Man cut summer energy bills down to £15 with solar panels

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Even with the UK’s dependence on Russian imports being so low, the country now boasts some of the highest energy prices in Europe. With the former-Chancellor Rishi Sunak cutting VAT on the installation of energy-saving technology, many Britons are considering the idea of installing solar panels on their homes as a way of cutting down energy bills in the future and maybe making some money by selling back to the grid.

It’s clearly becoming increasingly popular – Google searches for solar panels have rocketed by more than 300 percent over the course of this year.

Gabriel Wondrausch, CEO of SunGift Solar, made the decision to install Solar electricity panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), several years ago as he was passionate about renewable energy.

Speaking to he said: “I gained experience in the fledgling renewables industry, and following on from that it dawned on me there was a major need for an installer that was dedicated to long-term system performance, quality and customer service. This led to SunGift Solar being created.”

For his family-of-four home in Exeter Devon, Mr Wondrausch installed a 8.5kWp system, with a charger for his electric vehicle and a 15kWh battery and hot water diverter.

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He explained the majority of the energy that is created is used to power his home and he exports a small bit back to the grid.

He added: “I have an export limit, so don’t sell much back to the grid, hence my system is optimised to have very high onsite consumption.

“In many ways, it is far more optimal to use your energy at home rather than sell back to the grid, due to the rising costs of bills.”

Mr Wondrausch said he pays “very little” for his household bills. In the summer months, he only pays approximately £15 per month for his electricity with the cost mainly coming from the standing charge.

He added that his solar battery also helps him reduce the costs as he can take advantage of the day and night tariff rates some energy suppliers offer.

These tariffs reflect the fact it costs different amounts to generate electricity at different times of the day.

It costs more to produce electricity at peak times between 4pm and 7pm and less in the middle of the night, and at weekends.

He said: “The standing charge is actually one of the bigger impacts with the recent price rises.

“The day tariff went up from 15p to 40p, whereas the night tariff, which is pretty much the only energy I import, only went up from 5p to 7.5p per unit.

“The advantage of having a battery is that I charge this up at night on a cheap tariff and pretty much run the house just from this, so very rarely pay the day tariff rate.”

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However, Mr Wondrausch did explain that he does still have to import some energy during the winter months.

Mr Wondrausch believes that solar panels are one of the “only ways” people can take control back of their energy bills as even with Prime Minister Liz Truss’ energy price guarantee of £2,500 a month for two years, the last few months have shown just how unpredictable to market can be, with it likely to continue for the foreseeable.

Mr Wondrausch said there has “never been a better time” to sell energy back to the grid.

This is because Octopus Energy has just doubled its Solar Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff increasing it from 7.5p/kWh to 15p/kWh.

According to the Eco Experts, the average owner of a three-bedroom house with a 3.5 kWp solar panel system will earn £198 per year from the Smart Export Guarantee at the moment, on Octopus’s rate.

Before purchasing solar panels, Mr Wondrausch stated it was “vital” for people to assess their energy consumption in order to make an informed choice on what type of system they’d need.

He said: “You should really get a few quotes from a few different installers as shopping around is definitely key!

“While no government grants are available to get solar PV installed right now, as you can see, your system will eventually pay for itself and then make you a profit with any excess.”

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