For all media enquiries contact:
Debbie McCarthy
DMPR
Tel: +44 (0)1886 888000
Email: debbie@debbiemccarthypr.co.uk

 


The New Feed in Tariffs
May 2012

The New Feed in Tariffs for each band have just been announced and are set out in the table; the overall drop in returns for domestic installations will be 15% post 1st August 2012.

Band (kW) Current Rate NEW RATE Drop in %
< 4kW 21p 16.0p 23.8%
> 4kW - 10kW 16.8p 14.5p 13.4%
> 10- 50kW 15.2p 13.5p 11.2%
> 50 - 150kW 12.9p 11.5p 11%
> 150 - 250kW 12.9p 11.0p 14.7%
> 250 - 5000kW 8.9p 7.1p 20%


– so order NOW – there is still time to beat the drop – unless you are listed or in a conservation area in England, you no longer require planning.

Other changes for new installations from 1st August.

  • The FiT will run for 20 years not 25. NB The customer will continue to save on their energy bills long after the feed-in tariff period ends
  • The export tariff will increase from 3.4p to 4.5p.

An Example of the new Domestic Rate:

Feed-in tariff at 16p + 2.25p (50 % export – now at 4.5p/kWh) + 6p Saving (50 % use based on 12p per kWh) = 24.25p per kWh generated.

Taking a 4kWp system in the Midlands installed at a 30 degree pitch SE or SW you can expect around 3,400kWh of generation per year.

The customer can then expect an annual return of £824.50 per annum (FiT + Export + Savings = 3,400 x 24.25p) or 11.4% First year return based on installed cost with 5% VAT of £7,250.

This compares with 13.5 % for arrays installed pre 1st August 2012

Call Charles Houston on 0797 196 1966 to book a free survey.






DECC Plan Massive FiT Degradation in 2012
March 2012

The Feed in Tariff (FiT) is being reduced in 2012. The actual FiT rates for installations 13th December 2011 to 3rd March 2012 are currently uncertain and will remain that way until the result of the Government’s appeal to the Supreme Court is known.

Until then the key dates are as follows:

3rd March 2012. Any installations connected before this date may qualify for the OLD pre 12th December rates depending on the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal.  Installations connected post 3rd March 2012 will attract the new FiT which the government tried to introduce in December of 2011. These are as shown under the 1st April column on the chart below:

Band (kW) 1 April tariff Option A Option B Option C
< 4kW 21p 13.6p 15.7p 16.5p
> 4kW - 10kW 16.8p 10.9p 12.6p 13.2p
> 10- 50kW 15.2p 9.9p 11.4p 11.9p
> 50 - 150kW 12.9p 7.7p 9.7p 10.1p
> 150 - 250kW 12.9p 5.8p 8p 10.1p
> 250 - 5000kW 8.9p 4.7p 6.8p 7.1p

1st April. After this date, installations will be subject to an EPC assessment. Properties which rate D or better will qualify for the full FiT even when assessed after the installation; otherwise they will only attract a FiT of 9p. There are also reductions in FiT rate for multiple installations beyond 25 for any one organisation to 80% FiT. This applies to domestic and commercial buildings; a domestic EPC assessment is not expensive and the majority of the domestic properties in the UK will clear this hurdle. However, commercial EPC’s are expensive and it is not clear how they will be calculated although guidance has been given that it is the property which will be benefit from the power as opposed to the property whose roof the panels are on which will need assessing. This could be many buildings potentially on one estate.

Future Proposals

1st July 2012. The FiT will drop at this date but the revised rate will depend on the uptake of PV from 4th March to 31st April . The range of FiT rates will be either 13.6p, 15.7p or 16.5p depending on uptake and the options are shown in the three right hand columns in the chart above. It is possible that a 50kWp array which on 3rd March attracted 32.9p per kWh generated will four months later only produce 9.9p, a drop of 70%. This should focus customer’s minds on a pre July installation.

1st October 2012
or sooner depending on uptake. A reduction of 5% from the July rate

1st April 2012
or sooner depending on uptake and six monthly thereafter, 10% reduction on the previous rate
[NB; what I have set out is a much shortened version of what is happening]

For full detail on the consultation above, please click here.

To read the FAQ’s on DECC’s web site, click here.

We do not agree that all is doom and gloom as customers should not focus on the Feed in Tariff but on the ROI to measure the value of the investment. We think that they will be surprised by how well this has held up. However, there is a big difference in a FiT of 21p – guaranteed from now to July -  and a drop to possibly as low as 13.6p thereafter. So my message, as always, is not to delay if you can help it. The fall from 43.3p to 13.6p over nine months equates to 69% which is a faster drop than the cost of installations.
DECC logo




UK's largest rooftop solar power project is complete
June 2011

Going Solar has completed a £1.2m contract for the UK’s largest rooftop solar power installation, which involved fitting 2,200 panels at a site in Suffolk.

The Midlands-based renewable energy installer mounted the photovoltaic panels on to a series of roofs that covered the same area as a football pitch at Debach Enterprises in Ipswich.

The massive project at the warehouse on Ransomes Europark was completed within seven weeks and formed part of a major engineering and procurement programme managed by Going Solar.

Up to 440,000 kW hours of electricity will be generated annually by the 500kWp installation, which means it will not only provide free power to the warehouse, but also export enough power back to the grid to supply more than 100 homes.

In light of the Government’s plans to cut the incentives for generating electricity from solar panels, Going Solar is urging consumers to take advantage of the generous Feed-in Tariffs available for solar power installations of up to 50kWp.

“It looks likely the Government will significantly lower the tariff rates so potential customers need to plan installations now to beat the connection day deadline of March 31, 2012,” explained director Charles Houston.

“A 50kWp solar power array should provide 42,500 kW hours a year which becomes more attractive when you factor in that electricity prices are predicted to rise by 60 per cent by 2016,” he added.
Going Solar





Going Solar makes green history
April 2011

Going Solar is making green history after starting work on the UK’s largest rooftop solar power project.

The first of 2,200 photovoltaic panels have been installed on to a series of warehouse roofs at Debach Enterprises, Ransomes Europark, Ipswich. It will span more than an acre when the project is completed next month.

The Midlands-based firm says the 500kWp installation is set to generate up to 440,000 kW hours a year, which will not only provide free power to the warehouse, but also feed enough power back to the grid to supply over 100 homes.

It clinched the £1.2 million contract from a London-based renewable energy developer after a rigorous competitive tender process in which Going Solar impressed with its technical know-how and commitment to customer service.

Going Solar has undertaken the planning and building regulations applications, electrical design and grid connection as part of a comprehensive programme of engineering, procurement and installation services for the Suffolk project.

“Work is progressing well on this vast installation and the team is delighted to be playing its role in a ground-breaking project in the UK,” commented director Charles Houston.
Going Solar





The Feed in Tariffs rise with RPI Some good news at last
March 2011

Against  a backdrop of bad news from DECC, they have announced last week the new Feed in Tariff rates which will come into effect from 1st April 2011; this is because the tariff is inflation proof so that the payments are increased annually in line with RPI, then 4.8%, now 5.5% (!).

This means that customers who are already connected to the grid today (March) will see their rate of payments increase; it also means that new customers who connect to the grid between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012 will start at the higher level.

To be clear, anyone who connects after 1st April 2012 will start at the lower rates shown in the table below, right hand column

The old and new rates are as follows:

Size of Array Old rate Up to 31st March 2011 New rate from April to end of March 2012 Starting rate for arrays connected after 31st March 2012
< 4 to 10kWp 41.3p 43.3p 37.8p
4 kWp to 10 kWp 36.1p 37.8p 33.0p
10 kWp to 100 kWp 31.4p 32.9p 28.7p
100 kWp to 5 MW  29.3p 30.7p 26.8p

That means that with panel prices falling and the FiT rising by 4.7 - 4.8%, the returns from Solar PV have never been better, but this only lasts until March 2012.

I hope that we can help you with your solar requirements.







Act now to beat plans to cut solar energy incentives
March 2011

The Government now looks set to take radical action on the Feed-in Tariff for solar PV above 50kWp and there may still be a nasty surprise for smaller schemes as well, writes Going Solar director Charles Houston.

Since they announced that the review was coming in February 2011 they have been lobbied hard and so it is fair to conclude that more pressure now is unlikely to have any effect on the direction that this process is taking.

The main proposed changes are:

[For projects <50kWp no change for now]
For projects between 50 and 100 kWp the rate will drop from 32.9p to 19p
For projects between 100 and 150 kWp the rate will drop from 30.7p to 19p
For projects between 150 and 250 kWp the rate will drop from 30.7p to 15p

For projects between 250 and 5MWp the rate will drop from 30.7p to 8.5p

0 to 4kWp  43.3p
>4 to 10kWp 37.8p
>10 to 50 kWp 32.9p
>50 to 150kWp 19p
>150 to 250kWp  15p
>250 to 5MWp 8.5p

These changes are proposed to come into effect after 31st July 2011 which is the day that they must be connected to qualify for the old regime.

As the Solar Traders Association have commented  “If these changes come into force our FIT program will effectively be dismantled, with it having some of the lowest tariff rates in Europe”.  The coalition were very quick to axe the Low Carbon Building Programme Ph2 (first week in office); why they let the feed in tariffs for PV carry on for so long before clubbing them is inexcusable in my opinion.

I take no comfort that this company shied away from large ground-mounted sites as it felt like a “chase” and we have lobbied for roof mounted sites to be spared the guillotine but in vain; the baby is thrown out with the bathwater.

The options for customers thinking of investing in solar or who have a roof that they are interested in renting out, are as follows:

  1. There are still four months before “C-Day” to connect under the old tariff regime if you have a site for >50kWp; installation can be carried out quickly and if there is no grid apparatus upgrade then connection likewise. Large orders of panels take six weeks from the factory which may be a killer; you can apply retrospectively for planning but that carries a risk.
  2. If you have more than one metered supply, then you have the option of doubling your array into say two x 50kWp to achieve 100kWp, both still at the 32.9p level
  3. Reduce your project to 50kWp
  4. Do the sums on a 150kWp array at 19p; if you are in the south of UK, the returns may still be attractive especially if you can secure a power purchase agreement on the generated power.
  5. Write to your MP expressing dismay; take part in the DECC consultation.

Finally, if you can do a project <50kWp don’t delay. The feed in tariffs for the smaller projects are also up for review but the changes won’t come into effect before 31st March 2012.

Assume the worst; act now.
Going Solar




Midlands firm to install UK's largest solar power project
January 2011

A million pound contract to install probably the UK’s biggest solar power project to date has been won by a fledgling Midlands-based provider of renewable energy solutions.

Going Solar fought off fierce competition to clinch the deal to fit around 2,200 photovoltaic panels on to a series of warehouse roofs in Ipswich, Suffolk, which will span 1.1 acres.

The installation, set to start in February and due to be completed in early March, is designed to generate up to 500kW, enough power to supply more than 100 homes.

The company, from Neen Sollars, Worcestershire, and headed by directors Charles Houston and Andy Perkins, made the best impression during the competitive tender process organised by a London-based renewable energy developer.

“Although Going Solar are only a relatively new business, the developer was not only won over by our know-how and desire to deliver a successful project, but also by our impressive track record of customer satisfaction,” explained Charles Houston.

“We’re delighted to have been selected for this project, especially as large solar PV is new to the UK. Although it will be our largest contract to date, we’re confident that we’ve the right approach and expertise to meet the challenges of this vast installation,” he added.

Going Solar have recently completed a host of projects around the UK including a solar thermal panel installation for heating an indoor swimming pool at Abberley Hall School, near Worcester. It is expected to reduce energy bills by around £10,000 a year.

“You just have to look at the devastating consequences of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico to see that the future must lie in the clean, ever-lasting and safe energy that hits the Earth’s surface from the sun in such abundance. If we could capture just 40 minutes’ worth of it, then that would be more than enough to meet the world’s energy consumption in a year,” said Charles.


Going Solar





Going Solar by royal appointment
August 2010

Going Solar, the Midlands-based provider of renewable energy systems, will be among a group of green businesses aiming to show how people can lead more sustainable lives at an event organised by Prince Charles.

The company will demonstrate the benefits of switching to solar power when it exhibits at the ‘Garden Party to Make a Difference’ in the grounds of Clarence House, London, from September 8-19.

The event is part of Prince Charles’ Start initiative, which aims not only to show what a more energy efficient, cleaner and healthier future could look like, but also how to make manageable steps towards a greener lifestyle.

Going Solar partners Charles Houston, James Meynell and Andy Perkins will be on hand to explain to visitors about the grants and incentives available to homeowners, businesses and organisations as well as the wide variety of renewable energy solutions.

The 12-day festival, which will also be held along The Mall and in the gardens of Lancaster House and Marlborough House, will feature more than 2,000 square metres of exhibition space, showing a vast array of products and displays designed to encourage a sustainable way of life. Visit www.startuk.org for more details.

“Going Solar is delighted to be able to play its part in raising awareness of building a more sustainable future. There’s plenty of solar energy in this country to make a difference and the technology is well developed and efficient,” commented partner Charles Houston.
Prince Charles



Delays to rebate scheme risk green energy push
July 2010

Businesses keen to switch to renewable energy systems could be deterred by the Government’s dithering over the announcement of a new scheme to reward consumers for reducing their carbon footprint.

That’s the view of Charles Houston, partner at Going Solar, who has written to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to urge him to finalise and publish details of the Renewable Heat Incentive, which is set to come into effect next April.

The RHI, a government-backed plan which allows individuals, companies and organisations to earn money for the heat generated from their renewable energy systems such as solar thermal panels and heat pumps, is set to replace the Low Carbon Building Programme ph2 grant, which was suddenly closed to new applications in May.

To date, the Government has yet to release details of the new scheme, stating that it is committed to meeting its renewable heat energy targets, but wants to review the proposals in view of the current economic climate.

“Many companies like Going Solar have been working hard to communicate to businesses the benefits of switching to renewable energy systems. We’re so far behind in this country but, in the past year or so, momentum has been gathering towards a critical mass with interest growing rapidly not only from the commercial area, but also from organisations in the private and educational sectors,” he explained.

“However, the Government’s dithering on the RHI announcement has created uncertainty in the minds of consumers. We’re in a hiatus. It’s very hard to make a case for a change to renewables without an idea of payback.

“Earlier this year, the Feed in Tariffs were announced only two months before they came into force which was far too late; why not give us a good lead-in by an early announcement of the RHI so that the wheels can start turning again now?

“Any eligible renewable energy system installed after July 2009 will qualify for the scheme, but the tariffs cannot be backdated and will only apply when the subsidy comes into effect,” said Charles.

The RHI scheme would hopefully remain an attractive proposition as the average yearly return was predicted to be between 8-12% with a payback period of less than 10 years, and it should do for heat what the Feed in Tariff has done for solar PV, he added.
Charles Houston

Charles Houston, partner at Going Solar.



School goes solar to cut energy costs
July 2010

An energy-conscious boarding school is to use the latest solar thermal technology to heat its indoor swimming pool in a move designed to save over £10,000 a year.

Abberley Hall School has appointed Going Solar to undertake the installation, which will involve fitting a total of 48 slimline, flat plate solar thermal panels on to a 120m² area of the pool’s roof.

The project, which is in line to receive a 50 per cent government grant, will also provide hot water for 24 showers and some peripheral heating of an adjacent changing room.

As well as eliminating hefty oil and LPG bills, the switch to solar power means the school is set to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 26,000 Kg and achieve a total energy saving of 123,000 kWh. In addition, it is likely to recoup the initial installation costs within 27 months.

John Walker, headmaster of the independent co-ed school, situated at Abberley, near Worcester, was impressed with the scale of the annual energy savings forecast by the Going Solar solution.

“Using solar thermal technology is not only an important opportunity to save money on energy bills, but also an excellent way to show the school’s determination to reduce its carbon footprint,” he commented.

The Going Solar solution comprises a series of low-maintenance, unobtrusive solar collectors, which will be placed on the pool’s south-facing roof. The heat energy absorbed by the panels is then transferred directly into the pool.

As part of the project, Going Solar will also install a liquid pool cover to reduce evaporation and energy loss, delivering more savings as the condensing compressors in the building’s dehumidifiers can be turned off overnight.

“There is plenty of solar energy in this country to make a difference and the latest solar thermal technology is both well-developed and highly-efficient. It offers clean, safe and, once paid back, free energy over a period of many years instead of dirty, harmful and soon-to-be very expensive fossil fuels,” explained Going Solar partner, Charles Houston.
Abberley Hall School




The Countess of Wessex discusses renewable energy solutions with Going Solar
June 2010

The Countess of Wessex showed a keen interest in renewable energy solutions when she stopped by Going Solar’s stand at the Royal Bath and West Society show. She chatted with partner James Meynell about ways to reduce her carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels at home.

Royal Bath and West Society show



Going Solar awarded first medium sized solar PV contract
June 2010

Bob Cragg, the owner of an industrial estate near Warrington, Cheshire has signed up with Going Solar for a 21 kW, solar PV installation to provide electrical power to his tenants. Mr Cragg will earn approximately £5,500 from the goverment's tariff scheme for 25 years, index -linked annually to RPI plus up to £2,000 pa from selling his own electricity to his tenants. Any unused power will be sold back to the grid. Going Solar have made the G83 grid connection application to Manweb and will start on site as soon as this is approved.

James Meynell partner at Going Solar says " Mr Cragg should earn an initial return of over 10% pa on his investment by rentalising his roofs. He has decided to install now before the starting tariffs reduce in 2012 which makes good sense and has moved quickly in case the new government reviews the FiT structure like they have done with the solar thermal grant."

Solar PV



Going Solar chooses Solar Aid as its partner charity for 2010.
December 2009

The partners of Going Solar have announced that they will donate £5 to Solar Aid for every solar thermal or PV panel that they install in 2010.

Charles Houston of Going Solar says "Solar Aid is a very worthwhile charity that brings the miracle of electrical power from the free, abundant and everlasting solar energy that hits the earth every day in many poor countries, to those most in need".
Solar Aid



Training Conference
October 2009

In October 2009 the partners of Going Solar LLP were invited to Sweden for a two day training conference hosted by S Solar AB, the makers of the Sunstrip collector.

The guest speaker was Harald Blazak from Solid the Austrian company responsible for over 50% of Europe’s large installations (which use the Sunstrip collector). The training was followed by a tour of the production line by Robert Sundquist R&D Director and a glimpse at the tomorrow’s absorber coating, Sol Gel.
Going Solar LLP Partners



S Solar family grows with UK affiliation
July 2009

S Solar family grows with UK affiliation. Going Solar LLP are pleased to be in partnership with Swedish manufacturer, S Solar AB to assist in providing solar heating solutions to medium to large organisations in the UK.

Klas Stal, MD of SSolar says " The UK market is entering a period of sustained growth in solar and we are very happy to provide our product and expertise into the UK via Going Solar LLP. Our panels work well in the Nordic climate and are well suited not only to the rugged climate of the UK but also the levels of sunlight."
S Solar


For all media enquiries contact:
Debbie McCarthy
DMPR
Tel: +44 (0)1886 888000
Email: debbie@debbiemccarthypr.co.uk