Feed in Tariffs for PV - Up to 12 % rate of return on initial investment possible !




The UK Government recently announced that the Feed in Tariff for up to 4kW Domestic Photovoltaic installations with an eligibility date from 1st April 2015would be set at 13.38 p per kWh generated, as long as the property has achieved a Band D or higher EPC certificate.

·     The export tariff rate will increase to 4.85p/kWh for all new solar PV installations.

·     The tariff period (lifetime)  for solar PV is guaranteed for 20 years for all new solar PV installations.

With rising energy prices if these tariffs are added to expected savings of imported electricity by utilising the PV generated electricity then it is possible to get from between a 10 to 12% return on your investment in the 1st year with this likely to increase year on year!

It makes sense to invest in a PV system now before tariff rates are again reviewed in February , please feel free to contact us for a no obligation, MCS regulated quotation.




25kWp installation completed in city centre Bristol !


John West Renewables have completed a major new installation at DAS Insurances main office building in Bristol.

South Quay house has just renovated inside and out by our parent company John West Contractors and the client, DAS Insurance wanted to improve their green credentials as well as reduce their electricity bill for this 4 storey office building.

John West Renewables have designed, supplied and  installed a top of the range system utilising High efficiency Panasonic panels, these are one of the most efficient Photovoltaic panels on the market and coupled with high performance SMA inverters this installation is maximising the potential generation from the 100 panel, 25kWp array !


Energy Performance Certificate now required for Solar PV FIT applications .

As of the 1st of April 2012, the Government stated that any property with a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installation must attain at least a Level D or above Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to be able to qualify for the new 21p/kWh Feed in Tariff, otherwise a tariff of 9p/kWh will be in place.

The EPC contains a graph which is broadly similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, and provides a rating of the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a building based on a scale of A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating of the building. The certificate is also accompanied by information about the rating that could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.



New Battery Could Lead to Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Energy

A joint research project between the University of Southampton and lithium battery technology company REAP systems has found that a new type of battery has the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power.

The research project, sponsored by REAPsystems, was led by MSc Sustainable Energy Technologies student, Yue Wu and his supervisors Dr Carlos Ponce de Leon, Professor Tom Markvart and Dr John Low (currently working at the University's Research Institute for Industry, RIfI). The study looked specifically into the use of lithium batteries as an energy storage device in photovoltaic systems.

Student Yue Wu says, "Lead acid batteries are traditionally the energy storage device used for most photovoltaic systems. However, as an energy storage device, lithium batteries, especially the LiFePO4 batteries we used, have more favourable characteristics."

Data was collected by connecting a lithium iron phosphate battery to a photovoltaic system attached to one of the University's buildings, using a specifically designed battery management system supplied by REAPsystems.

Yue adds, "the research showed that the lithium battery has an energy efficiency of 95 per cent whereas the lead-acid batteries commonly used today only have around 80 per cent. The weight of the lithium batteries is lower and they have a longer life span than the lead-acid batteries reaching up to 1,600 charge/discharge cycles, meaning they would need to be replaced less frequently."

Although the battery will require further testing before being put into commercial photovoltaic systems the research has shown that the LiFePO4 battery has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar power systems and help to reduce the costs of both their installation and upkeep. Dr Carlos Ponce de Leon and Dr. John Low now plan to take this project further with a new cohort of Masters students.

Dr Dennis Doerffel, founder of REAPsystems and former researcher at the University of Southampton, says: "For all kinds of energy source (renewable or non-renewable), the energy storage device -- such as a battery -- plays an important role in determining the energy utilisation. Compared with traditional lead acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are more efficient, have a longer lifetime, are lighter and cost less per unit. We can see the potential of this battery being used widely in photovoltaic application, and other renewable energy systems."


John West Renewable attend Climate Week event

North Somerset Council host an event for Climate week on March 24th 2011 - giving an opportunity to tour the facilities and browse the information stalls including:

  • Energy Saving Trust
  • RegenSW
  • Sustainable Living
  • IN North Somerse
  • Domestic energy efficiency
  • NSC carbon mgt plan
  • Business Link
  • Solar Sense
  • Sun Ray Solar
  • John West Renewables

For more information visit



John West Contractors based at Vernon Court, The Great Western Centre in Weston-super-Mare are this week celebrating after the launch of their new renewable energy business called John West Renewables.Specialising in the installation of solar energy, wind power and heat pump technologies, the company will supply all the major markets including domestic, schools, developers, commercial and public sector.As Jon Bass, Director of the new venture explains: "The Government has pledged that 15% of the UK?s total energy generation will come from renewable sources by the year 2020. At present it stands at approximately 3% and clearly there is some way to go.".