entrants at the end of March 2019, due both to government cuts and the reduced costs of solar panels.  The subsidies paid to existing members of the scheme will not be impacted by the closure.

If you haven't already installed solar PV you have nine months to claim your share of the pot...

Read more

Topics: Feed in Tariff

PylonTech, Powervault, Powerwall 2... What's In the Warranty?

Erica Charles 12 Jun 2018

Following our analysis of Powervault 3 vs Powerwall 2, we had a couple of requests for a review of the SoFar / Pylontech residential battery storage system.

On the face of it, the SoFar / Pylontech combination offers good value, flexible sizing, and LFP (Lithium Ferro Phosphate) chemistry… so well worth consideration.

And that's before you appreciate the fun to be had when trying to summarise the essence of the different warranties: Pylontech vs Powerwall vs Powervault.

Here goes…

Read more

Topics: Powervault 3, Solar PV battery storage, Tesla Solar Battery, Pylontech