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Think of it as a water supply system, but instead of collecting water and pumping it into the water main, you are collecting electricity. The solar panels collect the electricity, and the inverter pumps the electricity into the house.
When the sun shines, the solar collector collects energy and the inverter pumps it into the house, where it flows through the generation meter, throught the house wiring, and into the main. The meter records the amount of energy supplied. This is your feed-in meter, and it records the total amount fed into the house from your solar collector.
If you switch on an electrical appliance, it's like opening a tap. If you switch on a small appliance or a light, it's like opening the tap by a small amount. Some of your solar energy dribbles out of the tap, and the rest still goes into the main. Open the tap fully (switch on the kettle, washing machine, tumble drier, etc) and the solar collector doesn't collect enough energy to run everything, so the rest comes from the mains and is measured by your normal supply meter. At night, the solar collector isn't working, and all of your energy is supplied from the mains.
You now have two electricity meters. The generation meter measures the solar energy coming into the house, and is used to calculate your income from FITs and export payments. The supply meter works in the usual way and measures everything which is supplied to you by the mains. In most homes, the payments you receive from FITs will far exceed the money you pay out on your electricity bill.
We have been called by several customers recently worried by calls, and letters they have received from companies offering a supposed free maintenance check of their solar system, or offering to upgrade their current solar inverter with a more efficient product. These sales companies have even told customers that MCS have provided their contact details.
Please be assured that MCS do not give out customer contact details - and the old adage seems to be true 'if something sounds too good to be true - it probably is'.
We recommend that an inverter be swapped only when it has been become faulty, the systems do not need any servicing or maintenance.
Ofgem have announced an increase in the tariffs payable for Air & Ground source heat pumps, and Biomass boilers from April 2017.