Does Solar PV pay for itself? 3 year update – How much have I saved?

3 years in how much have we saved and how many years until we recoup our outlay?

Savings have reduced. If those number are all you want skip ahead to 6:30 but you’ll miss some key points.

Correction: @ 7:01 the total of 4 savings does not add up. £3136.43 includes additional savings from the home storage batteries I’ve been testing. I removed these for accuracy ,looking at just solar but missed updating the total.

System / Components and links / referrals

Ecoflow Delta Mini 882wh 1400w portable battery power station
Ecoflow River Mini 210wh 300w portable battery power station

Ecoflow Delta link:

Solar config
PV all JA solar 9.2kwp
14X280w (3.68kw Solis)
8X300w (2.0kw Solaredge)
4x450w (1.8kw) Solis
3x370w (1.1kw) Solis

Myenergi Zappi 1, Eddi and Hub

Victron Multiplus II 48/5000
Cerbo GX
5 x Pylontech Us3000C
ET112 meter

EV: Mini Electric Cooper SE Level 3 in midnight black and Chester grey leather

OCTOPUS energy referral link….
share ** £50 credit each **


⚡Instavolt App referral : £5 free charging each

Twitter: @EVPuzzle

My recommendation for solar/battery installer:

Power Different
Hethel Engineering Centre
Chapman Way
NR14 8FB
Tel: 01603 406052


  1. Hi, your analysis continues to be one of the best I've yet seen on uTube. Well done, I've just ticked up your video again.

    I'll attempt to give you & your other commentators some of my facts 'n' figures to add to the pool of knowledge here. I’ve also updated figures as of today from those I published a year ago or so.

    Firstly I don't have an electric car or Eddie, all my power is totally electric, no gas or oil, so that simplifies things a tad.

    My system installed Oct.'11, 4-kwp basic, then 1-kwp extra new panels, then 0.75-kwp extra used panels from Ebay.

    Bought loads of stuff to try to use the free lecky effectively from power halvers, to 110v builder’s transformers, to PED switches. The most effective was an Immersun unit new, I then I added another used one as a slave several years later. Wired both in myself. From 2011 this has been a really sharp learning curve for me. Grand total cost for everything £12,841. Yep I know, but from 2011 PV systems were considerably more expensive, but the FIT rate was considerably more generous back then to incentivise people to invest.

    I have all my outputs, costs & income on a fairly complicated spreadsheet, but I'll give you a synopsis to date.

    Total output as of today 54,467 kwhs. Average annual output now, approx. 5,000 kwhs pa. Lower in 2011 as I had fewer PV panels mounted back then & a bit more for the last few years, as everything's mounted & flying.

    Total income to date: £27,558 (FIT & export incomes).

    Payback was in 4.95 years (deci-years – lol). This payback was using the governments estimated 50% self consumption figures & my calculated cost savings.

    I have a current XIRR (rate of return) of 15.7% for the cash income to date.

    An XIRR of 19.1% if the government's self-consumption figures are included.

    My original budget with a detailed cash-flow forecast was for an XIRR of 21.6% over the 25-years of FIT, however as I added additional panels I am currently 14.8% ahead of that & rising every year.

    Over the 25-years of FIT I project that total income will be £78,040 (budget) & therefore net income should be £66,295 (budget).

    It's impossible to give you the detail, which is very considerable (I'm an ex-cost analyst). The cash-flow budget accounted for degradation of the panels, RPI projections for inflation of the FIT rate increases & the unit price of electricity that I pay, over 25-years.

    So as of today, my system is paid for & I'm already £14,717 in profit.

    Because I choose to lead a somewhat ‘alternative lifestyle’, my annual energy consumption is truly miniscule relative to that of most of my neighbours & is therefore not representative of normal averages. However my imported electricity from the grid is less than 100-kwhs pa these days. My supplier is currently Utilita on their zero standing charge / economy 7 tariff. So even with the current very high charge rates per kwh, the annual bills are averaging less than £30 pa. (Yes, that’s true & I do appreciate the current average energy bills are around £1,941 pa. It pays to live an alternative / green-nutter lifestyle.

    Maybe an electric car soon & a Zappi???

    Regards from JohnnyK in (currently sunny) Colchester.

  2. Wow ! You didn’t get much money back on the payment.
    I divided your payment by your 3 years which gave me each year payment then divided them into 365 days a year and it worked out at peanuts .
    But yeah totally agree with you, bigger savings not being connected to the grid , I only turn my mains on in the winter months, as solar is crap on cloudy winter days in UK 🇬🇧. Anyway thanks for your video and making it easy to understand.

  3. Excellent common sense analysis.
    For us down under we took out a very low interest green loan to finance the first 5kw grid connect system over seven years ago now.
    The re payments on the loan were just over $100 a month so hardly a stress inducing liability.
    The immediate benefits were that we could use hot washes in the laundry while drastically reducing our power bill to $40 per quarter in winter and a modest credit in summer. The other huge benefit was that I could run my three phase machinery during sunny days at zero cost. Then of course energy prices started to rise and our bills started to creep up a bit. Still very manageable though.
    Being only five years from retirement we decided to invest in another 6kw of panel's plus 16.5KW of battery storage. We want to kill our bill's completely by converting from gas hot water to electric storage. Early days yet but looks promising. Gas is getting expensive, to expensive. Luckily we are on a split phase transformer giving us two phases to draw from.
    The trick to realising the full benefit of solar is adapting your lifestyle to exploit its full potential while future proofing your living costs in a global economy fracturing and potentially collapsing. With inflation eating away our savings we decided to put our money on the roof where it can reduce our living expenses.
    Investing in energy security is far safer than the markets as far as we can see.

  4. great bit of info we were thinking of installing solar but we are both pensioners so the time factor is a problem but I like the idea of reducing the electricity bill do I use my savings knowing I will not get a return on my investment just reducing my monthly costs

  5. Interesting Nigel, thank you. We had a 4kW array fitted Dec 2011. The panels had to be split into two arrays pointing SE and SW. New inverter required after 10 years (Apr '21) but the FIT payment started at 43.3p and is now 56.03p per kWh so roughly £1950 per month over the last 3 months. Despite the current energy crisis we are still at £65 pm direct debit so the system is really helping.

  6. Good analysis.I am in South Africa and we make a bit more here due to more sunshine.On 5 kw array about 7500kwh per annum.

  7. PAYBACK IN 7 yrs 11 months !
    At which time the cost of electricity should be rapidly falling, thanks to the recent invention of the Plasma Reactor (first revealed by SAFIRE at a science & engineering conference at Bath University in July 2019). The Plasma Reactor is guaranteed to sweep ALL other methods of power generation away, for the simple reason that this new method is multi-functional. In other words it can simultaneously do a number of jobs.
    1. Incredibly cheap & green electrical power generation 24/7 & 1600% more efficient than even a current Nuclear Power Station.
    2. Remediate Nuclear waste. i.e it will totally "eat" the material creating the dangerous radiation, and save us all Billions a year by getting rid of all this highly dangerous material that we have to currently bury & store.
    3. Transmutation to produce Rare Earth Metals in Industrial Quantity at a fraction of their current cost value.

    SAFIRE was a High Tech Canadian Electrical Engineering Research Company, set up to research the concept of the Plasma Reactor, and produce a working prototype (completed in mid 2018).

    AUREON ENERGY Ltd. A Canadian Electrical Engineering Development Company, set up to develop the "Safire prototype" into a fully commercialised saleable machine system. Development is expected to take another 2-3 years. You can find AUREON ENERGY's elucidating advertising elsewhere on the Internet !

    The "Plasma Reactor" is intended to simply replace the Gas/Oil/Coal or Nuclear part of any current main grid power station. Power stations boil water to create steam, which is then fired under pressure at Turbines which then rotate. Each Turbine is connected to a Generator which then also rotates generating electricity. So whatever the fuel supply used, it is only used to boil the water to make the steam !

    But of course the Plasma Reactor can simultaneously do the other jobs listed above, effectively Guaranteeing it will eventually sweep away all current methods of power generation. The cost of electricity will therefore plummet, making even wind generators & solar panels financially untenable !!!

  8. For where you live, a 6-7 year return isn't bad. in some USA southern states, we are down to 3-4 years. One other thing you didn't mention and that is the warranty on your panels. I am guessing it is 20 years (standard minimum in the USA), which means once you hit that 7 year point, you are guaranteed to have 13 years of profit.

  9. Thanks for the interesting video. Does your second array of panels from the separate inverter still feed into the national grid like your original array ?

  10. That's fine and all… but when, what year are people going to realize not everyone is in a stick built home?… when will anyone come up with a 100 % system to run on ther van thats well enough to handle everyday issues…. its 100% stupid that we have to pick and choose items and hope the work just to power a van… on any size!!!. Do a video of that will you… everyone wants to throw 10k-30 k on a solar system for o pos house stick built…. do something different and down size…. for its coming for alot of people under this BIDEN administration!!!. Help the little guy… I BET IT HELPS YOU TOO!

  11. 8 years for payback is 12.5%, that's honestly a pretty decent return especially is it will increase as your energy costs increase.

  12. Great video. This has always been an interesting topic for me.
    One concern I have though is how long is the operational life of these solar panels?

    Also I think that adding any solar panels to a roof will make any roof repairs even more expensive.
    Not that those are needed too often, but if the roof needs new roof felt or a new membrane and tile replacement, the cost of having
    a company to come and remove the panels for the work to be done and to then re-install the panels seems very expensive to me.

  13. 3 years saving of £ 3,137.43 is £ 1,045.81 a year yet, people as yourself claim not for profit, like everyone that is fooled into solar panels the return that's made is only after the panels are fully paid for but let me ask you a logical question, how many free hours of free electricity have you had from from your solar system ? furthermore, should there be a total power cut, how long would you still have enough electricity from the solar panels to run all electrical within your home without having to cut back.

  14. Must be nice if you can afford it assi,ole. Hope your inverter fails twice in a year and you'll see how smart you invested. It's throw away electronics and ends up in landfill or some poor kid trying to recuperate precious metals. Your far from smart or virtuois.

  15. What have you done with the sound on this: it is dire!
    Mega is M not m
    Your video is extremely confusing when you are constantly mixing together a project and an extension to it. That is not objective, easy to understand or helpful.
    -and ergh, so yeagh!

  16. First time I've seen this – interesting stuff. I need more convincing but am willing to learn! Thanks.

  17. Put grills around the panels to stop birds nesting under them if you havent done so already. Many double glazing companies will provide this service.

  18. Hi, Over the 3 years,
    1. How much did you draw from the grid.
    2. How much did you export to the grid.
    3. What was the total cost if any for the grid usage.

  19. Do you know those solar panels are made out of the type of crystal? And do you know crystals have a nuclear decay? And did you know nuclear decay from crystals of these types produces both beta and gamma radiation? I hope you have some lead underneath of them. But good video I use solar also and once I installed my 3 KW and a 800 watt wind turbine and begin to heat with hydrogen and wood for when it gets real cold they pretty much paid for themselves in about 4 years but the big thing was switching the heating

  20. you don, t take in the cost of repairs to solar system and reduction of credits my system has had 2 control boards replaced and credits reduced

  21. Sounds an amazing investment. Interesting to actually get an idea of cost. NOBODY wants to tell you that unless the are convinced you are going to sign on the dotted line. Recently ordered my first EV. Kia EV6, Just got to wait the 10 or so months for delivery :-/

  22. Well here’s my Solar history.
    FIT equals £700 per year on average. If electrical items are used ( washing machine etc) then meter doesn’t run, free electric
    Cost was £6k to install. South West facing. Installed in 2013 15 panels.
    In addition being over 65 we receive £200 winter fuel allowance.
    Utility bill equals £1500 pa
    I’m happy with them.

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