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George Riley

Recent Posts

Black Solar Panels

George Riley 11 Jul 2019

Why are solar panels blue (usually)?

The standard solar panels that you see most commonly on rooftops are a shimmering blue colour. This is because they are made from polycrystalline silicon - lots of crystals melted together.

But you may have also seen black solar panels - these are monocrystalline. Formed from single silicon crystals, they have a greater efficiency and (in many people’s opinion) a more attractive appearance.

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Topics: Solar PV

Smart Export Guarantee Coming in January 2020

George Riley 11 Jun 2019

On 10th June, the government finally announced the details of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), the system to ensure people are paid for excess generated electricity they send to the grid.

This guarantee is seen as a replacement for the Feed-in and Export Tariffs, which ended on 31st March this year. Those schemes encouraged thousands of installs and helped bring the cost of solar down over 50% since 2011. The aim of the SEG is to continue promoting renewables but without costing consumers. Instead suppliers will have to start bidding competitively for the energy you generate.

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV

Solar VAT Rise Threatens Domestic PV - Should You Install This Summer?

George Riley 30 May 2019

The solar PV industry has faced a year of change in 2019, with more uncertainty lying ahead. First came the end of the Feed-in Tariff, the guaranteed payments for people generating solar energy. The 50% deemed Export Tariff for smaller systems ended at the same time and we’re still waiting to see what will fill the gap, to prevent customers with new solar systems from exporting excess electricity to the grid for free. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t impact people who installed their system before the final Feed-in Tariff deadline of 31st March 2019.) The current proposal from the government is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) - more on this below. As a final kick in the teeth to the industry, another threat to solar PV installation has resurfaced - a potential solar VAT rise on domestic systems from 5% to 20%.

So what does all this mean to you? Is solar PV still worth installing now, either as an extension to your existing system, or as a new system altogether, or should you wait? And what about a solar battery?

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV

Solar Car Chargers: zappi vs Rolec EV SolarCharge

George Riley 16 May 2019

If you’re looking to maximise the value of the surplus energy generated by your PV system, diverting this to EV charging makes sense from both an economic and environmental perspective.

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Topics: EV charging, zappi, Solar PV