Harry Smith of Energy-Wyse Environmental first
started extoling the virtues of solar PV well over a
year before the launch of the scheme which
encourages everyone to generate power.
That was 2009 and now, with the feeding in tariff a year old in
April, business is booming as commercial and domestic clients
realise the benefits, both financial and environmental, of new
Solar PV – photovoltaic - works by converting
the sun’s rays into energy which is then
turned from DC into AC current in your
premises. This then goes through a meter
which measures the amount you have
generated and you will be paid for that
amount at 41.3p per kilowatt hour.
Installing a 1.57 kW system in an average
house will take two or three days.
Not only do you get the electricity you
provide for free instead of paying say 10p
per kilo Watt hour kWh to an energy
provider, but the Government also pays
you 41.3 p per kWh for the energy you have
produced, guaranteed for 25 years. And you can sell the
excess to the national grid for 3p per kWh.
The rate of 41.3p per kWh is guaranteed for 25 years for
customers who start generating power before April 1 2012.
Properties coming on stream after that will get a lower rate. So
the message is act now.
In addition to the 41.3p per kWh most energy providers will
currently pay you 50% for the energy you have produced. In a
worst case scenario that is another 3p per kWh on top of the
If you are kicking yourself for not investing in solar PV before
the recent 20% Vat rate started there is good news. The
Government is so keen to encourage green energy the VAT on
solar power is just 5%. Better still, (if you sign up with
Energy-Wyse before April 1 2011 Harry will pay that too.)
Harry has been an electrician for 30 years and set up his
award-winning company Energy-Wyse 15 years ago. He also
provides systems for solar thermal (hot water). Harry has
recently become one of the first people to qualify for a
Certificate of Confidence which allows him to install systems
above 9kw up to 50kw.
Word is spreading about solar PV and demand has never been
stronger. In recent months Energy-Wyse has been involved in
projects at domestic properties of all sizes, offices and even
barns. Harry and his team have been working in London, all
over Essex, Suffolk and further afield.
“I have been quite surprised by the size of the installations
most customers want. I went into this thinking they are going
to want 2kW systems but most are asking for as much as they
can fit on their roof,” Harry said. “People have done the maths
and want maximum return. Everyone wants to be as energy
efficient as they can. Many of our customers are professional
people, accountants, teachers, businessmen – they
understand the numbers!”
Recent installations have included A-frame panels for a flat roof
building in London where the 9kW system helps power the
offices and a swimming pool. Farmers were early converts to
the idea of solar PV and in some parts of the country whole
fields are covered by panels which generate revenue thanks to
the feeding in tariff.
Referrals from previous customers are starting to come and
Harry knows the benefits of solar PV from personal experience.
In February 2010 he installed a 1.5 kW system in his own
office. By the start of January 2011 the meter read 1,500 kWh
which, at 43.1p per kW is worth £646.50 under the feeding in
tariff. In addition Harry has saved the £120.75 he would have
had to pay for electricity therefore the total benefit is £767.25
giving a 10% return on his investment.
Harry has always prided himself on excellent customer service
and is happy to offer advice to his domestic and commercial
“Things are fast moving in favour of energy efficiency, even in
the commercial world,” he said. “For example, there is
legislation at the moment which means all large companies
with energy bills in excess of £500,000 must register their
efficiency or face a fine. Eventually that will come down the
line for smaller companies who will have to monitor their
energy consumption and put measures in place to be more
energy efficient. That’s obviously where we come in.”