Green MP fits solar panels

Posted On 05 Oct 2011 at 8:07 pm

Green MP Caroline Lucas has had solar panels installed on the roof of her Brighton home.

The MP for Brighton Pavilion asked a local company called South Downs Solar to fit the 16 module solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of her family home.

She said: “Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is an important way of reducing our C02 emissions – and installing solar PV makes great economic sense as well.

“Not only can we reduce our fuel bills by generating more of our own electricity, but the government’s feed-in tariff scheme means that we get paid for any excess electricity we generate when it’s fed back to the grid.”

Dr Lucas opted for a 4KWp solar system, which South Downs Solar said was standard for a residential installation.

It will give her access to the highest tariff within the government’s feed-in tariff scheme at a rate of 43.3p per kWh for each unit of electricity that her panels produce.

In addition she will also benefit from free electricity in her home, saving her 12p per kWh with any unused electricity going back to the grid and earning her 3.1p per kWh.

Michael Yeoman, the Hove-based managing director of South Downs Solar, said that while every roof was different, the installation at Dr Lucas’s house was fairly typical.

Mr Yeoman said: “Caroline’s house has a large southern facing pitched roof space which is ideal for positioning a solar panel system.

“As with so many period houses that have had loft conversions, we positioned the panels either side of roof windows and decided on the best fit for her home, having already ensured that the roof was strengthened.

“As with most solar panel installations, none of this work required planning permission as it falls within ‘permitted development rights’.”

South Downs Solar, which is based in Hurstpierpoint, fitted the solar panels four weeks ago and said that they already saved more money than expected despite the poor weather.

The company said that the government had promised to fund the feed-in tariff for 25 years.

It added: “With the continued price rises for traditional energy sources, solar PV is helping households to protect against future price increases and become more self sufficient for their energy needs.”

Caroline Lucas with Michael Yeoman, left, and Daniel Lawes from South Downs Solar


Solar panels on the roof of Caroline Lucas's Brighton home

  1. Aaa Reply

    I’d better not comment for fear of upsetting Val.

  2. someone Reply

    where is it? did she claim expenses for it? or was it a freebee from South Downs Solar Co.?

  3. Michael Yeoman Reply

    Caroline Lucas paid for her own 4KW solar PV system from local installer South Downs Solar Limited. With a tax free return of £1,700 tax free each year it was a good investment for Caroline and her family. For more detail contact or call 08000094199

    Michael Yeoman – Director of South Downs Solar 07773766225

  4. Brian Tennant Reply

    If and when Caroline Lucas sells her house is the FIT currently paid to her transferable to the new owner ? My guess is that as the contract is between Caroline Lucas and her Energy Supplier then the new owner would be given the FIT rate appropriate at the date the house was sold.

  5. Phyllis Reply

    The FIT rate should transfer as well to the new owner right? I mean the FIT is a derivative of the solar panels unit, so in case of ownership change of the solar panels, any derivative should go with it.

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