After the well publicised reduction in FIT rates for new applicants at the end of January, the rate of installations in the domestic market has dropped substantially. The most recent report from the MCS organisation shows that as of the end of March, there were 2,300 registered MCS installation companies. The government is using that number to claim that the renewables sector is still strong. What they have not highlighted is the net reduction in the number of installation companies over the 3 month period to end march which is approximately 1,000. The rate of companies closing or dropping out of the industry is under-reported and not slowing down. This means that if the trend continues, there will be next to no renewables companies left in 6 months time. That is not a good position for the UK to be in as we continue to try to improve our energy supply resilience and costs.
H2ecO has highlighted this issue to the MCS and our local MP Michael Tomlinson (Conservative) and we wait to see what response we get.
In our local area, most of the companies we routinely competed against for business have liquidated with AP Chant of Bridport, Apple Solar, NGPS Ltd and Save Energy Group being just part of the list.
H2ecO is surviving because we have low overheads, own our own premises and are service Partners with Daikin which is allowing us to continue trading and offering support and service to our existing customers.
A 10% return on the cost of a system is still realistically achievable
The good news is that the general media reporting on PV has led the public to believe that FIT’s have finished or are not worth considering anymore. This simply isn’t the case and a 10% return on the cost of a system is still realistically achievable. That is the same situation as existed when we started the business 6 years ago. The problem is trying to get that message out to the wider public.
We hope our existing customers are still willing to recommend us to potential new customers safe in the knowledge that they are still recommending a reliable installer and that the finances do still make sense – along, of course, with the difficult to quantify feel-good factor of saving carbon emissions and not being quite as dependent on the big 6 energy companies who we expect to put prices up again towards the end of the summer using the oil price increase as an excuse (even though their pricing did not track oil down very well!).
H2ecO is still offering a £100 referral fee to any existing customers for installations that go ahead.
To find out more about the current achievable return on investment with Solar PV for your home or business, please get in touch
Over the last 2 months, H2ecO has been shortlisted for the Renewable Energy Association (REA) Awards and made it through to the finals. These are national awards and we were up against large national companies so getting to the finals was a real achievement and a really welcome recognition of the work the team at H2ecO do.
H2ecO also won the title of Renewable Energy Installer of the Year in the Southwest Energy Efficiency Awards hosted in Bristol earlier this month. The award nomination was based on the levels of positive feedback that have been received from H2ecO customers on both www.yougen.co.uk and the WHICH trusted trader system.
READ OUR YOUGEN REVIEWS > | READ OUR WHICH? REVIEWS >
The second part of the nomination came from a project that H2ecO completed for a local business who wanted a new commercial development to be made as energy efficient as possible. This entailed H2ecO designing and installing a system that utilised a Heatpump to run underfloor heating throughout, a heat-recovery airconditioning system to provide cooling and boost heating if needed. It also included a ventilation system with heat recovery to maintain the internal air quality at the highest level to promote staff productivity. This job has become a case-study that Daikin are using Nationally to show what can be done in the commercial arena.
Read more about our renewable energy project for the Anglo-American Oil Company >
There has been a lot of discussion about battery storage in the media recently. Battery storage is the holy-grail, aiming to solve the ongoing conundrum of how to make best use of PV production which happens during the middle of the day when the maximum demand tends to be early and late.
Companies like SolaX have been producing and selling inverter/battery systems for a while to help deal with these issues and maximise the benefits to end-users. At H2ecO, we have been keeping a keen eye on the options and have recently become one of the first certified Tesla Powerwall battery system installers in the area. We completed our first installation a few weeks ago and early results are excellent. The battery is being pretty much fully utilised every day. It is shifting over 7kWh of electricity for use by the client, as opposed to that electricity being exported with no financial benefit. If that continued for the whole year, the savings would equate to roughly (365 x 7 x £.16)= £409. The Tesla systems currently cost about £4300 inc vat for customers who already have a Solar Edge Inverter. This equates to a return on investment of about 9%. The batteries are guaranteed for 10 years and should last much longer.
The Tesla Powerwall offers far superior performance to a base SolaX system with a 2 kWh battery. SolaX batteries charge quickly in the morning but tend to discharge by around 1am in an average 4 bedroom house. Of course the SolaX battery system can be upgraded by adding extra batteries to get the system capacity up to 6 or 8 kWh. If you have a solaX system that is cycling too fast, H2ecO can help look at options for adding battery capacity to the existing system. This would not be necessary with Tesla; the larger capacity of the Tesla Powerwall means that it can supply electricity long after other systems would be fully drained.
For any existing SolarEdge users, we would be delighted to carry out a site visit to see if a Tesla Powerwall would be suitable for your home or business. They are very flexible as they can be located outside or inside, and as their advanced thermal control system does produce some noise we can help work out the best position in your premises. To book a free consultation, please Get in Touch >
Battery Storage Maintenance
In the last week, we were called to troubleshoot a SolaX system installed by a local company that has gone bust and found that the battery system had not been configured correctly for over a year and had not charged or discharged during that time. A 2 hour site visit sorted the problem and the system is now working very well with the battery cycling once or twice during the day – as it is a smaller 3.6kWh unit.
If you have an existing battery storage system make sure it is working efficiently; give us a call on 01202 918486 to arrange a service.
Click to learn more about Battery Storage>