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Daily Fail - Solar Panel Exaggerations


This week, the papers have been rife with negative press towards solar panels. The Daily Mail's money section was headlined with 'Don't fall for the solar panels con' - a bold demand indeed! They start their article:

"Solar panels that cost up to £16,000 will knock just £70 a year off household bills..."

It's not until you're nearing the middle of the article does journalist Lauren Thompson mention the Feed in Tariff:

"The homeowners are also paid about 35p per kWh for the energy they use. The remaining 75pc of unused energy that has been generated will be sold back tot he grid for about 41p per kWh."

A shining example of journalism using facts and figures to support a sensationalist headline. Homeowners are paid 41.3p per kWh for the energy they use under the Generation Tariff, and the energy sold back to the main grid is sold for 43.1p per kWh under the Export Tariff. These facts and figures are readily available on the Energy Saving Trust's website here , and they're on the Department of Energy and Climate Change's website too.

Mrs Thompson later uses the same tactic:

"at night, in the evening and on cloudy days - when the solar panels cannot produce any energy - the homeowner must buy electricity from their supplier at a rate of about 20p per kWh"

A quick Google reveals on the British Gas website, the largest energy provider in the UK, that the price of electricity under their standard tariff is 11.8p per unit.

It seems startling hypocritical that an article slamming dubious calculations and sales tactics is itself doing just that to promote its own headline!
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