Photovoltaic solar panels - does the maths work

We have a house in dept 17 with a south-west facing roof, I am thinking about having photovoltaic solar panels installed. We are not resident in France for Tax, and indeed are only there 6-8 weeks per year in total. So my thinking was that we would mainly be selling back to the grid, and from what I understand we can expect an approximate return of 10% PA on our investment (rather better than you would get in a bank) - and just keep the money in our French bank account for when we are over. My question: is the return realistic and are there any pitfalls others have come across.

Thanks in advance.



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Hi Mark

Can I ask which company you are thinking of using…??

We have had several Brits in our commune who have been targeted (and I do mean that) by very pleasant English-speaking salesmen… on each occasion it has turned out badly for the Brits. Some contracts we managed to get cancelled, but some will be paying-off for the rest of their lives…and possibly beyond, given their ages.

On the other hand… if you speak excellent French and can understand the French contracts etc etc…you might well find yourself with a good company… they must exist… surely. :wink:


Hi Stella,

Thanks for that.

I had no particular company in mind, I just googled firms in my area. My French is good enough to do most of this and I have access to some bi-lingual friends. I do understand the concern of the type of salesman you mean though…

I wonder if EDF have an approved supplier list, as I understand that they have to liaise quite closely because of the feed back to the grid.

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Ha ha… Mark… one Salesman had folk thinking he is a Rep for EDF… but none of them are.

One particularly naughty act was persuading folk to sign a Work Completed/Satisfaction Notice at the same time as taking their Order… It was just another piece of paper, as far as they were concerned… They trusted him and believed what he said!

In many cases…Carbon-less Order forms include Satisfaction/Completion Note…thus sign once… and everything is signed…:rage:

It is worth finding out the “cooling-off” period… as this can be quite short…

I’ll get off my soapbox now…and leave you to it. :wink:

I found this (looks legit) I’ll send them a note and see what happens.

Wish me luck …


Mark… I wish you all the luck in the world. :innocent:

Let us know how you get on and the names of the Enterprises involved… as it will NOT be EDF.

We had photovoltaic cells installed by EDFENR, a branch of EDF that deal with renewable energy, last year. Unfortunately EDF do not buy excess electricity generated anymore so you will not be able to sell back to the grid.

Thanks very much for the update. looks like I will be filing my idea in the bin!

I began to look into this too. From the little I read ErDf will allow you to generate as much as they sell you. Thus leaving you with zero bill for electricity at the end of a calendar year. If you over produce more than you use over a calendar year you will not get paid for the extra. I presume some connection and delivery charges will remain. So we won’t be doing this till we move there on my retirement.

Thanks for that Andy.