A few issues back I reported that Michael Outama was investigating the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of his West Midlands Londis. And I promised an update. This has taken far longer than we expected since Green Sun, the company that has been extensively advertising in the Daily Express, kept postponing the visit (obviously very busy with other enquiries).

Turns out to not be the money spinner that Michael had hoped for.

“Even though it’s a big roof that would take around eight panels, it would still only provide me with around 10% of the energy I need to run my store. Apparently I would need the size of a football pitch.”

Michael has a 15m run of chillers plus eight freezers. The cost to him for the panels would be around £125,000. Not a viable option.

The company has discussed a second option whereby it installs the panels for nothing, using his roof as a site to harness the energy but all Michael would get is a discount, possibly 20%, off his energy bill.

Michael has also made an appointment with the company to come and have a look at his home which has a south-facing roof.

While waiting for Green Sun to show up at Michael’s I had a scout around the subject on the internet. Martin Lewis, on his famous MoneySavingExpert.com site says (of domestic use): “If you can afford a typical £12,000 for your own system, a government scheme could pay you back double that over 25 years. If not, free solar panel systems could cut leccy bills by £70-ish a year.”

You will get around £1K a year in payments for generating electricity if you buy your own system, even if you use it all yourself (or the solar company gets the money if you opt for a free installation).

The site lists all the pros and cons, and has more space than I do so have a look at it and then do the sums.