Solar panels and feed-in tariff.

Seems like a good thing. I was at a mate's house who'd just had a load of solar panels installed. He reckons he'll get an 11% return on his investment. I was quite impressed watching the disc of his electric meter spinning backwards.
Apart from tying ones money up and the aesthetics has anyone here got experience of this scheme good or bad?
mark
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On Thu, 7 Jul 2011 16:20:53 +0100, "mark"

Which, while physically possible with some meters, is not permitted under the FIT scheme.
His installation IS illegal.
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The Other Mike wrote:

No it isn't. When you register your installation, most electricity suppliers ask if the meter runs backwards. It is then up to them what to do. Some act, some don't.
Chris
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wrote:

How would any normal householder have the faintest idea if the construction of their meter allowed it to run backwards?
tim
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tim.... wrote:

Simple visual inspection on a sunny day?
Respond "Don't know" and transfer responsibility.
Chris
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wrote:

The question is being asked before anything is installed on the roof!
tim
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tim.... wrote:

Perhaps different suppliers use different forms. The one I had from Scottish Power clearly required equipment data and MCS installation reference, which are only available after installation.
The actual question asked is if, since installation, the meter has moved backwards.
Chris
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On Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:54:58 +0100, Chris J Dixon wrote:

To which the only honest answer can be "I don't know" unless you have sat in front of the meter watching it during all daylight hours.
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Dave.




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AIUI, no new disk meter for the last twenty years or so has run backwards. There is a simple ratchet mechanism to stop Scousers applying dodgy power factors to fool the meter.
AIUI, meters older than this have now been circulated out of service.
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wrote:

If it has a disk, It will run backwards.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
My washing machine controller is a disk - it won't turn backwards (without breaking it).
Just because it appears that something might run backwards, doesn't mean that it will (and as it's in a case, unlike the WM, there is no way that a "normal" person could test the leccy meter)
tim
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Just ignore him...
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On 07/07/2011 17:26, The Other Mike wrote:

As long as the back feed is done by the right kind of power sensing inverter, its perfectly legal.
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wrote:

Well you're clearly a top barrister and can make bold statements based on very little information.
His meter is like a mechanical mileometer in a car and has a horizontal disc about 60-70mm in diameter. I saw it spinning backwards.
mark
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mark wrote:

How far did it turn? Mine will manage a fraction of a revolution, but then the ratchet catches it.
Chris
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It turned several revolutions in the short time I watched it. Me being mildly cynical and to check that it wasn't going in the 'supposed to' direction got him to flick the kettle on and sure enough it went in the other direction albeit slower. The solar power would easily cope with a kettle but with other appliances on....
There is something I didn't quite understand. I think this is it: With old meters they can't tell how much solar electric being used and how much is being exported so it is split 50:50. You get paid for all units generated but and extra 3.5p on the exported.
mark
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mark wrote:

Yes that is correct but also even normal standard modern digital meters will not display the exported power so the assumption of 50% export continues to be applied.
From what i have read about these meters is that internally they DO measure exported power but have to be interrogated electronically (via the two led windows) to get at this information. Meter readers are not provided with the equipment to read them electronically.
The simple digital meters do however, have an indication that power has been exported.
The display alternates between the import reading and "rEd" which stands for 'reverse energy detected' and was originally there to catch people who try and run their meters backwards to defraud the leccy co.
Also when power is being exported, the red light which usually indicates 1 Wh of consumption per flash, lights continuously.
It will be interesting to see the reaction of the next human meter reader who calls, as my meter now indicates "rEd"
As my supply company is different from my solar export company, I cannot imagine that they will have talked to one another about me having a PV system.
Bob
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Bob Minchin wrote:

It can be even worse than that, as has been discussed in a very long thread on:
<http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t191844
To summarise, some Siemens meters (and possibly others) are capable of being programmed so that any reverse power is added to power consumed, and displayed as the only reading visible. This option was clearly chosen by somebody as an anti-fraud measure, but then forgotten about.
It seems that the power companies themselves do not fully understand this, even when explained to them clearly and repeatedly. Of course, they know best ;-).
As a result, it is quite possible, as explained at length on the forum above, for solar panels to increase your bills significantly. Don't get caught out!
Chris
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On Fri, 8 Jul 2011 10:03:10 +0100, "mark"

You don't need to be a barrister. In fact not being one usually makes one more qualified to make such a statement.

Still illegal.
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The Other Mike wrote:

In contravention of which regulation?
Chris
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The Other Mike wrote:

Illegal? or contrary to his supply contract?, which is a civil breach, not a criminal breach.
JGH
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