Brits think that solar PV is the “ideal” energy efficiency improvement for a home, according to a recent study carried out by the Energy Saving Trust. The research surveyed over 2,000 homeowners who identified solar PV as the most desirable energy addition to their home if money were no object
However the report highlights a distinct lack of knowledge over the support schemes available to help homeowners invest in renewables with 55% unable to identify what the feed-in-tariff scheme was…
Even within community housing sectors, question marks over PV still arise. Back in Feb 2014 a report by the independent environmental charity EAGA / Changeworks entitled “Using Solar PV to Tackle Fuel Poverty” took a detailed look at the effect on energy bills on 122 Social Housing tenants with solar PV installed. Although reductions in utility bills were achieved, the report states:
“Some households may not make any savings if they are unaware of how best to adapt their electricity use, are constrained on how much daytime electricity they can use (for example, if out during the day) or are under the misconception that the panel will meet all their electricity needs (and therefore increase demand). In a number of cases, electricity consumption increased after the panels were installed…
Nevertheless, the study also highlights that information provision alone is not sufficient for households to change behaviour and other techniques are required to promote change.
Clearly there’s still a lot of work to do in the area of awareness / knowledge of how best to optimise the use of the daytime output from a typical PV system whilst remaining true to the mantra of saving energy at all other times…?
“Three years ago, we looked at this conundrum” states Iain McRitchie (MD of Earthwise Products). “We set about creating a simple-to-fit electronic control unit that would “free” homeowners from these types of compromises and unwelcome lifestyle choices, just in order to optimise their PV system/savings”
“We wanted SOLIC to use proven industrial control technology for the life of the FiT, be robust, no bigger than a jewellery box, simple to install within the hour by a qualified electrician. And in 2012 we launched the unique SOLIC 200 “black box” controller with its proven “near-zero-threshold” technology“
“SOLIC 200 senses when surplus green energy is being generated by the Home and converts this otherwise unused electricity into the form of useful heat energy within the home, providing a tank of piping hot domestic water.”
“SOLIC’s proven “near-zero-threshold” technology aims to squeeze every last drop from your home-grown energy, minimising grid supplied energy imports, and moving us all one small step closer to toward fuel independence.”
“Designed for the life of your system and with an industry best 10 year “back to base” warranty, the SOLIC 200 is the robust fit-and-forget green energy management solution for the home!”
Iain goes on to say “SOLIC 200 does not affect your FiT payment which remains unchanged for the life of your PV system, and does not (currently) effect your deemed export payment. As a result, homeowner pay-back times have been slashed to well within 3 years! And that’s even including typical installation costs too. The ongoing savings that SOLIC 200 offer are as clear and as viable today as was your decision to install solar PV… Maybe the last word should go to one of our clients: “For Stroud District Council, the solution was the SOLIC 200”.