At a time when UK consumers are reassessing options for domestic energy and turning increasingly to solar energy to stabilise their energy supply and costs, Otovo simplifies a previously opaque sector by using proprietary technology to connect customers to local, vetted, and approved installers of solar panels. Uniquely, the intuitive platform provides (obligation-free) personalised insights into the benefits that solar can bring to an individual’s property. Visitors to Otovo input their home address and, using satellite data and other data, the platform calculates how much sunlight a section of their roof receives and the corresponding energy produced, as well as the size, shape, and specification of suitable rooftop solar products. Solar installations have tripled in the last two years in the UK to over 3,000 installations per week and 89% of people support seeing more solar rooftop panels in their local area, according to Solar Energy UK.
Otovo technology is then able to price the project at the lowest price available from local MCS approved solar installers. Since its European launch in 2016, Otovo’s technology has assessed over 3 million homes across 13 European countries including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain: ensuring that its offering, now available to UK consumers, is highly optimised and reliable.
Historically, solar installations in Europe have proven a trading standards issue due to poor quality of work and contractor unreliability (in France, for example, it was once one of the most complained about of all trades). Otovo differentiates itself from the wider consumer-facing solar industry – and protects consumers in the process – by only working with MCS certified installers, applying additional vetting, undertaking quality control checks and external audits of installers, and delivering industry-leading aftercare.
As a pioneer in solar, in its home market of Norway, Otovo has cut the price of solar in half over the past 6 years alone. To date, Otovo has helped over 15,000 households in Europe transition to domestic solar power, operating at a pace of close to 10,000 installations per year.
As well as offering British consumers the option to purchase a solar system outright, Otovo also brokers loans (provided by Humm Group) potentially reducing the need for a large upfront payment. A typical 10 panel installation in Surrey could cost £160/month over three years to finance a £5,000 installation. The panels could generate 4000 kWh/year at current electricity rates of £0.34/kWh. In the described scenario, this specific consumer could expect to save anything from 49% off their electricity bill and pay back their investment in less than ten years. If they were to buy outright, payback would be a little over eight years. In the near future, UK households, like those in other Otovo markets, will be able to lease their solar panels via Otovo over twenty years. This leasing model has proved immensely successful in other markets, such as Portugal, Germany, and Spain.
With VAT on residential solar systems in the UK currently set at 0%, the average cost of an installation is £5,000-6,000, and when the leasing model becomes available in the UK, residential solar systems will be more accessible to a wider pool of consumers. Residential system pay back times in Europe can be as low as 5-10 years.
Otovo also offers batteries as part of solar systems for the UK market. Following trends in markets such as Germany and Italy, where battery attachment rates are 70-80%, 85% of Otovo’s current sales have batteries attached. The benefits of batteries are immense: consumers can harvest sunlight during daylight hours, which is stored and then deployed by the battery at night.