New EON solar panels + New EON fixed rate DD - How are bills affected by solar panels

  • DerkDiggler's Avatar
    Level 1
    Hi All!

    I'm currently on OVO PAYG energy so don't have much idea of how Direct debits work especially when you chuck solar panels into the mix.

    I spoke with EON today about getting they're EON solar panels + moving onto the 'Next Fixed 24m v2' DD plan (as they offer a £1000 discount on the system if you move onto they're tariff as well as have the panels done).
    The advisor did not have any info on what I am about to ask (apparently I would need to speak to the tariff team and they are now closed for the evening).

    Note - EON have quoted me £180.58 per month based on our usage of 6500kwh pa (this is our actual usage now and does not factor in the solar panels etc).

    1. Am I safe to assume regardless of the time of year, we are generating solar energy so ALL of our bills should be less than £180.58 straight off the bat?

    2. How will my 'fixed monthly DD' be affected by the solar panels, for example in the summer months when I am generating close to/or more than enough energy for my needs, will I automatically receive discounted energy bills to reflect this?

    Also in the winter months we will also be generating energy, again will this be automatically discounted on the bills?


    What I am hoping IS NOT the case, is a scenario where we pay £180.58 every month no matter what and are constantly in credit, and if this is the case how easy/fast is it to request a refund for the credit OR can we get EON to allocate the credit to the proceeding months (and if they do this do this still continue to take £180.58 every month regardless constantly putting you in a boomerang situation with your money?

    I'm wondering if it makes more sense to re-run the quote and factor in the expected solar generation for the year (6268kwh) however this is probably not the way to do it and puts our usage at 232kwh and the DD at only £20.29 per month!

    Sorry if I have confused anybody, I have explained this situation the best way I can!! ha ha

    Thanks,

    Derick
  • 9 Replies

  • Best Answer

    retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    Best Answer

    To be honest, my post is mainly about fixed DIRECT DEBITS and how the bill amount is affected by solar usage.

    You are billed monthly for imported electricity you use. You are paid periodically for any solar you export. The more solar you use, the less you get paid, but the less imported electricity you have to buy. Bearing in mind import electricity costs about ten times more than what you get paid for export, it makes sense to use the solar capacity to offset your bills. But it won't directly affect your Direct Debit initially until your consumption drops significantly.

    This is why SEG and a supplier-provided system has you by the short and curlies. Solar will not reduce your energy costs unless you use the solar yourself. If you don't use it but export it, it is effectively a retrospective refund of a proportion of your bills, but at least for the first year it won't affect the DD by much.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • wizzo227's Avatar
    Level 21
    @DerkDiggler
    I've got solar panels and will hopefully be able to answer much about what your solar panels will do. I'm not EoN so I don't know all their deals. Has anyone said yet how many kiloWatts(peak rated) you'd get, which is the sum of the datasheet Watts of solar panels under best test conditions? For example my small house inside 4.1 metres width got 2.5kW(peak). Next, which way will they be pointing? I like compass bearings and mine are 175; near South facing, on 35 degrees roof pitch, with not many obstructions. What might you be getting ?
  • DerkDiggler's Avatar
    Level 1
    @wizzo227

    Hi Wizzo,

    Thanks for your message.

    To be honest, my post is mainly about fixed DIRECT DEBITS and how the bill amount is affected by solar usage.

    I can find out the information you require but I don't think it's going to help answer my question, or am I missing something?

    Kind regards,

    Derk
  • wizzo227's Avatar
    Level 21
    OK. What I'm seeing is oops! it won't help you that much.
    It looks like you did 6500-6268=232 (kWh/year). That won't happen because what you use is not always exclusively used at sunny times in exactly the right quantity to use up all of whatever is being generated. In my house, from such dodges as waiting for a nice sunny day to switch on the washing machine, I get to use locally about half of what I generate. What goes out earns for you at some lesser price per kWh, which EoN will tell you, on a different meter count to what goes in as usual at other times getting billed as usual. They could sell you an expensive battery to somewhat help, but there will still be some weeks in winter when the battery never filled up and you did not have as much as you would use. The dumb solution to double the sizes of everything is still not enough for all of the electricity which you will use during the coldest gloomiest worst week of winter.

    Step zero before deciding what size solar setup you want, which might not be the huge one talked about so far, is for you to understand where in your house most of that much power is going. 6500 kWh per year is lots; you might be able to halve that first and then reassess your solar panel sizing. Solar panels save a little bit off your bills in the winter; for example mine save between 0.5 and 5 kWh on each winter day, so now is not the most urgent time for putting up yours. You don't have to tell me either, but I would answer direct questions if I can.

    I think that "fixed direct debit" gets the case which you hope to avoid; of too much credit building up. "Variable direct debit" is I think much better suited to the variation which will happen with properly sized and properly used solar panels, which is that in summer months only, you could get below £20 per month if you are sensible, possibly with a much smaller and less expensive system than you started asking about.
  • DerkDiggler's Avatar
    Level 1
    Hi there both of you.

    Thanks for your responses.

    OK I'm confused, it seems there is no point getting panels?!

    I kind of worked out that I would generate not much less than I would consume each year and thus the system would sort of pay for itself somewhat over the 5year interest free purchase.

    I was also imagining that once paid off in 5 years I would have a reasonably reduced electric bill in the winter (say normally it's £200 but now £100-150) and in the summer the bill would be next to nothing or zero, would this not be the case?

    I'm aware we are high energy users and for what reason I don't know, we are careful with the energy we use, all lights are led etc etc so I don't really think we can do anything else to reduce it or sacrifice anything further.

    I wonder if a way to make use of all the energy generated and save more money would be to use the immersion heater to consume excess energy rather than sell it back to the grid for next to nothing?


    I'm feeling somewhat deflated right now :(

    Kind regards,

    Derick
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @DerkDiggler

    There is every point in getting solar panels. It reduces your carbon footprint and will (eventually) subsidise your electricity bills but the best way you can save money is to reduce your actual usage in the first place.

    Are you living in an all-electric property where you need electricity for heating? My house is off mains gas but all my cooking, three fridges/freezers and a whole office full of computers use something like 3000kWh or electricity a year in an E rated property (which only scraped the E by one point on the EPC, it's almost an F!). No insulation other than the roof, 32" thick solid stone walls and on a 1000ft high exposed West Atlantic coast.

    Oil fired heating (which is the cheapest cost per kWh by far) which helps, but I think my electricity usage is high compared to many folks! I've reduced it by half in the last 18 months with very few major lifestyle changes. Once I'm down to below 5kWh a day, then I'm going to pull the plug and go off-grid solar, but I'm not quite there yet.

    Last edited by retrotecchie; 13-10-23 at 21:32.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    @DerkDiggler

    paying by Direct debit with Eon Next is cheaper than OVO charges on PAYG because here you get DD rates so long as you pay by DD whether that is a fixed monthly amount OR paying after receipt of bill. OVO do not offer the latter. The saving currently is about 7% for atypical user.

    the best way to use your panel generation is to consume it within the home at the time it’s generated, because then you will not use so much grid energy. While excess generation will be exported to the grid the income rate is very much less than the rates you are charged for grid energy. So using solar to heat your water is exactly right.

    othe companies can pay you much greater sums for excess generation but your contract with Eon Next is unlikely to permit that. Whether going for a package deal is financially sensible is debatable. Contributors here that have Eon Next in their titles are company employees, the rest of us are independent.
    Last edited by meldrewreborn; 13-10-23 at 23:21.
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • wizzo227's Avatar
    Level 21
    Solar panels are definitely worth getting and will save you plenty from your bills but not most of the huge bill as you first hoped. The energy and CO2 saving (gaining immediate savings off your next (variable direct debit) bill) is quite progressive; the first 3kW(peak) of solar panels will more often coincide with your using electricity than the next additional 3kW(peak) (and your yearly total expected generation looked like what one should get from about 7?), so you should see more bill saving per £k invested from the first three kW (and you've not said anything yet about how sunny your roof is. If your roof isn't sunny then you should want to find some other place which is). As for the automatic switch box to drop surplus to an immersion heater, immersion heaters are usually 2 or 3kW and there is only one heater-hole in hot water tanks. Yes you can buy those, yes that would help, but no not so much as your extra-large bill, which is many times more than I use in total in this house. In any case, you haven't said what you use the other unexplained half of your 6500 kWh/year for nor when, so is it something that you can retime to sunny days February to November or is it something which you can sometimes do without for being unaffordable at times ?
    Last edited by wizzo227; 15-10-23 at 11:19. Reason: should want, not 'd need
  • DebF_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    Hey @DerkDiggler 👋

    You've had some sound advice on this thread it seems. Did any of these replies help you make a decision? If you have anymore questions about it please ask away and we will do our best to answer them for you 😊
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