The FIT scheme allows households with solar Photovoltaic panel systems to make money in three ways. Firstly, there is the generation tariff, which depending on your system size, can pay up to 5p for every unit of electricity produced, regardless of whether it is used or exported. Which rate applies to you?

Then there is the export tariff – an additional 5.03p paid for 50% of every unit of electricity produced, as your electricity provider assumes half of the electricity is exported to the national grid (they can't monitor how much of the solar electricity you use!).

Finally there is the added bonus of cheaper electricity bills, because you will be using power at the source. In addition to the Feed in Tariff payments, an average household using half of the electricity produced can expect to save up to £300 per year on their electricity bills.

Anyone generating electricity from solar PV panels is eligible for the FITs, providing no more than 5 Megawatts is being generated per year. Very few households are likely to exceed that limit, considering that 5 Megawatts is enough to power over 1,500 homes!

Solar PV panels can be installed without planning permission, under Permitted Development Rights. Although home owners in conservation areas or listed buildings will require planning permission. In which case, advice should be sought from local councils before going any further.

It is a myth that a property needs to be directly south facing for it to be worth having solar panels installed. Properties with roofs than are South, West or East facing are all suitable, and even those with problems of shading can have this mitigated by using micro inverters or Solar Edge Power Optimisers!

How the Feed-In Tariff works

What are the FITs?

The tariffs are tax free payments from your energy provider to anyone who owns a renewable electricity system, for every kilowatt hour they generate. They are applicable to households, businesses and virtually any property owner.

How much is paid?

Up to 5p/kWh, depending on the type and size of the system used to generate renewable energy, plus an additional 5.03p/kWh when you export any surplus back to the grid. In addition to this payment, you reduce your electricity bill at the same time which can be up to £300 a year! A more detailed list of rates can be found here.

For how long?

Solar PV systems qualify for 20 years and the Tariffs are index-linked to RPI, meaning income generated from your solar panels will rise with inflation. However your panels will last past the feed in tarrif (FIT), with the majority of panels coming with a 25 year degradation warranty.

Profit Return

Typical systems will provide a tax free return on capital of approximately 10-15% per year, making Solar a very good investment, especially compared to current savings and ISA interest rates given by the banks!

If you are interested in having Solar panels installed, then why not give Atlantic Renewables a call on 0161 207 4044 or fill in our online quotation form for a prompt, no-obligation quotation on your property.


51 Hillcroft Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, WA14 4JE.

© 2010