His 3.2 kWp system is expected to generate 2720kWh of electricity a year, making a saving on his bills of £177 a year.

With the feed-in tariff he expects the annual tax free financial benefit of £1,300, minus the cost of the system this represents a profit of £28,340 over 25 years; a return on his investment of 10% per annnum. He expects future increases in energy costs to further improve this rate of return.

Patrick said, “The income from the solar roof is going to more than pay for our electricity bills which were running at under £400 a year and should also cover the gas bill.”

“So although we may not be carbon neutral we should be pound neutral in keeping the house powered. Now that we're both getting towards retirement, knowing we were safe as you can be from increasing bills seemed a very sensible investment.”