We all know about the benefits of solar power, and many of us have already taken advantage of the FIT payments by having our own PV array installed. If so, here’s another way in which you can benefit – something you may not have thought of before.

The obvious benefits of a PV array are FIT payments four times a year and the chance to use as much of the generated power as you want. In addition to the free energy, an additional – though small – benefit of the solar array is selling unused power by feeding it back into the grid.

As few of us are on ‘smart’ meters, which separate the amount of power drawn from the grid and the amount fed back into it, the FIT agreement is that half of all power generated is assumed to be being sold back. One day, we’re told, the power company will get around to installing a new ‘smart’ meter, and from that point on all the grid payments will be accurately measured.

So, how about if you could use ALL the power, and still get paid for feeding half of it back into the grid? For example, wouldn’t it be great if you could use divert what you don’t or can’t use to your immersion heater instead? That would mean almost all the power generated by your solar panels was actually being used – by you.

solar power usage graph courtesy immersun

On the left, an example of current power usage. On the right, what you could be using.

The silly thing is, until the power company gets round to fitting you with a ‘smart’ meter, the FIT agreement will continue to assume that half of all the energy produced by the panels is being fed back into the grid, and will continue to pay you accordingly.

Good, innit?

You’d think that the power companies were under a lot of pressure to come up with ‘smart’ meters for all of us – but this isn’t the case. These meters cost money, both for the hardware and the installation, so they’re in no hurry. If they actually had to come up with the FIT payments themselves, we’d all be on a smart meter already – but they don’t. So there isn’t really any incentive at all for them to upgrade us. It’s quite possible that you’ll still have your current ‘old’ meter at the end of the 25-year agreement period.

The company offering this new twist claims that the £500 cost of installation will be offset in between three and five years.

If you haven’t heard about this from your PV installer, give them a call – and if they don’t have any information, contact FarmInMyPocket instead. We’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Disclaimer: at the time of writing, FarmInMyPocket derives no income from the sale of solar panels or associated products.
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