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UK solar news digest 28 June 2011

Filed under: Latest News

Solar news update on UK solar PV and solar thermal: politics, consumer studies and grants.

Tuesday 28 June 2011.

We aim to keep you up to date with newsy items of great navel-gazing significance in the solar microcosm. Feel free to pass them on to people whom you know, who might enjoy reading them!

1/ Politics. Solar Trade Association membership YES!

Wow! Solartwin have been members of the STA since last Friday! So what?, you may ask. So now we can rejoice and be eternally grateful. So now we may join the solar mainstream. So we now have a better chance to reflect our views and technology in a gentlemanly way, to government via this respected national institution. So that’s the company boycott ended.

Now we need to get the wider technology boycott completely lifted, the STA’s website upgraded and its technical policies widened. Testing the water, we have asked STA to consider some website content tweaks in areas such as: goodbye antifreeze, hello water as a heat transfer fluid, thank you freeze tolerance, why PV pumping is environmentally superior, what’s your coefficient of performance / timeline to energy breakeven?, and so on.

Besides our customers, suppliers, installers, colleagues and friends, the OFT may have played a part in this surprise U-turn. Many thanks to the hundreds of Solartwin customers and supporters all your valuable support, patience and lobbying. Further relentlessly joyous comment here:

2/ Which? solar PV sting: MOST solar salespeople overclaim. But we underclaim – whoops!

So what’s new? Just another repeat-news story? Yes. After all, Which? exposed similar ripoffs in its solar thermal sting over a year ago. And they asked our dozy regulators to buck up then, as well. In summary, the Consumers’ Association find most MCS accredited solar electric sellers overclaim on both energy performance AND financial benefits.

Some rogues also “close” deals unethically.

Which? calls, as we do, for upgrades of two key solar industry regulators, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (whose MIS 3001 solar document, in our view, actually licenses solar performance fraud!), and the Real Code, a industry-funded consumer-watchdog (yes! there are no contradictions in our cuddly green world) which lost its bark when the leader of a leading Trade Association made exaggerated claims (repeatedly) about the environmental performance of “traditionally built” mains powered solar water heating panels.

Although we were not sampled by Which?, we were caught out, nevertheless. We are actually daft enough (or fearful of a Real Code investigation) that we actually claim slightly LESS energy and less money savings than most of Which?’s own benchmark PV performance calculations. Doh! Other lessons to learn, comment, plus a gap-analysis of the Which? report, asking “why did they not point out…?, here.

3/ Grants. Renewable Heat Premium Payment: subsidy announcement breath-holding continues. We went purple weeks ago.

A Renewable Heat Premium Payment (ie a rumoured £300 domestic solar heating installation subsidy) announcement remains “imminent“, according to trade bodies. (It has been imminent for weeks, zzzz.) Let’s hope the baby has no dreadful preconditions or nasty exclusions, also that the ultimate annual RHI subsidy tariff payable from 2012 is better than the 8.5p per kWh currently offered to non-domestic installations.

The right announcement should reboot solar thermal uptake, and rebalance today’s PV-dominated solar market. Until the day of the announcement we will be offering £300 off solar thermal installations in order to keep our installers busy. So here’s a chance for you to get a double discount.

So… Get your solar thermal quote now! Call 0344 567 9032 this very mo…

Scotland will now be included in the RHI and RHIP. A handful of industry-unwanted thoughts on the potential of the RHI to be a renewables industry PR own-goal here.

Many thanks for reading – for your support – and for being Solartwin customer. Please tell your friends this news, if you think that they might be interested.

Regards from Barry.


Written and published by -
Genfit - 0844 567 9032

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