Solar panels: how to fix your energy bills while the sun shines
-Demand goes through the roof as struggling British households try to tackle soaring electricity prices

太阳能电池板:如何趁着阳光明媚解决你的能源账单
——由于挣扎的英国家庭试图应对飞涨的电价,太阳能电池板需求飙升


(Solar electric (photo voltaic) and solar thermal (hot water) panels on a house roof in Grasmere, Lake District.)

(湖区格拉斯米尔的一所房子的屋顶上安装了太阳能电池板(光电板)和太阳能热板(热水器)。)
新闻:

British households are racing to install roof-top solar electricity panels amid huge energy price rises, with installers saying demand has “exploded”.

由于能源价格大幅上涨,英国家庭竞相在屋顶安装太阳能电池板,安装人员称需求“出现了爆炸式增长”。

Simon Dudson, the chief executive of the Little Green Energy Company, which serves London and south-east England, says: “It’s absolutely crazy times. It’s unprecedented. We have had a 400-500% increase in business.”

服务于伦敦和英格兰东南部的小绿色能源公司的首席执行官西蒙·杜森说:“这绝对是一个疯狂的时代。这是前所未有的。我们的业务增长了400-500%。”

The soaring price of electricity means a domestic solar panel system can now pay for itself in as little as seven years, and the way things are going, that could go down to five years. About a year ago, installers were saying the “payback” period was 15 years or more. Then there are the environmental benefits of solar panels.

不断飙升的电价意味着,国内的太阳能电池板系统只需7年就能收回成本,而按照目前的发展趋势,这一回本期可能会降至5年。大约一年前,安装商称“回本期”为15年或更长。此外,太阳能电池板对环境也有好处。

But don’t expect to have a system installed by your first-choice company this side of winter. The increase in demand, plus supply problems – about 90% of panels are made in China – mean some installers are warning customers of delays stretching out 10 months or more.

但不要指望你的首选公司能在这个冬天之前就给你安装一个系统。需求的增加,加上供应的问题(大约90%的太阳能电池板是中国制造的)意味着一些安装商正在警告客户,工期可能会延长10个月或更长时间。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Sussex Solar, like many installers across the UK, this week had a blunt message on its website. “We are very sorry but due to an unprecedented level of interest in solar panels and heat pumps, we are unable to accept any new inquiries for the time being. We will reopen our contact page towards the end of August …”

苏塞克斯太阳能公司,像英国各地的许多安装商一样,本周在其网站上发布了一条直白的信息。“我们非常抱歉,但由于人们对太阳能电池板和热泵的兴趣空前高涨,我们暂时无法接受任何新的询价。我们将在8月底重新打开我们的联系页面……”

Sussex Solar’s director, Amanda Baxter, adds: “It’s absolutely mad at the moment.”

苏塞克斯太阳能公司的主管阿曼达·巴克斯特补充说:“这一刻绝对是疯狂的。”

The Solar Shed, based near King’s Lynn in Norfolk, had a similar message: “Thanks for getting this far. We’re not taking any new inquiries at present. Sorry. The contact us page will open again when we clear the backlog.”

位于诺福克郡金林恩附近的太阳小屋公司也传达了类似的信息:“感谢你们能走到这一步。我们目前不接受任何新的询价。对不起。当我们处理完积压的工作后,联系我们的页面会再次打开。”

Many reputable installers say they won’t start taking inquiries again until September – but could close again at any time.

许多信誉良好的安装商表示,他们要到9月份才会开始接受咨询,但随时可能再次关闭。

“The supply chain is the thing that is holding us all back,” Dudson says. “The main issue six months ago was the shortage of skilled labour. Now it’s the global shortage of stock. The panel manufacturers are telling us they shifted as much in the first quarter of this year as they did for the whole of last year.”

“供应链是阻碍我们推进的因素,”杜森说。“六个月前的主要问题是熟练劳动力短缺。现在是全球库存短缺。光伏板制造商告诉我们,他们今年第一季度的销售量与去年全年一样多。”

So if you want to have any chance of getting panels on your roof, you will need to act soon. Keep a close eye on firms’ websites, and also be aware that the prices of panels and batteries are on the march upwards after many years of decline.

因此,如果你想在你的屋顶上安装太阳能板,你需要尽快采取行动。密切关注各大公司的网站,同时也要注意到,电池板和电池的价格在经历了多年的下跌之后,正在回升。

How much will it cost?
As little as £6,000 and up to £20,000 for a large house.

要花多少钱?
大房子最低6000英镑,最高2万英镑。

It all depends on the size of the system (measured in kilowatts), the battery (optional, and can double the price), the diverter (to feed electricity to your immersion water heater), and whether you choose to install an electric vehicle charger at the same time. “Premium” panels and batteries (such as Tesla’s) cost more.

这一切都取决于系统的大小(以千瓦为单位),电池(可选,能价格翻倍),分流器(为浸入式热水器供电),以及你是否选择同时安装电动汽车充电器。“高级”光伏板和电池(比如特斯拉的)价格更高。

Is it worth it?
A 4kW system, suitable for the average home, should generate about 3,500kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity a year across much of England.

值得吗?
一个适用于普通家庭的4千瓦系统,每年可以在英格兰大部分地区产生约3500千瓦时的电力。

At the time of writing, the average 28p unit price of electricity a kWh means the 3,500 kWh produced is worth £980. So if you paid £7,000 for an installation, it’s paying for itself in about seven years.

在撰写本文时,平均每千瓦时28便士的电价意味着3500千瓦时的电力价值980英镑。所以,如果你为安装支付了7000英镑,那么大约7年就能收回成本。

However, the 28p unit price is expected to leap to 45p or more this winter. That would mean the value of electricity produced by a 4kW system would rise to £1,575 or more – suggesting solar panels could pay for themselves in as little as five years.

然而,28便士的单价预计将在今年冬天跃升至45便士或更多。这意味着一个4千瓦系统产生的电力价值将上升到1575英镑或更多,这意味着太阳能电池板可以在5年内收回成本。

But electricity unit prices could fall back, while the costs of the panels and installation are likely to rise, possibly steeply, so there are no guarantees.

但电费可能会回落,而太阳能电池板和安装成本可能会上涨,而且可能会大幅上涨,因此无法保证。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Will it supply all my electricity? And heat my water?
The typical bungalow or detached home in the UK uses about 4,100 kWh a year, so panels producing 3,500 kWh a year will cover much of your usage.

它能供应我所有的电力吗?并帮我烧水?
在英国,典型的平房或独立住宅每年使用约4100千瓦时,所以电池板每年生产3500千瓦时,将覆盖你的大部分使用。

You will want to change your electricity usage habits to make the most use of your panels. That means running appliances such as the dishwasher during the day, not at night.

你会想要改变你的用电习惯,充分利用你的光伏板。这意味着洗碗机等电器要在白天运行,而不是在晚上。

A diverter can send any surplus energy generated by solar PV panels to an immersion heater. Installers say this is now a better option than having separate solar hot water panels. They cost about £500.

一个分流器可以发送任何太阳能光伏板产生的剩余能量到浸没热水器。安装人员表示,这是一个比单独安装太阳能热水板更好的选择。它们的价格约为500英镑。

Should I buy the battery?
A battery will store the solar energy produced – but not used – during the day and let you use it at night.

我应该买电池吗?
电池将储存白天产生但不使用的太阳能,供你在晚上使用。

On a sunny day, many households will struggle to use half the electricity produced by the panels, so a battery sounds like a very good idea – except they are costly. Kevin Holland of the Solar Shed says: “You can almost double the cost of the installation by opting for a battery.”

在阳光明媚的日子里,许多家庭很难(即时)用完电池板产生的一半电力,所以电池听起来是一个非常好的主意——除了它们很贵。太阳能棚公司的凯文·霍兰德说:“如果选择电池,安装成本几乎能翻倍。”
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


The batteries cost £5,000 upwards – if you can find one. Installers say they are the most difficult thing to source at the moment.

如果你能找到电池的话,这些电池的价格在5000英镑以上。安装人员说,它们是目前最难找到的东西。

Can I sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid?
The “feed-in tariffs” that kickstarted the UK’s domestic solar industry have long gone. They were extremely lucrative, initially paying households 43.3p for every unit of electricity. But the rate was subsequently cut, then completely axed in 2019.

我能把多余的电力卖回给国家电网吗?
启动英国国内太阳能产业的“上网电价”早已不复存在。它们的利润非常丰厚,最初每单位电力支付给家庭43.3便士。但随后利率被下调,并在2019年被完全取消了。

There is a rather less lucrative replacement scheme called the Smart Export Guarantee. The big electricity companies set their own SEG rate – and most pay just a few pence. At the time of writing, the best-paying was Octopus Energy at 7.5p/kWh, with the next best at only 5p/kWh.

还有一个利润不那么丰厚的替代方案,叫做“智能出口担保”。大型电力公司设定了他们自己的SEG费率——大多数只支付几便士。在撰写本文时,收入最高的是章鱼能源公司,为7.5便士/千瓦时,其次的公司仅为5便士/千瓦时。

Octopus also operates a tariff where what customers are paid varies every half-hour, according to day-ahead wholesale prices. Earlier this year customers in London were picking up £1.29 for every unit sent back to the grid.

章鱼公司还实行收费制度,根据前一天的批发价,每隔半小时向顾客支付不同的费用。今年早些时候,伦敦的用户每将一单位电力送回电网可获得1.29英镑。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


“We choose to give these best-in-market rates on our tariffs because we know that our future energy system will need to include lots of small generators and homes with their own energy sources, too,” an Octopus spokesperson says.

“我们选择给予这些市场上最好的费率,因为我们知道,我们未来的能源系统将需要包括许多小型发电机和拥有自己的能源来源的家庭,”章鱼公司发言人说。

Is my home right for solar panels?
A south-facing roof, sloping at a 30-degree angle, is best. East- and west-facing panels will produce about 15% to 20% less electricity.

我的家适合安装太阳能电池板吗?
朝南、倾斜30度的屋顶是最好的。朝东和朝西的太阳能电池板将减少约15%至20%的发电量。

The good news is that advances in solar technology mean you need less roof space than 10 years ago to produce the same amount of electricity. You will generally need at least 20 sq metres of usable roof space.

好消息是,太阳能技术的进步意味着你需要比10年前更少的屋顶空间来生产相同数量的电力。一般来说,你至少需要20平方米的可用屋顶空间。

Solar panels do not require planning permission but you will need listed building consent to put solar panels on a listed building. If you live in a conservation area, you will also need to contact your local council before going ahead.

太阳能电池板不需要规划许可,但你将需要提供把太阳能电池板安装在一个列出的建筑的建筑许可。如果你住在自然保护区,你还需要在出发前联系当地的委员会。

In a heatwave, do solar panels really pump out the electricity?
Not really. What’s important is the intensity of light. Many experts say the panels actually work better at a temperature of 23C to 25C. Scorching weather is good for thermal water solar systems but not for maximising output from photovoltaic cells.

在热浪中,太阳能电池板真的能输出电力吗?
不全对。重要的是光的强度。许多专家表示,这种电池板实际上在23到25摄氏度的温度下工作得更好。炎热的天气有利于太阳能热水系统,但不利于最大化光伏电池的电力输出。

“If you compare a 4kW system in Madrid with one in London, on a perfectly clear day you will get more electricity from the one in London,” Holland says.

霍兰说:“如果你将马德里的4千瓦系统与伦敦的系统进行比较,在一个完全晴朗的日子里,你将从伦敦的系统获得更多的电力。”
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Can I get a grant?
Not at the moment. In 2013, the government’s green deal offered loans to help households buy solar panels but it ended in 2015 and there is no funding available for solar panels now.

我能得到补贴吗?
现在没有。2013年,政府的绿色协议提供贷款,帮助家庭购买太阳能电池板,但该协议于2015年终止了,现在没有用于太阳能电池板的补贴资金。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


One option is to apply to your bank for a home improvement loan. At HSBC, a £10,000 loan secured against your home would cost £183 a month over five years, with an APR of 3.9%.

一种选择是向银行申请住房改善贷款。在汇丰银行,一笔以你的房子为抵押的10000英镑贷款,5年内每月将花费183英镑,年利率为3.9%。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Will the panels last?
The early adopters of solar panels report generally good news on this front, with the panels requiring little maintenance, and new ones expected to last up to 40 years.

光伏板能持续使用吗?
太阳能电池板的早期采用者在这方面报告了普遍的好消息,电池板几乎不需要维护,而且新的电池板预计可以使用长达40年。

Their efficiency declines over time – but only slowly. Batteries decline faster and may have to be replaced after 10 years.

它们的效率会随着时间的推移而下降,但速度很慢。电池衰退更快,可能10年后就得更换。

So how do you find a reputable installer?
Word of mouth is your best bet.

那么如何找到一个信誉良好的安装程序呢?
口口相传是你最好的选择。

Ask around on your local street WhatsApp forums. Or try Which? Trusted Traders.

在当地街道的WhatsApp论坛上询问周围的人。或者尝试哪个?值得信赖的交易商。

Traditionally you would expect to obtain three different quotes before proceeding. But as Holland at The Solar Shed says: “I’m just too busy for [that].”

通常,在继续推进之前,您会期望获得三种不同的报价。但正如太阳棚公司的霍兰德所说:“我太忙了,没时间(做那个)。”

The early adopter who now runs a solar business
The former Guardian economics journalist Ashley Seager has been so inspired by the performance of his home solar panels – installed 15 years ago – that he now runs a solar business of his own.

现在经营太阳能业务的早期采用者
前《卫报》经济记者阿什利·西格尔被他15年前安装的家用太阳能电池板的性能所鼓舞,现在他自己经营着一家太阳能公司。

In 2007 Seager installed a 3kW peak system (about four metres by three metres) on the roof of his Victorian home in south London. It has produced about 2,700 kW hours (kWh) a year – enough for more than 80% of his annual electricity needs – and 15 years later it is still going strong.

2007年,西格尔在他位于伦敦南部维多利亚时代的家的屋顶上安装了一个3千瓦的峰值系统(约4米×3米)。它每年生产2700千瓦时——足够满足他每年80%以上的电力需求——15年过去了,它仍然很强大。

“The panels are supposed to degrade by about 0.5% a year but they have not. I’d estimate they have declined by no more than 0.25% a year,” he says.

“太阳能电池板本应每年退化0.5%左右,但事实并非如此。我估计它们每年的退化幅度不超过0.25%。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


“The newer panels are now more efficient. A 3kW roof system now needs less roof space than we needed back in 2007. You can now get a 4kW system in the space needed for a 3kW system years ago.”

“新型电池板现在效率更高。一个3千瓦的屋顶系统现在需要比2007年更少的屋顶空间。现在,您可以在几年前3千瓦系统所需的空间内安装4千瓦系统。”

Seager spent £8,500 on his panels, and they have more than repaid his investment. “Even before prices for electricity shot up we were getting a return of 10% to 15% per annum on the roof panels.”

西格尔在他的太阳能电池板上花费了8500英镑,这些电池板带来的回报已经超过了他的投资。“即使在电价飙升之前,我们每年也能从屋顶板上获得10%到15%的回报。”

Seager benefited from the government’s “feed-in tariffs” paid to early adopters, which are no longer available. He now thinks the government was overly generous: “They set the tariff so high, there was a massive return on the investment.”

西格尔受益于政府向早期采用者支付的“回购电价”,但现在已经不再适用了。他现在认为政府太慷慨了:“他们当时把回购价定得这么高,投资有巨大的回报。”

However, the falling cost and higher efficiency of the panels since 2007, combined with today’s soaring electricity prices, mean that the financial equation for fitting solar panels still stacks up without any government subsidies.

然而,自2007年以来,太阳能电池板的成本下降,效率提高,再加上如今不断飙升的电价,意味着安装太阳能电池板的财政方程式仍然堆积却没有任何政府补贴。

His company, Sun4net, focuses on installing panels on commercial rooftop spaces. But, like everyone else in the industry, he warns of the difficulty in obtaining supplies.

他的公司太阳网专注于在商业屋顶空间安装电池板。但是,和该行业的其他人一样,他警告说,很难获得供应。

“We are busier than ever but it continues a strong upward trend that we saw after Cop26 [the 2021 UN climate change conference]. The value of the projects has really gone through the roof, so to speak. But anyone in the domestic panels business who says they have much stock is not telling you the truth.”

“我们比以往任何时候都更忙,但这延续了我们在Cop26(2021年联合国气候变化大会)之后看到的强劲上升趋势。可以这么说,这些项目的价值已经突飞猛进了。但在国内太阳能电池板行业,如果有人说他们有很多库存,那他说的都不是事实。”

He estimates that about 95% of all panels come from China. Its government heavily subsidised its solar PV industry, which helped bring down prices but also drove manufacturers in Europe and North America to the wall.

他估计,约95%的太阳能电池板来自中国。中国政府大力补贴太阳能光伏产业,这有助于降低价格,但也将欧洲和北美的制造商逼到了绝境。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Now, as Europe wakes up to its overdependence on Russian gas, it is realising it has an even greater dependence on China to supply solar panels.

如今,随着欧洲意识到自己对俄罗斯天然气的过度依赖,它意识到自己在供应太阳能电池板方面对中国的依赖甚至更大。

‘My aim is to be off-grid as much as possible in the summer’
Norfolk homeowner Stephen Beardmore says he has just spent £14,500 on a complete home solar system – including panels, battery, diverter and car charger.

“我的目标是在夏天尽可能远离电网。”
诺福克郡的房主斯蒂芬·比尔德莫尔说,他刚刚花了1.45万英镑买了一个完整的家庭太阳能系统,包括电池板、电池、分流器和汽车充电器。

He made the move not only because of recent electricity price rises but because “for me, it was always the right thing to do”.

他做出这一决定,不仅是因为近期电价上涨,还因为“对我来说,这一直是正确的做法”。

Beardmore, who works for the Royal Air Force, says: “I’ve been thinking about it for the last two years. I have always been keen on technology and keen on renewables, long before Putin invaded Ukraine.”

在英国皇家空军工作的比尔德莫尔说:“过去两年我一直在考虑这件事。早在普京入侵乌克兰之前,我就一直热衷于科技和可再生能源。”

Like many solar buyers, the biggest initial hurdle was finding a reputable supplier. “As soon as you start doing research, you get bombarded with ads on Instagram and Facebook. It felt like I was walking into a dodgy car sales agency,” Beardmore says.

和许多太阳能买家一样,最初最大的障碍是找到一家信誉良好的供应商。“你一开始做研究,就会被Instagram和Facebook上的广告狂轰滥炸。我感觉自己走进了一家可疑的汽车销售机构,”比尔德莫尔说。

Friends recommended the Solar Shed in nearby King’s Lynn. “My aim is to be off-grid as much as possible in the summer. I agreed a 16-panel, 405W-per-panel system, with an 11kW battery. And I put a car charger in at the same time, even though I don’t have an electric car yet. For me, it’s about a change in lifestyle and the way you use power.”

朋友们推荐了King 's Lynn附近的太阳棚公司。“我的目标是在夏天尽可能远离电网。我买了一个16面板,405瓦 /面板系统,11千瓦电池。同时我还放了一个汽车充电器,尽管我还没有电动汽车。在我看来,这是一种生活方式和权力使用方式的改变。”

As part of his research, he calculated his household’s overall electricity usage before the panels were installed, which added up to 4,300 kWh over 2021.

作为他研究的一部分,他计算了他的家庭在安装电池板之前的整体用电量,在2021年增加了4300千瓦时。

“They have only been up for six weeks but I’m completely happy with them. We have a smart meter and I’m already down to 80p a day for electricity.”

“它们才安上六个星期,但我对它们非常满意。我们有智能电表,每天的电费已经降到80便士了。”

Most of the panels are on a directly south-facing roof, with the rest on a west-facing roof.

大部分面板都是直接朝南的屋顶,其余的都是朝西的屋顶。

The only hitch so far is that the battery is yet to arrive, although he expects it to come soon.

到目前为止唯一的问题是电池还没有到货,尽管他预计电池很快就会来。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.shifttrial.com 转载请注明出处


Would he recommend it? “In the current situation, if people don’t get the message about renewables now, they never will.”

他会推荐它吗?“在目前的情况下,如果人们现在不了解可再生能源的信息,他们永远也不会了解。”