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When Should You Install Solar PV?

Consumers remain confused by the various changes and cuts to the feed in tariff and seem unaware that they can still make great returns on solar PV installations. In fact even UK councils have spent money on setting projects up only to bin them on the assumption they are no longer valid.

Back at the start of 2012 there was much debate about the high court ruling and the fact that the tariffs have been cut unlawfully by DECC. In fact there was so much publicity that people just heard about cuts and not about the fact that solar still makes good returns especially since the cost of installation has come down drastically over the last 2 years.

Mixed in with these negative messages are also lots of overly zealous sales people over estimating the ROI of solar meaning consumers are overall very very confused about what is right. Overall this means that many will give solar a wide berth until there is more certainty in the industry. The FIT is set to decline in a steady manner from now on, however companies continuously advertise that following the next drop in FIT solar will no longer be viable. This is not true and in fact as the cost of installation continues to drop the return on investment remains fairly steady around 6% which is way above anything you will see in a bank. It is also fairly risk free.

Currently due to the cuts there is a surplus of solar PV systems on the market meaning prices continue to fall. As they do ROI levels go back up. What is clear however is that if you install towards the end of a period where the FIT is going to go down you will get better ROI than installing at the beginning. This is because the cost of installation will be at the lowest point whilst the FIT will be at its highest possible point.

Back in December 20111 when the original solar PV FIT cut deadline loomed thousands of people managed to have systems installed at a vastly reduced cost compared to those who had installed it 1 year earlier but still received the same level of payback meaning their ROI was almost double that of people that had installed back on 2010.

So when should you install solar PV? The simple answer is actually now, whilst there is still a Feed In Tariff available. Even if it drops again install solar. Why? Simply put because energy bills continue to rise and tariff’s continue to drop. If you want to maximise your ROI try and install just before the tariff drops, but don’t leave it too late otherwise you may find you miss the deadline altogether.


Solar PV Tools were established in 2010 by Joe Bennett. Originally they supplied tools to solar PV trainees, however they soon grew and launched a dedicated website selling tools direct to the public. They offer a huge range of solar PV tools including a range of specially designed tool kits. To find out more visit

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