Solar panels now available from Sainsbury'sBritish Gas partners with Sainsbury’s on energy
09 February 2011
Sainsbury’s has teamed up with British Gas to sell solar panels, offer energy deals, energy-efficiency measures and energy-saving advice.
Consumers are now able to buy solar panels from Sainsbury’s and earn Nectar points at the same time, as a result of Sainsbury’s Energy's new partnership with British Gas.
As well as solar panels, Sainsbury's Energy also supplies gas and electricity, insulation products and home energy assessments.
Sainsbury’s Energy sells solar photovoltaic (solar PV) panels, which generate electricity. This type of solar panel system costs about £14-15,000 to install, and the system could pay for itself in 15 to 16 years, thanks to the government’s Feed-in-tariff (Fit), which enables people to sell excess electricity they generate back to the national grid.
The Fit lasts for 25 years, so over the remaining nine to 10 years you would actually make money from your PV system - and earn 10,000 nectar points at the same time.
Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron says: ‘Whilst 10,000 nectar points might sound like a great incentive, do shop around. Solar PV costs vary greatly depending on your home's location and the size and orientation of your roof. So, do your home work, get at least three quotes, and ensure the installer is certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme’.
For more advice on solar panels , including buying tips, costs and payback times, see our guide to buying solar panels.
Sainsbury’s to rent your roof?
If you cannot afford the up-front £15,000, Sainsbury’s Energy is operating a free 'rent-a-roof' solar panel scheme. Rent-a-roof schemes offer consumers the opportunity to have solar panels installed for free and benefit from some of the electricity the panels produce.
While the homeowner gets up to £150 worth of free electricity each year, they forfeit their rights to earn money from the Fit - this goes straight to the company which installed the solar panels.
Sylvia advises: 'The “free” rent-a-roof solar schemes can look very attractive at first, but Which? research shows that you could be loosing up as much as £10,500 compared with buying the solar panels upfront, even with a loan.’
Home energy assessments
Sainsbury's Energy will also offer home energy assessments. For £45, an energy expert will visit your home and perform an assessment of your house, its level of insulation and your energy usage, and issue you with a personalised energy-saving report. Sainsbury's Energy promises savings of up to £200 a year, if you follow the advice from the assessor.
The home energy assessment is expected to be available to all customers, and not just those who buy their gas and electricity from Sainsbury’s Energy.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide on how to use RSS news feeds and newsreaders.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. Customers who have changed saved an average of £237 a year.