First off i expected to get about 2600 Units in the First Year according to the Estimation tool at solar_estimate
See my earlier blogs for more info on this and the Fits Scheme.
But my first year total came in at 3223 which is a Massive 20% over the Estimate, now i dont know if 2011 was a particularly sunny year, or if the Estimate was just to conservative, only time will tell. but al told year 1 was a great year. 3223 Units equate to a Payment of £1444 , and i estimate (and this is really difficult to work out) that i use 1/3 of what i produced over the year, and this gives a saving on my Electric bill of about £100, so all told my Return in Year 1 is £1544 or greater than 10% of my £15000 investment.
So all told depending on if my Estimate was accurate or low over all, i am still on track for a return of between 8-10%
Better yet as far as im concerned. Solar Prices have dropped in the Last Year, and There is no longer (in Edinburgh at least) any need for a Building Warrant. That mean that my system would now cost in the Region of 12-13K. This drop means that even if the Fits system was to be totally scrapped. If you can use all power the system produces or, at least sell any unused units at the same cost that you buy them, then Solar Power is cost effective over its 25years, if we assume a 6% increase in Electric costs per year.
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All told while no one is likely to install a system that takes the whole 25 years to pay back, it is clear that Solar energy is becoming more and more cost effective and while the Fits Scheme exists (even at the reduced rate) its really a no brainer about installing Solar panels and i am very glad i have.