Crazy about solar panels
In 2004, people thought I was crazy for getting involved in the solar panel industry, and for the first twelve years, they would have been correct.
The earliest industry involved a small but encouraging grant incentive for a fledgling solar heating industry. The Blue Skies initiative gave me insight that this technology was worth my time and encouragement. The perception of crazy can sometimes just come down to a lack of knowledge from an observer’s point of view.
Cutting through deceptive sales jargon was the core reason for creating Heat My Home and within the modern photovoltaic era – Power My Home.
During the early noughties, tantrums came and went from multiple providers who didn’t appreciate me appraising their solar technology and promoting superior systems. Threats, legalities, and bad people were great learning tools for the younger me. Stoicism made me steadfast in my quest to improve the UK’s industry and bring solar panels to the masses.
Today, I call these the terrible two’s of a fledgling industry.
During this time, I’d teamed up to bring Swiss Prüfung Forschung Institute’s SPF-tested evacuated tube systems into the UK market for the first time. A quality standard that is commonplace today but was cutting back then. I occasionally see these systems around and about, and their owners still benefit in modern times. I know because I’ve asked.
By the late noughties, domestic grid-tied PV solar panels installations were breaking through as German and Chinese manufacturing capabilities began to scale up. Previously, photovoltaic was prohibitively expensive for all but the most determined homeowner.
By 2010, the domestic PV solar installation market began to grow, but industry standards were necessary. MCS installation and RECC sales regulations came onstream and became world-leading. Encouraging plumbers, electricians, and talented tradespeople to become solar panel installers was an unexpected aspect. Today, I recognise these as the fun years of an industry making leaps and bounds forward.
In 2012 the end of my world arrived, and five years of the “Greenest Government Ever” was the cause. The original feed-in tariff scheme made it a target for abuse by companies pushing “Rent-a-Roof” and “Free Solar Panels” campaigns. I shouted from the rooftops to warn unwitting homeowners about the negative aspects of free. As a lonely voice, my warnings about these offers were proven correct, as speaking to those who accepted such offers today – often express regret.
The Solar Farm arrived too as an approach to access this feed-in tariff/public money by landowners rather than incentivising domestic installations as intended. During these years, the UK’s solar industry was nicknamed “The Solar Coaster” as big brand media demonised solar technology to keep ordinary homeowners away from this magical money tree. The Leprecorn’s pot eventually ran dry in 2015, and hundreds of good installers went undeservingly to the wall.
Today, I acknowledge this period as the moody teenage years of a still maturing industry bullied by the bigger boys.
2016 was a watershed year as the traditional energy giants viewed solar panel installations as an opportunity to greenwash their operations. Smart Meter Surveillance Technology and the battery storage devices arrived on the scene to give remote access into the home.
New government legislation had put the responsibility of surplus/export power remuneration into the hands of energy providers. German-engineered solar panels were pushing efficiency barriers, and today’s EV market was incentivising further. From the rubble of 2015 arrived the modern PV export tariff marketplace and energy companies finally embracing independent power generators. German solar panels are today manufactured in China – go figure!
With brands like EON arriving on the market, the normalisation of solar panel technology had begun. The era of self-generation was here, and the UK’s solar industry had now entered into a false confident late teenage level of maturity. I don’t recommend companies like EON, so contact me below to discover why this would be.
It was around 2018 that I spoke to a Chinese manufacturer at a Renewable Energy convention. Once he understood I was not a purchaser, we spoke candidly. He besmirched Westerners as “Tweaty Pies.” They chant “cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.” The big takeaway, not all solar panels in the modern UK marketplace are the same quality.
Regulation and oversight akin to Building Regulation Standards made the UK’s installation procedures a world standard, but rushing to become a Green Economy will ultimately see winners and losers as these technologies mature.
Sadly, the solar heating side of the industry didn’t expand as PV solar panel’s popularity took center stage. This much-understated technology should have grown side-by-side to reduce domestic energy consumption further. However, PV with heating converters, alongside the big nationwide push for combination boilers prevented growth in this sector. If you still have a hot water tank system, consider affordable solar heating panels or evacuated tubes to reduce dependency on the status quo.
I’ve witnessed many positive changes, innovations, and storage products arriving on the scene. My “quality matters” approach to adoption drove me in 2004; today “the best is the best for a reason” attitude continues today.”
I understand a solar panel investment for most homes is a massive financial outlay. Helping homeowners get it right the first time is what I’ve proudly been doing for what seems like a lifetime today.
The moment I was inspired to dedicate my life to solar technology was a crazy decision for others around me. I knew instinctively that the golden age of cheap energy was ending – no insanity was necessary. Admittedly, it’s been a crazy journey from that day to here, but growth comes through resistance, and the same is becoming true with the UK’s solar industry.
What modern solar salespeople fail to disclose (or don’t know) in pursuit of monthly sales targets is not all PV solar panel systems are the same. It’s crucial to get the correct type of system to achieve real independence-ish.
What began as a niche independence technology is now taking humanity down a path towards ‘ultimate control’ by our real overseers. Crazy, I know, but all openly admitted nowadays!
Interestingly, Tesla’s name is today used to restrict human freedom when the man himself worked tirelessly to free humanity from centralised control. Inversion became a weapon used against the human race!
Sometimes, others can see aspects you can’t, and it’s on this basis that I continue to help new adopters in today’s over-saturated solar technology marketplace.