Feed-in energy tariff discussion on BBC Five Live

A great return on investment!  Such was the message a short while ago on BBC Five Live as a discussion took place about the use of renewable energy

The discussion became positively gushing when listeners, who do not read EU Referendum and other sensible sources of information, were treated to the ‘revelation’ that by fitting photovoltaic solar panels to their roof at a cost of around £9000 they can benefit from payments worth up to £1000 per year guaranteed for 25 years.

The subtext, as voices became progressively more excited, was clear – Money for nothing! Free money! Fill your boots! Just as it was back in April.  As the presenter and his colleague and guests made clear, fitting solar panels to your roof will only save you around £100 per annum from your own domestic energy costs. That is smaller than very small beer and certainly makes no economic sense for the size of the required installation costs. However, it all becomes worthwhile when you understand that if your solar panels feed surplus power into the electricty grid, the tariff you are paid will generate a healthy return on investment. From an outlay of around £9000 you could reap up to £25000 in tariffs over the course of 25 years.

It goes without saying of course that there was no scrutiny or questioning of the source of the money to pay for this.  It should be no surprise to hear that it comes from you and me, those people who are energy consumers rather than energy generators feeding power into the grid.  We keep being told by the likes of Chris Huhne, and various other parasites who suck at the quango teat, that the era of cheap energy is over.  That is because the cost of our electricity is being driven up dramatically by huge taxpayer and consumer funded subsidies for inefficient energy sources, EU targets on the use of expensive and unreliable renewable energy, and by wheezes such as these lucrative feed in tariffs that make money for:

a) the well off who can afford to chuck £9000 or so into fitting photovoltaic panels to earn feed in payments
b) companies cashing in by fitting the panels on roofs for free in return for keeping the feed in tariff generated

This is the kind of insanity that passes for visionary forward thinking in the bubble of remote and insular politicians and their ilk.  This is the kind of insanity that increases the number of less well off people driven into fuel poverty, as they fund profits for companies and the well off who can afford to cash in on such financial lunacy.  But don’t expect those in the parallel universe inhabited by the BBC to give that a moment’s thought. They just wants us to bask in the faux virtue of paying more to get less in order to ‘save the planet’.

About these ads

16 Responses to “Feed-in energy tariff discussion on BBC Five Live”


  1. 1 The Filthy Engineer 23/09/2010 at 1:20 pm

    I agree with you there. I wrote a piece on my blog where I did a cost benefit analysis using government figures. The costs of maintenance and parts replacement are quite substantial. I worked out that it would take 19.07 years to recoup your costs. And as the panels only have a 20 year life, it would appear to be a waste of money for so little gain.

    http://niklowe.blogspot.com/2010/08/on-bag-of-fag-packet.html

  2. 2 Derek Reynolds 23/09/2010 at 2:58 pm

    Taking a look at that BBC report back in April (clue) it was dated the 1st.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8596348.stm

    Ahem.

  3. 3 Derek Reynolds 23/09/2010 at 3:15 pm

    I’ll add to that: If such as was reported on April 1st cannot be taken as some sort of jest, as surely the general public would not be so put upon by the political classes – are you kidding?

    How much effluent does the Briton have to wade around in and smell of, until he/she realises it has come from Whitehall/Brussels?

    Are most disillusioned? Or disengaged from reality? Beats me.

  4. 4 Andy Proctor 24/09/2010 at 2:12 pm

    You get the return within 10 years (sooner with the right advice), saving on electricity from day one, ensuring the remaining 15 years are profit. You also have access to the electricity you produce to use yourself. It really is a winner and it’s measurable, accountable and can be proven with simple calculations. While the panels do have degradation, they will work beyond the 25 years of the FiTs. You will have a large outlay but it really does work.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 24/09/2010 at 9:25 pm

    It’s not a ‘winner’ for those people who can’t afford to benefit from installation, but are expected to fund the ridiculously high feed-in tariff through spiralling electricity bills. Therein lies the point.

  6. 6 cosmic 25/09/2010 at 2:49 pm

    And of course, there would be no temptation whatsoever to supplement the contribution to the grid with a diesel generator, or electricity taken from the grid.

    This certainly hasn’t happened in say, Spain.

  7. 7 jameshigham 26/09/2010 at 10:14 am

    Please allow me to steal this:

    This is the kind of insanity that passes for visionary forward thinking in the bubble of remote and insular politicians and their ilk. This is the kind of insanity that increases the number of less well off people driven into fuel poverty, as they fund profits for companies and the well off who can afford to cash in on such financial lunacy. But don’t expect those in the parallel universe inhabited by the BBC to give that a moment’s thought. They just wants us to bask in the faux virtue of paying more to get less in order to ‘save the planet’.

  8. 8 Bill Quango MP 26/09/2010 at 7:04 pm

    Andy Proctor.
    Do you think that by you being involved in selling photovoltaic solar kits you are in any way biased?

    Is the subsidy guaranteed? Guaranteed by contract and backed up by law, with payment clauses for when the scheme runs out of cash and is scrapped? I can’t recall a government committing to anything for 25 years. Not university funding, council tax, rail subsidy or bus passes. All have changed within the last 5 years despite ‘cast iron’ guarantees on all of them.

    Is there some small print we could read? The farmers sustainable hedgerow subsidy looks like being axed, despite it supposedly being for the preservation of the countryside, which you might have thought would mean it being in place forever.

  9. 9 Mike 30/09/2010 at 1:26 pm

    Interestingly it is someone who signs themself as “MP” who questions the probity and morals of government, he probably has been more closely involved with the shadiness of those in government than us mere mortals. Andy is quite probably biased but that does not mean he is not right. PV is a good investment at present. It is subject to review and if the take-up spirals then government will withdraw the Fits but not from those already in the scheme who have made a 25 year index linked investment(I could see a number of legal cases arising from that). Why shouldn’t those who are retired on a fixed income, from investment, benefit from putting PV on their roof, it is more lucrative investment than the banks that have been robbing us all blind for more than 25 years.
    Interestingly government is looking at giving the fuel poor a lump sum to invest in renewable technology, so they will be able to benefit along with the rest of us. The losers? The energy suppliers who will have fewer and fewer people to charge high rates to (I won’t lose any sleep there)and the few who cannot be bothered to install clean energy systems, even when others are paying for it.

  10. 10 Autonomous Mind 30/09/2010 at 2:43 pm

    You seem to miss the point Mike. You ask, why should people not benefit from investing in PV on their roof? Easy. Because the rest of us are paying way over the odds for the energy the PV feeds in to the grid. Instead of the banks ripping us off, now it is the government with this arbitrary and expensive tariff.

    This lump sum you talk about for renewables, where do you think the money comes from? It’s our tax pounds. More cost to those who won’t be able to benefit but have to foot the bill. Insulation was another wheeze. Around 1/3 of properties cannot benefit from cavity wall or loft insulation, so their occupiers are simply ignored but still expected to pay for the benefit enjoyed by others.

    Far from being worse off, the energy companies will make yet more money through subsidy received for the worst kind of renewables. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Seems to me you don’t understand the money train behind this scam.

  11. 11 cosmic 05/10/2010 at 5:22 pm

    Bill Quango’s got a very good point, which is that anyone tempted to go along with a jolly wheeze relying on government enforced subsidies, would be a fool not to account for the risk that a future government could backtrack completely, or find some way to make them far less attractive than they appear now, however cast-iron the guarantees seem to be.

    I’m not sure how the risk could be quantified, but subjectively, “probable” seems right.

  12. 12 NIKOLA-TESLA-SECRET.TK 09/03/2013 at 3:00 am

    It’s not my first time to pay a quick visit this web page, i am browsing this website dailly and get nice facts from here all the time.


  1. 1 L’escroquerie s’étend | Contrepoints Trackback on 25/09/2010 at 11:00 am
  2. 2 nourishing obscurity » All aboard for more enviro-lunacy Trackback on 26/09/2010 at 10:19 am
  3. 3 Let taxpayer funded wind power subsidies end now « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 03/01/2011 at 2:44 pm
  4. 4 It’s all about the money « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 03/01/2011 at 6:32 pm
Comments are currently closed.



Enter your email address below

The Harrogate Agenda Explained

Email AM

Bloggers for an Independent UK

AM on Twitter

STOR Scandal

Autonomous Mind Archive