Despite poor weather last year, our Met Office solar PV system generates more than estimated in first 12 months.

It may be a blistering hot summer now, but official statistics show that 2012 was actually one of the wettest years on record for the UK. Despite this though – a full year after SunGift first designed and installed the 250 kW solar PV array at the Met Office HQ Exeter – the system has out-performed
initial estimations, generating 221,854kWh (747 kWh more than estimated) of renewable electricity.

“This is great news for anyone thinking of to opting for solar PV,” said SunGift’s Gareth Walton, “because if systems are exceeding estimates even in poor weather conditions – just think how well they’re currently performing while the country is basking in sunshine.

“The Met Office’s solar system demonstrates how beneficial solar PV is for both non-domestic and domestic customers.  It has reduced their electricity bills, helping protect them from rising energy costs, generated a substantial income from the Feed-in Tariff, and cut their carbon emissions, boosting their green credentials.”

Solar PV systems can pay for themselves in as little as five years with a further 15 years of index-linked income from the Feed-in Tariff scheme and free electricity for 30-40 years.

In the year since installing the Met Office’s system, SunGift has installed more solar PV systems for both householders and businesses and other non-domestic customers, including Numatic International in Chard who manufacture Henry vacuum cleaners and Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council.

The specialist solar PV industry design software that we use to estimate how much electricity will be generated by the systems they install, including the Met Office’s, has been shown by both independent comparison tests and customer feedback not to over-estimate the output of a system.  This is in contrast to some other methods that have been shown to overestimate.

“While high estimates initially sound attractive, they can leave customers unhappy when their systems don’t perform as expected,” Walton said. “SunGift deliberately uses a method that gives a realistic, but slightly conservative, estimate because we prefer to install systems that outperform estimates and leave our customers happy.”

Peter Clayton-White, Building Services Engineer at the Met Office, said: “The system has provided more power than we expected – which is very encouraging looking to the future of this investment.”


To find out more about SunGift’s commercial solar PV solutions for larger organisations contact Gareth Walton on 01392 213912 or click here to email Gareth  (