The Energy Saving Trust is an excellent source of unbiased information and tries hard to give consumers and businesses the best and most accurate advice at all times - you can tell that I'm a supporter. But everyone gets it wrong occasionally and EST made a sow's ear of this silk purse.
The news was that EST had revised its estimates of the savings made on electricity purchases by householders with solar PV installations on their properties. Previously their estimate had been that the average saving in electricity bills would be £120 per year, based on their estimate that consumers would use 50% of the electricity produced by their solar panels. Research of actual installations had shown, though, that actual use was nearer 25%, suggesting electricity bill savings of just £70 per year.
It's not what you say it's the way that you say it. Did no-one at EST know that old gem? The way they told it, it looked like they were saying "Uh-oh, we got it wrong, PV panels aren't such a good idea after all". That's how the Daily Mail took it for the latest of their anti-PV campaign, good old Daily Mail.
What should have been said was that consumers with PV installations were missing the trick by not changing their lifestyles to maximise their use of the free electricity, even if they are out at work most days. Running the washing machine, the dryer, the dishwasher during the day is not too difficult, but just set times so they don't all come on at the same time. EST should have given advice on the effect of simple actions, the positive spin instead of the negative.
The reality is that the saving on electricity bills is just a small part of the financial case for having PV panels on homes. The Government-backed Feed-in Tariff is by far the biggest contributor to the financial return. Installing PV panels makes great financial and ethical sense even if none of the electricity is used on site.
If you are thinking of a solar PV installation, call Beechdale Energy on 01223-264520 to arrange a home survey with no obligation. We will give you the facts, no spin, maybe a little bias...