On Saturday 22 May a group of us visited Ivor and Pam Davey’s smallholding near Wragby to view their newly installed solar photovoltaics situated on a south facing barn. Ivor explained how they work and the beneficial “feed in” tariffs available at present. The Davey family now produce electricity for their own needs and plenty to feed back into the grid. It is also good to know that this same system will help reduce their carbon footprint by over 1.1 tonnes per year! Ivor also pointed out that these cells don’t only need bright sun to work, they also produce electricity during daylight, artificial light and even during a full moon.
Ivor said, “We decided to go for panels not only motivated by environmental reasons, but because money in the bank wasn’t doing anything, and, thanks to the feed-in tariff, this system will make us between 9 and 10% interest on our investment, compared to the ½% it was getting before.”
He explained that the installation was very quick and easy, taking just 3 days, with no planning permission required.
It’s affected the way the family manage their day, as now, as opposed to in the old Economy 7 days when they would try to do as much as possible at night, they now try to do things like put the washing machine on only when the system is making enough electricity to work the machine: about 9am!
The panels are guaranteed for 25 years, as is the feed-in tariff: an amazing 41.3p per kWh, regardless whether you use all the electricity yourselves or not. Energy companies will pay you a further 3p/kWh for everything you export to the grid.
We then had refreshments on their lawn which were gratefully received on such a beautifully sunny day.
To find out more about solar PV panels and other renewable energy, come along to a talk on the subject, given by local company, Freewatt, this Friday 28th May at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Youth Hall. Free entry. All welcome. Refreshments and general energy saving information available too.