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Solar panels 'still offer excellent returns for homeowners'

UK property owners have been advised that the installation of solar panels still represents an excellent return on their investment, despite the latest cuts to the government's feed-in tariff.

Will Broadfoot, residential customer liaison for Joju Solar, said people should not be downhearted about the prospects for energy efficiency and bill reductions offered by the installation of solar photovoltaic cells on their property.

He commented: "The return on investment for an average London home is about eight to ten per cent.

"If you're outside London and you've got a larger roof you can get a four kilowatt system and you can still get returns of up to 15 per cent. The payback period is well under ten years."

Mr Broadfoot noted that a homeowner whose property's roof is facing in a southerly direction with a pitch of between ten and 30 degrees has a good chance of producing enough energy from solar installations to meet half of their household needs.

The feed-in tariff for small-scale projects - below 5 MW - was reduced on March 31st this year, but it still stands at 9p per unit of electricity produced.

Mr Broadfoot added that the solar resource in the UK remains strong and backing from the government for this type of project is still substantial.

According to Andrew Leech, director at the National Home Improvement Council, the government must provide greater incentives for UK homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their property.

He argued that the government is keen to become one of the greenest in history through the introduction of its flagship energy-efficiency scheme the Green Deal, but in order for the scheme to be a success, Westminster must ensure UK property owners are able to afford the improvements being carried out in the first place.

However, Mr Leech concluded: "No matter how much incentive you provide, unless the money is there, they can't do it." 

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