Avoid solar buyback schemes!

Since its inception, the feed-in tariff scheme has seen over 750,000 homes install PV solar panels, but in another extraordinary twist to the story; contracts are now being purchased like Pokemon trading cards.

UPDATE: The MCS accreditation body wants solar owners to report companies that trade in such contracts.

Are solar buyback schemes a good thing?

Beneficial or not?

One proud solar owner told me he’d been contacted by such a company who wanted to buy his feed-in tariff contract for a measly couple of grand under what they called a ‘Solar buyback’ scheme!

This ‘lucky’ PV owner was offered the option of cashing in on his FIT with a tax-free lump sum.

I mused that “like the infamous ‘payday loans’ and ‘unlock your home’s equity’ schemes, you would have to be either desperate or ignorant to accept such an offer.

As most feed-in tariff recipients were savvy enough to get solar panels in the first place, then it’s unlikely they would be ignorant enough to lose it under such an offer.

Today, a feed-in tariff contract has become a valuable piece of paper and in my view should be held on to for multiple reasons.

The price they offer depends on the ‘tariff rate’ you bought your photovoltaic system under, but again I emphasise that you’d have to be bonkers to give away such a prize.

Again, we have a situation like the ‘rent a roof’ and ‘free solar panels’ debacle where the feed-in tariff scheme is being used and abused despite its original purpose.

Under very few circumstances would it be beneficial for a homeowner to sell this contract. Even when selling your home, the addition of such a valuable arrangement would vastly increase its sale price and sale-ability – than without.

In fact, the opposite would be correct. If for any reason you had to sell your home, without your feed-in tariff contract, you may put potential buyers off purchasing.

Who wants to buy a house where the solar panels on the roof belong to someone else? None of this is made clear by those offering solar buyback contracts.

Another potential sticking point is that some mortgage lenders can be reluctant when third-party ownership of assets such as solar panels actually complicate matters. And as today feed-in tariff contracts seem to be viewed as nothing more than a valuable Pokemon trading card, getting repairs and maintenance issues remedied by the original installer may become an issue once such a contract exchange has occurred.

I’ve always shouted from the rooftops about the long-term advantages of not only the feed-in tariff scheme but the panel’s ultra extended longevity. That same long-term thinking needs to be applied ‘after’ installation day as well as before.

Solar panels today are not only a symbol of pride for their owners but a prominent symbol of intelligent thought and longer-term thinking. This pride should make it a challenging proposition to sell by any ‘solar buyback’ salesman and even more difficult to buy into for homeowners.

Don’t lose that ‘solar savvy’ accolade by giving away your feed-in tariff contract to people who are only out to profit from your pioneering decisions. When naysayers were still saying the UK doesn’t get enough sun; you researched, took the plunge, and now rewarded for your efforts with a generous tariff rate and free energy for your family.

Therefore, it would seem that the only beneficiaries of Solar Buyback are the companies out to profit from your feed-in tariff entitlement.

As this article demonstrates, being the first can be very satisfying and be lucrative demonstrates. Being the first with some simple long-term planning can be a satisfying endeavor.

Early PV adopters took a chance and won.

Again, opportunity comes a-knocking, and pioneers that invested in a PV system have even more ways to benefit from their savvy investment without resorting to solar buyback schemes.

Technological progress stops for no-man or government policy, but since the introduction of the first lucrative feed-in tariffs, the solar and car manufacturing industries have been developing and deploying their next-generation stuff.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. This time is make-or-break technology that needed to be deployed yesterday to solve our civilisation’s survival problems – I digress.

Today, not only does the government PV incentive scheme allow you to use the power you generate for ‘free’ but with a new array of additional plug-ins and retrofit technologies; you can heat your home, store energy and even charge your car.

Yes, you can charge your car for free with your photovoltaic system and even charge battery storage to benefit from your solar panels – long into the night.

New additional technologies can get you to work and power your home – at night!

The era of the home and solar advancements had arrived.

Real people power for the 21st-century at a time when freedoms are being eroded and switching energy suppliers is nothing more than a game of ‘three cup shuffle’.

The array of options on offer is affordable additions such as the PV to heating converters for a few hundred or the battery storage system for more adventurous pioneers.

Significant energy hates this change of direction for humanity, so these technologies are an absolute must for anyone who requires heat, power, and transport in their lives.

Power to the people with SMA storage inverters, Tesla Powerwall, or SolarEdge storage devices that can move a family towards less dependence on one hundred and fifty years of energy servitude and bondage.

Total disconnection from significant energy has always been a pipe dream and although generating your power is already here, the ability to distribute your skill intelligently to get the maximum benefit is here too.

With the SMA battery storage, you will be able to charge your battery from Economy 7 and release it during the day when the price is high. Smart eh?

Today, smart people drive EV’s. These ultra astute motorists charge their cars for free with PV.

Super savvy homeowners have been visiting Power My Home since its inception over twelve years ago, and although the feed-in tariff scheme was an excellent boost for the industry, today the prospects for PV and additional ‘bolt-on’ technologies – fill me with excitement.

The last time technological advancements on this scale were born, Ford Model T was rolling off newly conceived production lines.

This is game-changing stuff.

As any PV solar owner will testify; the definition of crazy is to continue paying ever-increasing energy costs year-on-year and hoping for a different result.

Stuart Lovatt 2016-09-06