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Mr & Mrs Handford

Mr and Mrs Handford, from Norfolk

saved over £1,000 on their fuel bills

The Background

Living in an older property in a rural area can have a dramatic effect on energy bills, with the double whammy of a house built before modern energy efficiency measures came into force, and a reliance on ever-more expensive oil for heating and hot water.

Mrs Handford lives in a detached period property in the Norfolk village of Mattishall, which does not have access to a natural gas supply. Wanting to reduce their ever-increasing energy bills, The Handfords decided to install solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, and a solar thermal panel to help reduce their reliance on expensive oil-fired heating.

The Installation

Abel Energy installed a 4kW roof-mounted photovoltaic array, which is ‘grid tied’ - connected to the National Grid via Mrs Handford’s domestic electricity supply, linked via a highly efficient inverter, which converts the solar DC electricity into useable AC electricity. The array is monitored via wireless Bluetooth monitoring device, giving live updates of the system’s performance.

Alongside the PV panels, Mrs Handford also installed a solar thermal panel, which generates free hot water. Radiation from the sun heats the fluid within the collector and the fluid is then pumped to heat water stored within a hot water cylinder.

The Results

For every kWh the system produces, Mrs Handford receives the government’s ‘Feed In Tariff’, as well as an ‘Export Tariff’ which assumes the system is feeding 50% of what it generates back into the National Grid. Both of these tariffs are guaranteed for 20 years, and are index-linked.

The solar thermal panel has worked so well that Mrs Handford says she now turns their oil-fired boiler off completely during the summer, giving them a considerable saving. In addition to this, their system is eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive, which gives an index-linked payment, guaranteed for 20 years, linked to the heat output of their panel.

Mrs Handford says:

“We liked the fact that Abel Energy was a local firm, and they were the only company who gave us a realistic opinion on solar PV and solar thermal – they listened to us and came back with a plan and quote which suited our requirements."

“The installation was done quickly and efficiently, with knowledgeable electricians and plumbers completing the work in a very tidy manner."

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