PV systems installed with the help of a government grant more than six years ago no longer receive an attractive feed-in tariff for energy exported to the grid. Instead, owners of such installations are paid a marginal rate of 10c5 for every kWh not consumed and sold to the grid. This tariff is substantially cheaper than average import tariffs one needs to pay for electricity imported from the grid. Therefore home owners who invested in their solar panels over six years ago and were quite happy with offsetting their household bills through original feed-in tariff, have suddenly found themselves in a situation where their solar power no longer pays as it used to be. Can anything be done about it?
We start by assessing each client’s unique circumstances, including age and technical condition of original PV system, its technical characteristics, available space, as well as the client’s ARMS billing situation. We then provide the client with a range of options to improve solar performance and savings on energy bills.
Typical solutions may include:
- Adding further PV panels to an existing array, if the space permits;
- Effecting repairs or replacement on existing system;
- Considering whether to apply for additional PV system under new feed-in tariff;
- Replacing old PV inverter with the latest hybrid (battery-ready) model, which is eligible for government grant of up to EUR 450 per kWp capped at maximum of EUR 1,800 per inverter;
- Adding smart energy storage to maximise self consumption of own PV energy, and thus avoiding importing electricity at higher tariffs, noting also that battery systems are eligible for a further government grant of up to EUR 3,600 per system;
The latter two solutions were precisely the steps we have implemented for this client in Swatar, where we retrofitted a new hybrid inverter and battery system to the old PV array.