Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cashing in on fear

Energy bills are rising, mostly because the energy minister is an enviroloon who still believes in global warming climate change whatever the hell they're calling it this week. So energy providers are being hit by carbon taxes to subsidise useless green power in the shape of bird choppers and solar panels. And because these methods are subsidised by all us tax payers, people are checking out to see if they can get a hold of them.

CANNY home owners are avoiding huge rises in energy bills by turning to solar power.
With British Gas and npower respectively increasing their tariffs by seven per cent and 5.1 per cent, leading solar panel installer HomeSun said hits on its website have risen by 72 per cent.
The number of people registering with the firm to see if they qualify for free panels has tripled.
HomeSun is set to install and maintain 100,000 units for free under a scheme where customers keep all the power they need and the installer receives fees from energy suppliers, known as Feed-in Tariffs.
HomeSun estimates its panels can cut energy bills by up to 40 per cent.
Chief executive Daniel Green said: “Even on the shortest day of the year, with bleak overcast skies, solar panels will generate enough energy to light your Christmas tree.”
They really are talking total bollocks, most solar panels don't work when covered in snow for one thing, don't work at night, need regular cleaning (despite claims from the companies selling them) and lose efficiency over the years. Most household use more power than a set of Christmas tree lights too, the average set running at about less than an amp, or 40 watts depending on if they are filament lamps or more often these days low powered LED's. Assuming you get more power in the summer, I still can't see families saving that much, so I reckon it's some kind of con and saving 40% likely to be on a cloudless day on the summer solstice. I might be wrong though, I'm sure that someone will put me right if I am. So quick calculation time, I reckon on about 1500 KWh/ year and a payback of about 8%, not the 40% claim, might be more, might be less depending on how many panels are fitted.
Well the catch is of course  is this, the company offering the free solar panels gaining a 41.3p per Kw incentive. They will be using your roof to take a government grant off you. This is the equivalent of taking your chicken lunch off you and throwing you the wish bone to chew on. most people so inclined to go for solar power will wish they had installed them yourself.
Yes they'll get small savings off their electricity bills, but will lose out on the thousands of pounds government grant, the grant that's coming out of the taxpayers pocket.
So is it worth it? Only for as long as the government can screw us with carbon taxes, even then you'll get a minimum return on your investment if you buy them yourself.

7 annotations:

The Filthy Engineer said...

Here's my take on it. If you're interested.


John R said...

The touchstone to use with all of these ecoscams/schemes is to see who is willing to spend money on them.

If these idiot devices gave us the wonder solution they are being touted to provide, we wouldn't need taxpayer bribes to persuade folk to invest their own money in them. The mere fact that we do tells you all you need to know about them.

Twisted Root said...

Check out this article in the Express on August 15th this year about HomeSun. Nothing more than an advertorial.

And now this article.

Check also the HomeSun 'team' here;

"Sue Welland, our Marketing Director, was one of the people behind The CarbonNeutral Company. This was one of the world’s first climate change and carbon offsetting businesses which Sue founded in the mid 1990s and built into an internationally respected organisation known for its pioneering and popularisation of carbon reduction.

It was at The CarbonNeutral Company that Sue met Bill Sneyd, another founding partner of HomeSun and our COO. Bill is an Insead graduate and an engineer by training, having worked ‘in-house’ for Shell and as a consultant to global firms on both strategy and operational improvement projects."

Wherever there is a grant there is a greenie.

HomeSum claim on their website that Eaga plc "is an investor in HomeSun and our exclusive national installer."

I can find no reference to this on Eaga plc's latest available financial statement (31/5/09) so it must be a recent thing.


Eaga plc 'delivers' the government's free home insulation for the elderly scheme and also incidentally has the contract with the BBC to assist the elderly with the digital changeover. Didn't I read somewhere that the BBC pension fund is heavily invested in 'green' companies although this obviously has nothing to do with their editorial line on green issues?

So, HomeSun essentially does nothing but drum up business with dodgy reporting and fill in grant applications for anyone stupid enough to buy into the scheme. How long I wonder before HomeSun becomes fully owned by Eaga plc?

I haven't been able to find out if there is a government grant for the capital cost of the panels available to the company and if so what percentage, but my guess is that there is and that it is 100% meaning that HomeSun is simply acting as agent for the customer.

Autonomous Mind said...

This is a very important topic that needs a lot more focus if people are to be educated about the con that is being perpetrated.

Here is what I said about it recently:


English Pensioner said...

I would like to get a suitable solar panel system to charge a small bank of batteries to keep all the small low voltage items going (all those things which have little power supplies built onto a 13A plug). We are told that leaving our mobile phones, radios, digital photo frames, etc plugged in day and night waste a lot of energy and my approach would seem quite logical and I could also get some low voltage spot lights.But where can one get the necessary equipment as no-body wants to know about such a relatively simple idea?
Everyone wants to sell you fancy equipment with inverters to produce mains electricity with the incentive that any surplus can be sold to your electricity supplier at a very acceptable price. I wonder if I had such a system, they would notice if I fed the supply from a small Honda generator, as even with present fuel costs there is scope for a profit!

microdave said...

Note that both (sunny) Spain & Australia have recently made drastic cutbacks on their solar panel subsidy schemes. And even Germany (hardly sunny by comparison) has joined in. So there are howls of protest from those who thought they were going to make a killing from these lunatic "Feed In Tarrifs"....

And from personal experience - I've had 2 solar panels to keep a battery charged at a remote outbuilding. The first packed up within 3 years due to the seal failing and water getting in. The second has managed a little better so far.

Neither gave the claimed output, even on the brightest July day, when aimed directly at the sun. I installed a little charging monitor with the newer one. It was sold as 15 watt unit, so should provide slightly more than 1 amp @ 12 volts. The most I've ever seen is 800mA, when new. After 4 years this has dropped to about 600mA. Add a typical cumulus cloud into the equation and you can halve that. An overcast summers day might produce 100-200mA, and in winter it could drop to as little as 20mA....

Then there is the small matter of well aimed bird s*** to consider!

The battery powers an ultrasonic pest scarer which draws 100mA, and during spring/summer/autumn needs no intervention by me. However at the moment I either have to take a freshly charged battery over, or disconnect it to prevent it becoming totally flat!

If I got a small wind turbine the pair of them would probably manage, but the claimed total output bears no relationship to the real production. This is exactly what will happen to the country (on a much larger scale) after a few years of Huhnes madness.

Anonymous said...

The entire scam depends on the Government continuing with what was essentially a Labour government trying to pick winners (something which they are abysmal at) and setting different feed-in tariffs for different sources of energy. This is basically utterly, completely barking mad. Electricity is electricity, and if you're in the market for "green" electricity it really doesn't matter a jot how it was generated, the value of the power is identical.