Our Blogs

We have three blogs at Spirit, covering renewable energy from a homeowner, commercial and contractor perspective. Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in solar PV, battery storage and EV charging.

Recent posts

How Do Electric Cars Reduce Pollution?

Posted by George Riley on 25 Feb 2021

Think back to the last time you took the Tube, ran beside a congested road, or walked in rural wilderness. Air pollution is tangible, in a way that perhaps other planet-harming emissions aren’t, and so the benefits of tackling it can be more apparent and immediate.

Public Health England says that ‘Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.’ Long term exposure to air pollution can affect the lungs and heart with chronic diseases and cancer. Short term exposure can exacerbate asthma and affect lung function. In total it’s estimated that air pollution is responsible for 28,000-36,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

What can we do about it? Air pollution is a huge topic with many interconnected causes and solutions. So in particular, we’re going to take a look at EVs and air quality, asking: how do electric cars reduce pollution?

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Are Solar Panels Worth It in 2021? Yes, Solar Power Costs 8p/kWh!

Posted by Erica Charles on 17 Feb 2021

Recent years have seen significant shakeups to the economics of solar power. Since the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants in 2019, photovoltaics are no longer subsidised. Later that year, solar tax rates also got a shakeup, meaning not every installation is eligible for 5% VAT. So, are solar panels worth it today?

Speaking purely from a financial point of view, the answer is a resounding yes. Of course beyond the financial, there are many other environmental benefits to be gained from installing solar, installing residential battery storage, driving an electric vehicle etc. Not least because they all contribute directly or indirectly to tackling air pollution and the climate crisis.

Back to the financials. The solar subsidy may have ended, but the cost of the technology has fallen by more than 50% over the past decade. Overall the cost of domestic solar electricity is now around 8p per kWh. This is well below the 16p average domestic import cost from the grid (which, by the way, increased by an average 4.75% each year over the past decade...).

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Smart Export Guarantee Tariffs: Which is the Best Rate?

Posted by George Riley on 10 Feb 2021

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) has now been in effect for over a year, since it came into law on January 1st 2020. It’s the mechanism to ensure solar PV owners are paid for the power they send to the grid, ending the policy void that existed since the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants in March 2019.

According to the SEG, energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers must offer an export tariff with a rate greater than zero. The SEG is available for customers with an MCS-certified renewable energy system under 5MW and a second generation smart meter.

With zero as the minimum, at the very least you can’t be charged for being relieved of excess solar power. However, suppliers don’t have to give you very much for it. So how much are they offering in practice?

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Are Premium Solar Inverters Worth It?

Posted by George Riley on 27 Jan 2021

It’s something of a solar industry cliche, but the inverter really is the heart of a photovoltaic system. While solar panels harness the sun’s energy, it’s the inverter that converts this direct current (DC) into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Yet, compared to the panels, inverters rarely get much discussion.

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Spirit’s Year in Review 2020

Posted by George Riley on 17 Dec 2020

It’s fair to say this wasn’t quite the year any of us were hoping for.

But as 2020 draws to a close, we’d like to put the immeasurable challenges we’ve all faced to one side, and reflect on some of the positives this year has had to offer us. From sustaining the solar rollout to Tesla’s Energy Plan, there’s plenty to appreciate.

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Heat Pumps with Solar Panels and Battery Storage

Posted by David Woon on 04 Dec 2020

Image source: Wikimedia.

With more and more properties looking at reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, becoming more sustainable, and increasing their grid independence, opting for a heat pump ticks a lot of these boxes. Heat pumps may also see a significant rise in the coming years due to the announcement that it is highly likely gas boilers will be banned in new build properties in the next few years.

Though Spirit does not install heat pumps, we are interested in how they form part of a renewable energy powered home.

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Solar Panels for Warehouses and Distribution Centres

Posted by George Riley on 23 Sep 2020

Demand for warehouse space in the UK is booming this year, as more of us turn to online shopping while the virus keeps us away from the high streets. The proportion of retail done online (which was already on the rise) has skyrocketed:

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Spirit Installs Solar Panels at West Reservoir Centre

Posted by George Riley on 08 Sep 2020

We’re very excited to share our recent solar installation at West Reservoir Centre, an outdoor swimming facility in Hackney. It is the first installation in a new solar power scheme launched by Hackney Light and Power, as part of its mission to make the borough net zero carbon by 2040.

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Solar Panels for Supermarkets

Posted by George Riley on 22 Jul 2020

For most people, a trip to the shops is about picking up the weekly groceries, with rarely a concern for the huge amount of power needed to keep the building running and the food fresh.

As electricity bills rise, shop owners are keen to cut costs where they can. Here’s why we’d recommend solar panels for supermarkets to save money on energy and become more sustainable.

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