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Thread: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

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    News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Will the 3.36 kilowatt system be enough to power all the PCs and gadgets in your home?
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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    They only 'pay for themselves' if you count the massive subsidies that the taxpayer and other leccy buyers are throwing at it.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Relax Ed Millibands is going to fix that by setting price limits on electricity. Because its the £40 profit on the average energy bill not the £100+ subsidy payments that make energy bills so high.

    It is really important that the poorest in society pay for those rich enough to slap down some photovoltaics.
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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    They only 'pay for themselves' if you count the massive subsidies that the taxpayer and other leccy buyers are throwing at it.
    Why wouldn't you include them?
    My parents looked into getting some earlier this year, but sadly I think the initial outlay is just too much. It's a pity since they're losing value as time goes on and the subsidies reduce at a rate quicker than the price of the panels/efficiency of them is getting better

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Having worked at a company that sells them a while back, it baffles me why people don't get them. You get paid to own them for 20 years, and they pay themselves off in around 5 on average.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Quote Originally Posted by flufflogic View Post
    Having worked at a company that sells them a while back, it baffles me why people don't get them. You get paid to own them for 20 years, and they pay themselves off in around 5 on average.
    Problem I've got with them is that the folks selling them seem to be the same bunch of wide boy cowboys who were trying to punt double glazing, then conservatories, PPI, etc. I've also seen articles saying that the industry (i.e. the sellers and manufacturers) have (accidentally?) shortened the payback time - (conveniently?) forgetting that with increased focus on energy efficiency most folks are trying to reduce their electricity consumption.

    And if they're SUCH a good idea when why the eff isn't the government INSISTING that they be fitted to all new builds that can take them. There's a lot of new builds around here and not one has had SP's installed at build (when surely it would be cheapest!)

    Lastly, I live in Scotland - so one of those vertical wind turbines makes a lot more sense than a photomosaic slapped on the loft!

    PS. Wonder if those increased efficiency PV's that the Fraunhofer folks announced will change the economic argument.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    When you remortgage it might be worth borrowing a bit extra to get these. A major factor is that it is a big company like Ikea selling them, not some cowboy outfit.

    A seven year payback isn't amazing, but it's better than 15 years or 25 years, which is what solar power installations used to cost.

    And it will add value to the house so it's not a sunk cost - free electricity is a major selling point! So you either make your money back in electricity bill savings or selling it back to the grid, or you make it back from selling the house.

    How much space do they require in the loft - as the loft conversion will restrict the space for these aspects?

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    One of the problems with solar power installations at the moment is the cowboys doing the installation work. I've seen solar panels fitted to north facing roofs before which would be next to useless.

    Although when it's done right, PVs are still attractive even without the subsidies. People who fitted them 20 years ago before subsidies and at a time of higher panel costs and lower electricity prices have still benefited them greatly. There's not really any argument against them.


    The other option is solar water heating panels. Anyone who doesn't want PVs for any reason should seriously consider these instead. A solar water heating setup will completely cover all use of hot water in the home through summer, and through winter will take a large chunk out of the heating cost. This will stay the same irregardless of any subsidies and energy price changes.
    The only downside is they need you to have a hot water tank, and these are no longer being used in new builds and systematically stripped out of old houses in favour of combi boilers, so a lot of people will need to pay a little more for refitting of their plumbing.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    With the UK's capacity factor being under 10%, you 3.36kW array will over the course of a year on average be generating 336W. So if you hooked your normal only-one-GPU PC to it (along with a few thousand quid of batteries), you could pretty much run it for free. Well, free apart from the £5,700 outlay, anyway.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    I just popped into the Ikea in Southampton (I work next door) to check this out. I was expecting to find a lonely information point, perhaps manned with a spotty uninterested youth. What I found was a pretty slick setup with two, seemingly switched on, Hanergy salesmen.

    They use Google maps to undertake a quick and dirty assessment of your property prior to any on-site survey. In my case, I was interested in determining the viability of fitting panels to the south facing, unshaded, optimally pitched half of my double garage roof.

    They estimated a useable area of 15m2 which matched my calcs but then we hit the snag that my actual home (200 years old) has a pretty ropey EPC efficiency rating. Once you get below a "D" rating the feed in tariff drops to less than half. You're then looking at a 15 year payback as opposed to a 7-8 year one.

    The Hanergy guys advised that if the EPC is borderline "D", there is scope to determine the FIT for after the panel installation but, on balance, they felt that it probably wasn't worth my while going any further.

    I've obviously undertaken some efficiency improvements since I bought my house 5 years ago and I need to double check what my EPC rating was when I bought the place and how close I may now be to a "D" rating, but I was impressed with how balanced and considered their advice was.
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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes


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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cog View Post
    One of the problems with solar power installations at the moment is the cowboys doing the installation work. I've seen solar panels fitted to north facing roofs before which would be next to useless. Although when it's done right, PVs are still attractive even without the subsidies. People who fitted them 20 years ago before subsidies and at a time of higher panel costs and lower electricity prices have still benefited them greatly. There's not really any argument against them.
    Hmm, but surely those self-same visionaries who installed 20 years ago now find that they have to replace their SP installs? I've seen various figures bandied about with the panels having quoted lives running from 15 years (the article saying that the panel should be replaced when efficiency fell below 85%) through to "life" - although consensus seems to be 20-40 years depending on how it was installed, maintenance, location (e.g. salt spray supposedly dramatically cuts life). I've also heard some horror stories about how much it could cost to replace an install, although for the life of me I can't see why - surely it's a simple matter of swapping one PV module for a new one?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cog View Post
    The other option is solar water heating panels. ... The only downside is they need you to have a hot water tank, and these are no longer being used in new builds and systematically stripped out of old houses in favour of combi boilers, so a lot of people will need to pay a little more for refitting of their plumbing.
    So if hot water tanks aren't being fitted in new builds, and are being removed from old builds then who exactly is going to profit from solar water heating? Sounds like one of those "good idea in theory" deals to me. Oh, and there's a LOT of pressure to replace older boilers with combi units - that said we've already done ours ... the old hot water tank cupboard now has shelves full of DVD's, music and games in it.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    They only 'pay for themselves' if you count the massive subsidies that the taxpayer and other leccy buyers are throwing at it.
    This sounds like a powerful counter-argument, until you realize how much the coal and oil industries are already being subsidized. And that's not including the subsidies received by auto-makers, or all the money spent on road building and maintenance.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Hmm, but surely those self-same visionaries who installed 20 years ago now find that they have to replace their SP installs? I've seen various figures bandied about with the panels having quoted lives running from 15 years (the article saying that the panel should be replaced when efficiency fell below 85%) through to "life" - although consensus seems to be 20-40 years depending on how it was installed, maintenance, location (e.g. salt spray supposedly dramatically cuts life). I've also heard some horror stories about how much it could cost to replace an install, although for the life of me I can't see why - surely it's a simple matter of swapping one PV module for a new one?
    The warranties on the panels themselves tend to range from 15 to 25 years, and many people seem to agree that these figures are pretty conservative. Institutions who have had large numbers of panels in use for a long time generally seem to report that the efficiency drops with time are well under those quoted by manufacturers. There isn't much data for long-term lifespan but it does seem that panels installed in the 90s can expect well over a 20 years lifespan.
    The only information I can find on long term maintenance is the need to replace the inverter at some point during the lifespan at a cost of about £1000, and that might be an unexpected payment that's led to the horror stories, perhaps said cowboys are using the inverter failure as an excuse to replace the entire system prematurely.


    So if hot water tanks aren't being fitted in new builds, and are being removed from old builds then who exactly is going to profit from solar water heating? Sounds like one of those "good idea in theory" deals to me. Oh, and there's a LOT of pressure to replace older boilers with combi units - that said we've already done ours ... the old hot water tank cupboard now has shelves full of DVD's, music and games in it.
    Many homes still have hot water cylinders and solar water heating is still generally effective for them.

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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    Had some flats built by us recently and was surprised to see they have a PV setup on the roof. I expect to see it become more and more common because people who have no mortgage will see a good profit on this if they invest some cash now
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    Re: News - IKEA starts to sell solar panels for UK homes

    To be fair that's a decent price. If you're south facing with an optimal roof and have £6k to invest you'll get a much higher return over 20 years than any other legal means*

    * as long as the govt honours the FiT etc in the long term (but even if they don't, with ever increasing electricity costs it will become more and more profitable over the years).

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