The Costs and Benefits of Solar Panels and Wall Battery

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  1. Nathanville profile image94
    Nathanvilleposted 14 months ago

    Having just had solar panels and a wall battery installed I recently published an article about our experience on HubPages, but with the comments section no longer available, by popular demand I’ve created this forum.

    In summary:-

    The system we’ve had installed is 10 x 380w solar panels (5 panels east facing, and 5 panels west facing); and a 5.2kW wall battery.

    In the UK we now have a ‘smart grid’ which enables domestic users to dynamically pay for and sell electricity via the National Grid live, up-dated with your Utility Company every 30 minutes.  This enables progressive Utility Companies like Octopus Energy to vary the amount you pay for your electricity, or get paid for exporting surplus electricity, throughout the day and night e.g. cheap electricity in the early hours of the morning.

    Consequently, since having the solar panels and wall battery installed I’ve switch Utility Companies from Bristol Energy to Octopus Energy and opted for their ‘Octopus Go’ tariff for buying electricity from them via the National Grid, and ‘Octopus Outgoing’ tariff for selling my surplus electricity to them via the National Grid.

    The Octopus Go charges the current UK standard rate throughout the day, which is 25p per kWh; it was 20p per kWh until the chronic worldwide natural gas shortage in October.  Then from 12:30am to 4:30am I only get charged 5p per kWh for any electricity I use from the National Grid.  At this time of year (the winter months), when there’s not much daylight around and thus not generating a great deal of energy from the solar panels, recharging our wall battery from the National Grid for just 5p per kWh is a cheap way of recharging the battery; which even when the sun doesn’t shine provides us with a further 8.5 hours of cheap electricity from 4:30am to about 1pm.  And of course, when the sun is out it’s a bonus.

    For the Octopus Outgoing tariff, the amount we get paid is dependent on market forces e.g. getting paid most during 4pm and 7pm (peak demand); but typically the average payment is between about 10p and 15p per kWh.

    The system we have has a 25 year Warranty (Labour & Parts) and although its too early to accurately calculate the savings e.g. difficult at this time of year to work out how much I'll earn from exporting surplus energy during the summer; even excluding my summer earnings from exports, the whole system should pay for itself within 10 years.

    The short video I made, covering my journey to lowering my carbon footprint:   https://youtu.be/CyuxUT4kxkY

    Of course, the costs and benefits will vary from person to person and from country to country, so I’m sure there’s plenty to debate.

    1. CHRIS57 profile image61
      CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Arthur, this Octopus model seems to work well in the UK. I am impressed.

      However, i was a bit puzzled by the battery you integrated into you system.

      I can understand that with the Octopus system the battery is not necessarily an element of reducing CO2, but of benefitting from cheap overnight charge from the grid and then using this electricity during the daytime when tariffs are much higher.

      Yet i am still a little worried about battery lifetime. All Li-xx batteries that i use are moreless done after some 5-6 years. The notebook im a writing this comment on is a MacBook Pro from 2015. Everything is working perfectly, only the battery has given up. Outdoor parking and garden lights with accumulator and small solar panel give up after 2-3 years, always battery failure.
      For smartphones i assume weak batteries are already a feature. So you have to replace your phone by a new one every 2-3 years.

      What makes us think that Li- based batteries on a wallmount really last so much longer? Daily charging cycle counts in our households are by no means different than charging a smartphone or notebook.

      And EVs have not yet shown how their batteries perform if hooked up on household chargers that only fill up 10% of capacity overnight. The "long term" Tesla experience comes from highway supercharger stations. If a car goes 50.000 km per year, it needs 120 charges per year. That numbers is 1/3 of household charging cycles. If a Tesla EV is given back after lease expiration (3-4 years), the battery has probably as many charging cycles as a household has in less than a year.

      Warranty is as good as the company behind. I expect 6 years lifetime. You mentionend 25 years. --> requires 3 replacements. Could easily be financial ruin of the warranty providers, not now but in 4 to 5 years from now. Business has picked up only in the past 2 years, every installation before is anecdotal, batteries for older installations will be quietly replaced and financial losses are small now and can be absorbed. Just saying...

      1. Nathanville profile image94
        Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks for your feedback and comments; firstly, I need to apologise - in reading back what I wrote, I made an error in what I said e.g. the whole system including the solar panels and all the associated ancillary electrical equipment are covered by a 25 year warranty (parts & labour); but the warranty on the battery itself is 10 years.

        That aside (and thanks for highlighting my typo error), the battery still pays for itself within 10 years, and with continued advancement in the technology and prices falling in real terms a replacement in ten years’ time will be a relatively simple and cheap process.

        Nevertheless, you’ve raised some interesting points that are worthy of exploring:-

        Firstly, I agree that the more modern Li-xx batteries don’t always last for more than a few years, especially the small ones in cheaper products, and most certainly ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries don’t last long, and most brands of the ‘AA’ rechargeable batteries don’t last long either, which is why we now use just the ‘Energizer’ ‘AA’ rechargeable batteries (an American manufacturer) as they’ve given us excellent performance and long life; but there are exceptions:-

        •    My last mobile phone lasted about 15 years before I replaced it earlier this year for a smart phone, and even then the battery was still working strong,

        •    And likewise, our landline phones, which we’ve had for about 10 years are cordless, with the batteries constantly in their charging cradles when not in use, and so far we haven’t needed to replace the batteries.

        •    The Li-ion battery in my rechargeable drill, which (as a DIY enthusiast) it gets a lot of regular use, and after 10 years the battery is still going strong, and

        •    So is the rechargeable battery  in our robotic lawn mower, which charges and discharges daily throughout the year, to keep our lawn cut; albeit, we’ve only had the lawn mower for three years, so it’s too soon to know how much longer that battery will last, but it’s still going strong at the moment.

        •    I’ve also got a couple of friends who have ancient laptops, over 10 years old, that they still use, where the original battery still works, albeit showing signs of age.

        So yes, you are right, in a lot of products, especially less expensive (more disposable) products, the Li-xx batteries are only designed to last just a few years, 5 or 6 years at the most, as you said.  However, the manufacturer’s guarantees and warranties on larger, more expensive items, like electric car batteries and wall batteries are much longer.

        On checking the current status in the UK; in the UK car manufacturers are currently giving typically 8 year warranties on the batteries, with an expectation (prediction) based on currently available data that the car batteries will probably last 10-20 years before they need to be replaced.  Which for British car drivers is important because (apart from those who are on disability benefit, allowing them to get a new car every three years), most British drivers buy, rather than lease, and hang onto their cars for as long as they can, statistically most people in the UK replace their car once every 8 years on average.

        And similarly with wall batteries; the standard warranty in the UK is 10 years, with an expectation from the manufacturers that they will actually last much longer!  But time will tell.

        CO2 Offset
        Covering your first point last “I can understand that with the Octopus system the battery is not necessarily an element of reducing CO2, but of benefitting from cheap overnight charge from the grid and then using this electricity during the daytime when tariffs are much higher.”

        Yes, during the winter months we’re recharging our battery cheaply overnight from Octopus Energy, to use that energy during the daytime when electricity is far more expensive; then, during the summer months we’ll be recharging the battery from the solar panels on our roof during the daytime, to use that energy at night.

        In Southern England:-

        •    Mid-Winter:  Dawn at 8pm – Dusk at 4pm – 8 hours of daylight, and 16 hours of darkness.

        •    Mid-Summer:  Dawn at 4am – Dusk at 10pm – 18 hours of daylight, a just 6 hours of darkness.

        In actual fact, in the UK, using the battery during the winter months in the way prescribed above does actually reduce CO2, because: 

        •    In the UK demand for electricity drops significantly during the early hours of the morning, leaving large surplus of renewable energy from the off-shore windfarms that would go to waste if it’s not utilised or stored in some way.

        •    While during daytime, demand for electricity is far higher than can currently met by renewable energy alone; thus the difference is made up from burning fossil fuels.

        So by shifting some of my demand from daytime to night-time use, saves a tiny amount of CO2 (as an individual); but with millions doing the same thing, it makes a noticeable difference.

        Energy Storage (Battery) in the UK
        Currently in the UK large commercial battery farms are playing an increasingly important role on the National Grid in better matching supply to demand with Renewable Energy, to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, and educe CO2 emissions.  As in this example:  https://youtu.be/UwThaCy4uw4

        Historically, the UK’s biggest success story in Energy Storage is ‘Electric Mountain’ which was built in the 1980’s and plays a major role in dealing with an issue in the UK called ‘TV pickup’ e.g. the sudden surge in demand for electricity at 7:30 every weekday evening when millions of British viewers finish watching the popular TV soaps (like Easteners) and go into their kitchens, all at the same time to put the kettle on to make tea and coffee.

        Electric Mountain, Wales:  https://youtu.be/d-Gbs_kXK8Q

        UK TV Pickup explained:  https://youtu.be/slDAvewWfrA

        And of course, the energy storage system of the future, which is already being deployed in Scotland and planned for use at the Dogger Bank wind farms (off the English coast) is green-hydrogen created from renewable energy electricity and sea water for storage, and converted back to electricity when needed, with the only bi-product being water.

        1. CHRIS57 profile image61
          CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

          Lets all hope that batteries last long enough and get you over the warranty period.

          Thanks for the youtube links you provided. I especially like the volume dimension: "cup of tea", very funny and typical British.

          When it comes to energy storage on a large, industrial level, 2 projects come into my mind that have similarities with your examples.
          Both projects are in afternoon bicycle ride distance from my home.

          1. CAES power plant Huntorf.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compresse … gy_storage
          This gas power plant was commissioned in late 1970ties and was initially used for what you call "TV pickup" or equivalent peaking power demands.
          I had majored at University in Thermodynamics and Fluiddynamics in 1982, so this powerplant (worlds first and largest CAES) was very prominent at that time. I even did some academic work on this back then.
           
          Today the use is changing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAi0y4oIeuM
          Today we still have dynamic peak power output demands, but at different daytimes with different background.

          The 2nd project is about battery storage. Hybrid battery system Varel. A very recent project very similar to the 1st link you provided. (11,5 MW power output, 22 MWh storage, invest 23 mio. Euro) It is a hybrid system, half capacity is in old fashion lead batteries, half is Li-ion. World is small. Actually the small city of Varel is where i attended highschool in the 60/70ties.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAi0y4oIeuM

          About hydrogen i am not too sure that it will be the future. I understand hydrogen is widely promoted but the energy invest to produce hydrogen and the energy loss with cold burning is very significant (the old thermodynamics guy in me shining through).

          I would rather go for bio-produced natural gas. The producing process appears to be more sophisticated and involves carbon (even though renewable carbon), but there are less issues with storage, transport, handling.
          Almost like the early days of electricity: Edison and his direct current was first, but Westinghouse and his alternating current easily won.  So todays race for electricity storage is not over and not decided.

          1. Nathanville profile image94
            Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            Yeah, I’m sure everything will work out fine with the battery, even if the battery plays up towards the end, it’s not going to be a big hassle upgrading to the latest model; and besides because the Installation Company is MCS approved, I automatically got ‘free’ insurance from the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) which covers me, even if the Installation Company and or manufacturers go out of business.

            Yeah, the ‘cup of tea’ video does certainly highlight the Britishness.

            Wow, the compresses-air energy storage system (at scale) is very impressive, something I’d never heard of before, but it’s good to see; the more diversity in the mix, the more durable the system becomes.

            Yeah, I understand your reservations about green hydrogen, and a preference towards more established technologies e.g. bio-gas.

            Nevertheless Scotland is one of the countries at the forefront in the R&D on commercialising and scaling up green-hydrogen; and the UK Government sees it as playing a major role as part of the green revolution in the future energy mix.

            For example, Aberdeen, Scotland, is one of several cities in the UK who are now using green-hydrogen to run all their local government vehicles and buses.  Plus, the UK Government are at an advanced stage of developing the roll out passenger trains that runs on green-hydrogen:-

            Aberdeen, Scotland's Hydrogen Strategy - Leading the UK in H2:  https://youtu.be/XBJAM1epr5c

            In contrast, Bristol (where I live), and Birmingham are a couple of several cities who have opted for the bio-gas route to generate electricity and gas (as required) and to run the cities buses. 

            The bio-gas produced in Bristol and Birmingham is made from their sewage and in Bristol also from the domestic food waste; and over the past couple of years all Bristol buses have now been replaced with green-energy buses (over 200 buses) that run on sewage and domestic-food waste.

            •    Sewage waste in Bristol used to make green gas:  https://youtu.be/PUpvAfWI_GA

            •    Bristol biomethane gas (made from sewage and domestic food waste) - powered bus refuelling station opens:  https://youtu.be/QV4VEprPfos

            An interesting development in the UK, as a direct result of the massive worldwide price hype in natural gas in October is that 24 of the 55 Utility Companies have gone bankrupt in the last six weeks; Bulb Energy being the latest Company to fall, just a few days ago.

            The reason so many Utility Companies in the UK have collapsed in the last month is that the UK put a 20% energy price cap on domestic energy supply, so most Utility Companies are selling gas to its customers at a loss. 

            Octopus Energy, who I’ve just switched to shouldn’t be affected because they purchased all the gas they need for their customers, to cover the winter months, on the ‘futures market’ prior to the massive price rise in October.

            How has it panned out in Germany?

            1. CHRIS57 profile image61
              CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

              Gas prices over here in G. are subject to 2 cost drivers:
              1. CO2 tax (there is a 10% add on top).
              2. world market situation. Not nearly as threatening as in the UK.
              I attach a chart. We have seen worse times.

              One reason for the moderate gas price hike is that (at least in Germany) we have a huge strategic reserve. In my last comment i mentioned the CAES power plant. That plant uses a salt cavern a kilometer below surface to store compressed air. What you can do with air can also do with natural gas. And in our region we have plenty of giant salt caverns. They are used to store our strategic oil and gas reserve. I looked at the primary energy input and energyflow of Germany. We have an export/storage surplus of 150% of household primary energy consumption.
              Actually this storage capacity is lacking in the UK and that is why gas prices skyrocket.

              Having said this, no real bankruptcy "campaign" to be seen over here.
              Once in while a utility company jumps the plank, but nothing to worry about.

              My issue with the salt caverns is: By making the salt stock hollow, the surrounding ground gets a little compromised and houses on top of the caverns tend to be more unstable. It is not that the caverns collapse/implode but the surrounding earth structure resettles and allows for cracks on the surface... I remember in my real estate business i once was about to buy a house in the "Salt cavern" area. After talking to some insiders i settled for another object some 5 km away. Ever since i ask for geological information on a project, even though we never had an earthquake this close to the North Sea.

              Hydrogen:
              The 2 major processes to be observed are:
              1. Cracking water H2O into H2 and O2, involving electricity.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water
              efficiency roughly 70%

              2. Cold burning (fuel cell)
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell
              efficiency roughly 50-60%.

              These processes alone leave you with a primary energy efficiency of 42% at best. This is what modern Diesel combustion engines also achieve. If we were not talking green and CO2 free, the whole hydrogen discussion wouldn´t make any sense.

              For electricity we have an energy mix (renewable, fossile, nuclear) of 50:45:5, leaving 45% electricity with a 200% (inverse 50% efficiency) C02 ashtray. If we produce and use hydrogen now, we would still need almost 100% primary and fossile energy to do the same as a Diesel engine does. No saving of CO2 !!

              What is the energy mix for electricity in the UK?



              https://hubstatic.com/15801539_f1024.jpg

              1. Nathanville profile image94
                Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

                The energy mix for the UK varies hour to hour, and from day to day; which is quite normal for any country these days with a varied energy mix.

                So below is the Energy mix right now (as I write this) according to the National Grid Live Data; and then the average for the past 12 months:-

                Right Now:-
                1:    47.7% Renewable Energy of which:-
                •    34.9% is wind,
                •    3.5% is solar,
                •    1.4% is Hydro,
                •    7.1% is Biomass

                2:    13.8% is Nuclear, and

                3:    36.4% fossil fuels, of which
                •    33.9% is natural gas, and
                •    2.6% is coal.

                The Average UK energy mix over the past year is as follows:-

                1:    31.8% Renewable Energy of which:-
                •    18.1% was wind,
                •    3.9% was solar,
                •    1.3% was Hydro,
                •    7.1% was Biomass
                •    0.7% was pumped storage

                2:    16.5% was Nuclear, and

                3:    42.3% fossil fuels, of which
                •    40.5% was natural gas, and
                •    1.9% was coal.

                In checking the current UK energy mix I did note that 0.7% of the energy mix over the past 12 months has come from ‘pumped storage’; which I now better understand thanks to your links on the subject yesterday.

                Yes I understand the inverse efficiency of changing one form of energy to another; Electric Mountain in Wales being a prime example.  But nevertheless is still economically viable because it uses cheap electricity during the early hours of the morning to pump the water back up the mountain from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir; so that the following day it can be used to generate huge amounts of electricity on demand, at a time when electricity is less abundant on the Grid, and thus more expensive.

                1. CHRIS57 profile image61
                  CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

                  Quite interesting to see that the UK and Germany are not far apart in their electricity energy mix.

                  My point about efficiency of hydrogen is a simply based on thermodynamics.
                  1st law says: Energy is interchangeable (in theory).
                  2nd law says: but energy can not go upstream, you can not transfer from one form of primary heat energy to another without having to add additional effort.

                  I remember a short story by H.G. Wells about a bouncing rubber ball. This rubber ball had the property of bouncing back higher and higher every time it hit the ground. Eventually this rubber ball cracked and split into pieces. Somebody who touched the pieces would notice that they were ice cold.

                  This short story worked fine with the 1st law but violated the 2nd law. The energy for bouncing higher and higher was derived from internally stored heat of the ball. Every time the ball hit the ground, it lost some of its temperature, transferring heat energy into physical energy. Eventually it cracked by frost.

                  Every time electrical or physical energy is generated or transferred into/from another form of energy that is associated with heat, this transfer costs a lot of energy and makes efficiency low. Whenever you need a cooler you are in efficiency trouble. And cold buring of hydrogen requires a cooler.

                  I don´t want to lecture further. I only think that all green thinking people should first get a degree in Thermodynamics and then proceed with their idealistic world changing arguments. Now - that is just a thought, don´t want to offend anybody.

                  By the way: pumped storage onlys transfer potential (physical) energy into electrical energy, no heat related process engaged, so very little transfer losses. Same with accumulators (transfer electrical to chemical and back).

                  1. Nathanville profile image94
                    Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

                    Yes, it’s interesting, and I think encouraging that Germany and the UK have a lot of similarity in their energy mix.

                    Yes, I understand your physics lesson; Newtonian physics is one of the exam subjects I studied at school as part of my qualifications towards getting a job.

                    You may find this video below of some interest (Part of Scotland’s R&D into green hydrogen):-

                    Scotland: World's first hydrogen powered seagoing ferries - https://youtu.be/p4fyk_7meZg

              2. Nathanville profile image94
                Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

                An Update - Currently Britain is being battered by storm Arwen, so out of interest I had a peak at the current (live) energy mix for the UK as at 1pm today (27th Nov) during the storm battery the UK; and current energy mix in the UK is:-

                Renewable Energy = 44%
                •    Wind = 33.6%
                •    Solar = 4.7%
                •    Hydro = 1.5%
                •    Biomass = 3.9%

                Nuclear = 13.6%

                Fossil Fuel Total = 34.5% of which:-
                •    Gas =34.5%
                •    Coal = 0%

                Imports from other European countries = 7.8%

                Also, for information:-
                1.    Coal is being phased out and the last coal-fired power station will close in 2025, and
                2.    The UK Government also wants to phase out natural gas, with the intention of ceasing its use in the UK energy mix, and for domestic central by 2035

                1. CHRIS57 profile image61
                  CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

                  I am getting a little frightened about the unexpected surge in electricity cost in Germany.

                  Here is the situation (November figures came out today).
                  Average electricity sale on the Leipzig energy exchange was:
                  August: 7,68 ct/kWh
                  September: 11,71 ct/kWh
                  October: 12,80 ct/kWh
                  November: 18,30 ct/kWh

                  This is from the producers standpoint and it sums up all forms of electricity generation (green and fossile and nuclear). I don´t know what will happen to consumer pricing. As much as i am enjoying the high sales price for my energy, i am very concerned what this will do to average households.
                  And it will drive a lot of providers out of business, not necessarily because of gas prices (we discussed earlier), but because of electricity prices out of bounds.

                  We had one moment in November, when electricity was sold for more than 40 ct/kWh. And for tomorrow the day ahead auction predicts 35 ct/kWh. Where will this go?

                  Tradeable CO2 emission certificates rose from 63 Euro/ton to 78 Euro/ton within a month.

                  May be this is only a German problem. Most people don´t realise what is ahead. Not much published in the news yet.

                  Wonder what is happening in the UK now with electricity?

                  1. Nathanville profile image94
                    Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

                    In 2014, just 8 years ago, 30% of the UK’s electricity supply was from coal.  As part of the UK’s Government strategy to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy coal was quickly phased out and replaced by natural gas, as a stop gap (a cleaner alternative); with the intention to phase out gas overtime as replace it with Renewable Energy.    The UK now uses less than 1% coal, and the last coal-fired power station is due to close in 2025; and the UK Government is committed to phase out the use of natural gas by 2035.

                    Anyway, as regards the current situation; because a third of the UK’s electricity currently comes from natural gas and because of the chronic worldwide shortage of the supply of natural gas this winter, causing the price of natural gas to sky rocket on the international market, the UK’s wholesale electricity prices sky rocketed in the UK in October.

                    However, the UK Government had already placed a 20% cap on domestic household prices, preventing the utility companies (energy suppliers to domestic homes) from raising their gas and electricity prices to domestic householders more than 20%; meaning that most suppliers are paying more for their energy than they can sell it for to the domestic user e.g. being forced to sell energy at a loss. 

                    Consequently of the original 55 Utility Companies (energy supplies to domestic homes) in the UK, 25 have gone bankrupt since October.

                    So the simple answer to your question, is that the UK Government capped the price rise of electricity to domestic users to 20%; meaning that most utility companies are currently running at a loss, and if they can’t weather the winter months then they go bust (bankrupt), as almost half of them have already done.

  2. Nathanville profile image94
    Nathanvilleposted 11 months ago

    Since having the solar panels and battery installed I haven’t had my monthly Direct Debit payment changed, and over the winter months, in using less electricity from the National Grid because of the solar panels and battery I’ve amassed considerable credit on my Utility Account. 

    Therefore, I’m considering reducing my monthly Direct Debit next month to around just $10 a month, and with the credit I’ve already built up that should be more than enough to see me through the rest of the year for both my electricity and gas bills; and then come next January I’ll reassess and put my Direct Debit up a bit to cover the rest of the winter months – So, in spite of rising gas and electricity prices in the pipeline the future looks bright!

    1. CHRIS57 profile image61
      CHRIS57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Arthur, you must be in this worldwide conspiracy about energy. You knew what would be happening, that is why you installed the solar panels, didn´t you? Who invited you into this conspiracy circle of energy savants?

      Just kidding...

      Do you see the benefits from your solar panels on a monthly basis? In winter you probably have little benefits. My recent numbers for Decembers were 15 hour equivalents and for January 16 hours on average.

      Don´t know what electricity costs in the UK, but said 15 hours will probably gain roughly 8 - 12 Euro per months for you. So your downpayment cut seems to be justified.

      I do this solar energy harvesting on a larger scale and i enjoy current high sales prices for electricity. But on the other hand i see what it does to average consumers. The gas price hike has the equivalent of 1 to 2 monthly rents per year for my tenants (that is what i see from my property management balance sheets) And electricity goes hand in hand with gas. Energy cost hike is an existential threat for some of my tenants just to meet ends at the end of a month.

      1. Nathanville profile image94
        Nathanvilleposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Yeah, getting the solar panels and battery when I did was good timing!

        Although I haven’t had the solar panels long, I am beginning to see a benefit on a monthly basis.  I don’t have hours of sunlight data, but I do have data on how much Kw per hour was generated from the solar panels for each month; as follows:-

        Solar Energy Generated Per Month:

        Nov = 59.90 kWh
        Dec = 41.80 kWh
        Jan = 67.80 kWh
        Feb (from 1st to 11th) just the first 11 days of the month:  48.1 KWh.

        But of course the main saving this time of year has been buying electricity from the National Grid cheaply overnight to re-charge the battery e.g. from 12:30am to 4:30am I’m only charged £0.05 ($0.68) per KWh for any electricity that I take from the National Grid.  So I also put our dishwasher and washing machine on timer to come on between those hours to get the cheap electricity.

        And then the Battery, in conjunction with any power generated from our Solar panels, have given us cheap and free electricity until about 12 noon during November and December, and until about 6pm this month.

        Electricity Costs in the UK is becoming a big problem – A disaster waiting to happen:-

        •    Back in the 1980s electricity was about £0.10 ($0.14) Per KWh.   
        •    Up until October last year the average price was about £0.18 ($0.24) per Kwh.
        •    In October the price shut up to about £0.25 ($0.34) per Kwh because of the gas crisis.
        •    In April this year the price is set to rise again, to about £0.45 ($0.61) per Kwh in order to save the remaining Utility Companies from bankruptcy.

        In October last year there were 55 Utility Companies, 30 have now gone bankrupt because of the 20% cap on prices that the UK Government had imposed.  But the Government is lifting the cap to 70% in April to save the remaining Utility Companies from going bust.

        So come April millions of Brits will be pushed into fuel poverty where they’ll have to make a stark choice between “Heat or Eat”!!!

        In a feeble attempt to ease the looming disaster the UK Government is giving all households (except for the 20% wealthiest people) a £150 ($200) grant from April, and everyone a £200 ($270) loan in October which will have to be paid back at £50 ($68) per year over the next five years!!!

        50% of gas used in the UK comes from British gas and oil companies operating in the North Sea; so because of the world gas shortage this winter they’ve made unprecedented bumper profits this winter.

        The Labour opposition party is arguing that the Conservative Government should impose a win-fall tax on the British oil and gas companies and re-distribute that wealth to the Utility Companies, so that the Utility Companies don’t have to raise their prices in April; thus averting the looming disaster. 

        It wouldn’t be the first time that a UK Government has recouped money through a win-fall tax; the Conservative Government did it in 2010 on Banks making huge profits following the worldwide financial crises in 2008.

        But currently, the UK Government is saying ‘no’ to a win-fall tax because they want to encourage the oil and gas Companies to use those profits in investments in Renewable Energy; something which British Gas is doing, but you can’t trust all the oil Companies to do the same when they want to pass their profits onto their shareholders!

 
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HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)