How Solar Panels and Feed-in Tariffs Work

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels Diagram

  1. Light from the sun causes DC electricity to flow in the solar panels, which is then converted into AC electricity by the inverter (the red box) and then registers on the generation meter below it.
  2. The AC current from the inverter is then fed into the consumer unit (fuse box), which enables it to be used for domestic appliances.
  3. Any electricity generated by the panels which is not used is fed back into the National Grid.
  4. Each quarter you take a reading from your generation meter and send it to your power supplier who will pay you 16p for every unit you have generated, whether you have used it or not.
  5. As part of the scheme it is assumed that half of the electricity produced is fed into the grid so you are paid an additional 4.5p for half the units you produce.
  6. Your normal meter will give lower readings because you will be using less electricity from the grid thus reducing your bills.