Solar is still a bright idea
A husband and wife whose passion for solar energy led them to set up their own business have urged homeowners not be put off by recent reductions in tariff payments.
Ian and Lindsey Reed set up Durham-based Home Solar Saver Co late last year and their business is now starting to grow.
They say that despite the Feed In Tariff – payments made by energy supply companies to people using renewables – being reduced from August 1, homeowners and small businesses can still be better off with solar.
Mr Reed explained: “A lot of people think that it isn’t worth using solar energy since the tariff changed, but we have a ground-breaking system available that leaves our customers much better off than if they use conventional systems.”
Home Solar Saver uses a wireless monitoring device that ensures that their customers use as much as possible of the free electricity rather than it being returned to the grid.
Mr Reed said: “Conventional systems send any unused electricity back to the grid. When the panels are generating energy during the day, let’s say when the homeowner is at work, spare electricity just gets fed back to the grid, with very little benefit to our customers, and we don’t like that.
“But our system constantly monitors what the panels are generating and can switch on devices using a special plug we provide when there is spare free electricity to use up.
“It also switches them off if this free electricity starts to dwindle and avoids buying power from the grid, unless you tell it otherwise.”
And because energy companies pay solar panel owners a flat rate regardless of what electricity they send back to the grid, Mrs Reed says their customers are better off because they use all their free electricity generated by their panels and still get paid.
“The supply companies can’t monitor what you send back, so they pay you the same amount regardless of whether you’ve sent spare electricity back to the grid or not,” she said.
Both Mr and Mrs Reed believe in educating people about more efficient energy use and their website includes a special calculator to help people work out how much profit their home can make over a 20-year period.
Mr Reed explained: “Every house is different but our calculator allows people to punch in their details and instantly shows the savings that can be made.
“With free electricity available via solar power and profits to be made, we want to help as many people as possible take advantage. And if a house is in an area or of a design that can’t profit from solar power it will tell them, and they then know it’s not worth installing panels.”
The couple are so eager to pass on their knowledge, they are planning to throw open the doors of their home to the public to show the system in action, and answer any questions.
Mrs Reed added: “One of our monitoring systems is called a Wattson monitor that goes green when we’re using free electricity we generate and red if we are using it from the grid.
“We hope that this will help those who visit our home will leave knowing how to get the best results from electricity use, such as the right time to boil a kettle.”
The couple are constantly striving to offer the latest advances in solar technology and recently decided to switch panels to new modules that are more efficient.
Mr Reed added: “All panels aren’t the same. Some are made from more expensive components and are better at capturing the sun’s rays than others. Our website has an independent league table of modules.
“Those we were using were the best at the time, but we’ve now switched because we’ve discovered better and more efficient modules. We are passionate about efficiency and helping our customers save money wherever they can by using the must up to date and efficient systems.”
To use the calculator and find out more about finance options, visit www.solarsaverco.co.uk or call 0800 078790.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Media Consultancy .