Typical Costs For an MCS Certified Solar Electric Installation (FIT)

The UK Government is now offering cash back on any Solar Panel installation that meets the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) standards via the FIT (Feed In Tariff) Scheme.

This will undoubtedly mean many new companies jumping on the ‘Solar Cash Cow’ trying to make a quick buck out of the general public.

Before this blows out of proportion I would like to offer some typical costs of what an MCS Solar Installation should cost. Please note that these figures are ‘Typical’ and do not factor in special requirements.

The government announced in January 2010 that the ‘Typical’ cost of a 2.5 KW/H (Kilo Watt Hour) roof mounted MCS approved solar electric installation will be in the region of £12,500.00. So to make things a little more simple let’s break this figure down into what you are paying for.

ALL figures quoted here are deemed to be exclusive of VAT, which I add at the end of the breakdown for clarity.

Nett cost of a typical MCS approved Solar Electric Kit (Inclusive of solar electric panels, roof mounting kit, G31 certified grid-tie inverter, DC isolator, AC isolator, 13A switched fused spur and necessary cabling / containment. Approximately £3.00 Per Watt Installed.

So a 2500W system would cost £7,500.00 in materials

Nett cost of labour associated with the solar electric installation (Per Watt Installed) Approximately £0.75p Per watt installed.This is deemed to include fuel costs and vehicle upkeep plus sundries

So a 2500W installation would cost approximately £1,875.00 in labour

So let’s see where that gets us to so far:

Materials Cost
Labour Costs
Margin @ 10%
Net Total
VAT @ 17.5% (Current UK Rate May Vary)
Grand Total Payable By Client

The above figures will give you a fair idea of what you should be paying for a ‘Typical MCS Approved Solar Electric Installation’

If we then take the £12,117.19 total and divide this figure by the W/H rating of the solar panels, in this example 2,500W/H then we come to a total cost per Watt Installed figure.

Total cost of installation
Solar Panel Rated Watt / Hour Output
Cost Per Watt Installed Including VAT

If anyone has any questions about any of the above information or would like a quotation for a complete MCS certified Solar (Photovoltaic) Electric Installation in the UK then please use the comments section below or alternatively send me an email (See bottom of any page for my address)

Andy Mahoney
Last Modified 2nd April 2010

How Do I Know If My Is Safe?

A common worry for people living in an older home is that their may be old or dangerous. In order to assure yourself that everyone is safe and working as it should be there are several things you should do.

1. Carry out an inspection. A simple visual inspection will not be enough in most cases for you to tell if everything is in order. Obviously in the worst cases – where bare cables are exposed and basic safety standards have been ignored – you can see at first sight that there is a problem. In all other cases a thorough inspection will be needed.

2. Use a suitably qualified electrician. It is strongly recommended that you only allow a professionally qualified and experienced electrician to carry out the checks. A simple oversight or lack of knowledge can have disastrous results when it comes to live electrics.

3. Check your home valuation. If you have just bought the property then the survey will mention the state of the wiring. This may be fairly detailed if you have had the most in depth survey carried out or more superficial if you have chosen the basic option. In neither case does it replace a proper, professional survey but it is a good starting point.

4. Make regular checks. Even if your home gets the all clear from the expert this doesn’t mean that it is the end of the story for ever. Regular checks will make sure that any gradual deterioration is picked up and corrected. You should ask your electrician for advice on how often it needs to be checked out, as this will depend upon the age of the wiring and its current condition. If you agree a maintenance schedule then be sure to note this down somewhere you can be sure to locate it when it is needed.

5. Don’t take any chances. If there is the possibility of something being wrong then you need to get it checked as soon as possible. Even if the wiring isn’t due a routine check for a while you will still want to contact an electrician if you discover a burning smell, smoke or some other sign of possible danger.

6. Avoid risky DIY jobs. Once you know that your home’s electrical system is working fine the best idea is to avoid risking problems with DIY jobs or unnecessary complications. If you need work carried out on the wiring in your property then getting it done professionally is the safest way to maintain the levels of security.

If you stick to these basic points you will be doing your bit to maintain high safety standards in your own home and you will be protecting your family and your possessions from danger at the same time.

Do You Need To Have An Condition Report?

All new caravans and motorhomes in the United Kingdom come complete with an electrical certificate. This is a guarantee from the caravan manufacturer that the electrical systems inside the vehicle, including both the 230 volt and 12 volt, are safe to use and in excellent condition. Safe to use means safe from the risk of electric shock, fire and burns. However, caravan manufacturers know that over time the electrical wiring and associated equipment is likely to deteriorate due to wear and tear, damage, environmental effects and corrosion.

Deterioration of the electrical wiring, including damage and misuse, can lead to appliances not working properly. In more serious cases this can seriously reduce the safety of the . As a result, manufacturers of caravans and motorhomes recommend that customers have a regular safety check carried out on the electrical wiring, including all accessories (such as sockets, switches, and lights); usually between one and 3 years from new. This safety check is not compulsory, but it makes sense to have one. Caravan owners should take a look at the electrical certificate, and to consider whether the is due a safety check.

The electrical safety check, or more accurately the Periodic Inspection and Test, is not part of the normal service carried out on a caravan or motorhome; so it is a good idea for caravan owners to seek the advice of their caravan service engineer, who will be able to provide information on what the electrical safety check includes.

Normally, a Periodic Inspection and Test of the wiring involves the removal of all accessories (such as sockets), so that all connections can be thoroughly examined, and where necessary, tightened. During the inspection part of the check all electrical components of the wiring are inspected for damage, and to ensure that the wiring and all associated parts are safe for continued use. The testing process involves the wiring and accessories undergoing several, and rigorous, electrical tests to prove safety for continued service.

Following the inspection and test caravan owners receive an Condition Report. This is a report on the condition of the vehicles wiring and accessories; and includes recommendations for improving the safety of the equipment. The work has to be undertaken by a service engineer who has received specialist training and qualification of competency in the electrical mains systems of caravans.

The National Caravan Council is promoting Condition Reports to ensure safety in the leisure industry. In addition the Institute of Engineering and Technology recommends that the maximum period between inspection and testing for caravans should not exceed three years. The frequency will depend on the wiring installation condition, external influences such as damp, and how often the caravan is used.

So should you have an Condition Report carried out on your caravan? The answer should be ‘Yes’. It will help to preserve your most important asset, that is, your family. Personal safety has to be the most important consideration. Having the periodic inspection will also help to maintain the value of your caravan and should make it a more attractive purchase should you wish to sell it at any point in the future.