Energy bills are going up this year. But one person who won’t be worried is Prince Charles - and not just because of his not-so-small personal fortune. This week, the heir to the throne submitted plans to install 32 solar panels at his London home, Clarence House. They will generate up to 4,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, cutting carbon dioxide emissions and saving money.
The cost of installing panels can be cut by state incentives. “Feed-in” tariffs trigger a tax-free payment for any extra energy the panels produce (which goes to the National Grid). Now a deal from Isis Solar (isis-solar.com) gives homeowners the chance to install the panels for free, instead of the normal cost of between £10,000-£20,000.
The company gets the feed-in payments but you get much lower energy bills. You need a south-facing roof with at least 24sq m of space. However, if you plan to stay in your home for 15 years or more, you could be better off paying for the installation yourself and keeping the annual income of about £1,200 in feed-in earnings. Visit energysavingtrust.org.uk.