Financial journalist Tony Hazell recently posted an article on ThisisMoney.co.uk about whether solar panels really are a safe place to invest your money. And he seemed genuinely surprised by the result…
The journalist made an investment of £6250 in solar panels for his roof, and he’s is currently generating a tax free income of around 7 per cent (£650 per year). In the current climate, it would be difficult to get that kind of return on any other £6000 investment.
In the article Tony highlighted that he was impressed by the technical knowledge of the solar companies he spoke to, and the fact there was no hard sell.
However, he did feel that their predicted profits were based on unrealistic assumptions. Some of the figures he received suggested that for an outlay of just over £6,000 he would break even after about five-and-a-half years and see a return of £38,000 over 20 years.
Tony’s own calculations painted a more conservative picture. He used a cautious assumption about inflation, and predicted a total return that’s actually likely to be somewhere between £22,000 and £25,000, with break even in just over seven years – around a 7 per cent annual return.
Consumers should review quotations carefully
The article highlighted the importance of looking at detail within quotations and checking they don’t contain overstated savings, examples included:
- Illustrations of how much money consumers are likely to receive are based on assumptions about inflation rates and some used a projected inflation rate of up to 10 per cent. Given that inflation is expected to be low for the next few years, a figure around 3.5 per cent is probably more realistic.
- Solar panels gradually produce less electricity every year as they degrade (similar to a rechargeable battery). Most panels are guaranteed to produce at least 80 per cent of their original output after 20 years, but some quotes don’t take this into consideration.
- Some quotations overstated the reduction in electricity usage from the grid — for most households it’s unlikely to drop to nearly zero as panels only produce power in daylight.
Andy Wallace says: “I’m in total agreement with Tony Hazell’s article, and it backs up what we’ve been saying for some time at CCS. Solar PV is a great product that delivers a great return for customers if it’s properly installed and sold at a fair price. Making exaggerated claims for savings just isn’t necessary – more importantly, it’s not treating customers fairly and it leaves installers exposed to accusations of mis-selling.”
You can read the whole article by visiting: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2830623/Could-solar-panels-earn-650-profit-year-Tony-Hazell-decided-install-them.html#ixzz3IqIDmaJg