Solar PV survey

Solar PV survey

The EU is carrying out a review of the Feed in Tariff, so if you fill in the attached questionnaire you can help to build a picture of people's experience with domestic PV.  At Sheffield Solar we're also interested in the results, so if you send the questionnaire back to us we'll keep the data on file and may use it (anonymised of course) in the future.  If you wish to participate without providing the data to us, send it to the email address on the questionnaire.

They are also interested in other forms renewable energy technologies, so if you have any of these, please contact Parsons Brinckerhoff to get further questionnaires.

DECC is required by the EU to conduct a periodic review of the FIT scheme this year. The review will take place after the election and DECC is currently considering its potential scope. Parsons Brinckerhoff is responsible for the collection of data, relating to projects currently registered under the FIT scheme, where this data will feed into the periodic review.

In order to collect a robust set of data, we would be grateful if you could complete the attached questionnaire, providing as much detail as possible relating to projects you have, or are considering having, installed. All responses are greatly appreciated.

The deadline for responses is 12 noon on 17 April 2015.

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  1. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson on 11/04/2015 11:18 a.m. #

    Regarding the question 13 'Export %', most domestic solar PVers are still without our government-promised Smart Meters and so are still unable to record our grid export.
    I'd caution everyone whose panels are NOT south-facing against the assumption that they are exporting only 50% when answering the question. Even the typical south-facing installation's household would struggle to consume 50% if they have a full 4kW installation, and if not south-facing a 4kW installation might be exporting 75% or more.

    Is this not a long-awaited opportunity (in the 'comments' box') for us to ask why smart meters aren't automatically fitted as part of solar PV installations? And why the Smart Meter retrofit programme doesn't allow us to claim our Smart Meters immediately direct from meter installers, so that we can know the true facts on achieved payback?

  2. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson on 11/04/2015 11:19 a.m. #

    Sadly, DECC themselves have promoted this misleading '50% usage' nonsense in their 'Explanation of rate of return calculation for domestic PV' (at

    It represents nothing short of a govt/industry mis-selling con, and used to justify meagre-only levels of 'export tariff' rates. (Truly achieved 'solar used' makes a huge difference to payback on the installations of recent years.)

  3. Kevin Prior

    Kevin Prior on 11/04/2015 2:03 p.m. #

    FYI We consistently export 60% (on an annual basis) with a 3.98 kwh installation. (installation date 06-2010)

    Scottish Power Networks installed an export meter at the time we commissioned our installation. So a smart meter is not that imperative for us.
    Scottish Power are NOT our FITs contract (that's ecotricity)

  4. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson on 11/04/2015 3:18 p.m. #

    Another interesting example indeed!
    And which direction(s) are your 3.98kW facing Kevin?

  5. Kevin Prior

    Kevin Prior on 12/04/2015 2:45 p.m. #

    Our panels are at 180 located in the Scottish Borders about 10k from the east coast (urn 6100)

  6. Kevin Prior

    Kevin Prior on 13/04/2015 10:25 a.m. #

    An extra bit to explain our higher PV usage we have electric underfloor heating in bathroom, plus a positive pressure ventilation system which has a heater which operates when the loft air temp is <10oC.

    A check round the rest of the village PV systems suggest export rates in the range 65 -70% all as measured by export meters.

  7. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson on 01/05/2015 12:13 p.m. #

    Very interesting!
    Only 9 years payback instead of a quoted 8 years is the difference between the oft-quoted 50% export and that typical in-practice 67%, at modern Feed-in-Tariff/Export rates for a £6k system yielding 3MW/year.
    Is each installation facing the same way (south?) in your village, Kevin?
    Can you send me a Private Message with any further info you have to my username rogerhoward? When logged-in, you go to the 'Forums' page and click on the 'PM' link at the end of the bar below 'Forum - Microgen Database'.

  8. Malcolm Morton

    Malcolm Morton on 05/06/2015 9:49 p.m. #

    I cannot believe that my in-house usage of my pv generated electricity over a typical full year is greater than 25% i.e. 75% is exported though I receive "only" the standard 50% export allowance.
    Yes, I use most of what is generated during Nov-Feb but for much of the summer, when I generate circa x9 the December generation, I believe I am exporting the greater majority (80%+) of that being generated.
    My household annual usage has significantly reduced (by circa 20%) since pv installation but part of that is other conservation good practice.

  9. Malcolm Morton

    Malcolm Morton on 05/06/2015 9:52 p.m. #

    the last sentence should read "import" in place of "usage"

  10. Gordon Betts

    Gordon Betts on 20/07/2015 8:55 p.m. #

    Since installation 27th June 2015 have gained the impression that most of our generation is being exported though an intelligent immersion heater controller saves some.
    I am in the process of installing a hot tub as a sort of number 2 immersion heater but, ideally, I will need an intelligent controller to switch this on only when export is detected.
    If anybody has done this or has any knowledge of how this can be done will appreciate any information. the installation of a second controller (my system uses and I-Boost) might be the answer though I read somewhere that some controllers can feed two immersion heaters.

  11. Jamie Taylor

    Jamie Taylor on 20/07/2015 10:32 p.m. #

    Hi Gordon,
    You might get a better response to this question if you were to post it in the forum section of the website. You could start a new thread in the 'Optimising usage' section.
    Alternatively, posting on the end of this thread ( could be a good idea since various users with a lot of knowledge in this area are subscribed. In general I wouldn't encourage posting on an old thread with a new question/topic, but in this case I think that would attract the most attention from the right people.
    Jamie (Sheffield Solar Team)

  12. Gordon Betts

    Gordon Betts on 21/07/2015 9:11 p.m. #

    Thank you Jamie. will do

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